As promised, here are my thoughts on what the Brewers accomplished over the trade deadline, which, of course, was nothing.
Now, I don’t want to say that the Brewers really screwed up this deadline. I just want to say that it appears as if they might have.
Here’s a quote from Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash:
“There were deals to make if you just wanted to make one,” Ash added. “But we didn’t feel like they would help the ballclub now or in the future. You still have the waiver transactions that may come into play. It’s hard to forecast that.”
Let’s take this step-by-step:
Firstly, it’s dumb to say that Brewers would want to trade everyone, if they could get something back. There are players that are real building blocks, whether it be due to talent or value. So, with that said, they were not going to trade Ryan Braun, Yovani Gallardo and Casey McGehee and probably would’ve needed quite a bit for Rickie Weeks, I imagine.
They also probably wouldn’t be interested in trading anyone who is very young with potential, like Mat Gamel, John Axford and Zach Braddock.
So those guys are really not on the block.
Then there are the guys that are a disservice to a roster and are pretty much unwanted, and untradable as assets themselves. What I mean by that is they are pretty much like Mike Lowell in the Josh Beckett for Hanley Ramirez trade a few years back. Lowell and more specifically, his contract, were a negative assumed by the Red Sox.
On this team, Randy Wolf is pretty much the new Suppan, not entirely due to his performance — which while dreadful, isn’t quite Soup consistency — but because he still has $19.0 mil. coming in the next two years. No one is giving anything for that.
Beyond that, there are plenty of guys who just haven’t been very good this year, and teams would not view them as an aid to a playoff push. This group included pretty much every pitcher on the team left, with the possible exceptions of LaTroy Hawkins and Trevor Hoffman, who we’ll get to in a minute.
So, that leaves Hawkins, Hoffman, Carlos Villanueva, Jim Edmonds, Corey Hart, Craig Counsell, Todd Coffey, David Riske and Carlos Gomez as potentially traded assets. Oh, and Prince Fielder, of course.
I’ll “X” off Gomez because he is still young and promising and cheap enough to qualify as an asset to the Brewers long-term, and his short-term value to a team in a pennant race would probably keep the offers too low to warrant dealing him.
Let’s move on to Coffey and Villanueva can probably both be put in the same category as Hawkins: While they are valuable theoretically, their performance this season would probably kill any interest in them, and any offers made for them probably wouldn’t benefit a Brewers team that needs to improve its bullpen, not trade away relatively cheap help.
So, to summarize, while the Brewers WOULD trade them, they likely got no offers of value for them whatsoever.
Moving on: David Riske, while valuable, has only pitched 19 innings, so he probably scares teams a bit. He could be valuable to a contender, but there better options on the open market. He also could be a reasonable sign for next season, either at his $4.25M option, or some sort of re-signing, after his $250,000 buyout.
Now we have the legitimate trade options. We’ll go in order of least likely to have attracted any interest, to the most.
Craig Counsell and Jim Edmonds are pretty much in the same boat, while I’m sure more teams could use Edmonds bat, he isn’t as versatile as Counsell, who can play more positions. Both could’ve netted a prospect of some sort, I’m sure, if someone wanted them. I’m inclined to say that ANY offer made for these two that featured only prospect salaries coming back probably should’ve been taken really.
Of course, I don’t REALLY mean that. But the point is that these two are going to play just about no part in any productive future the team has and are both about to be free agents. Edmonds could attract interest on the market. I’ll give the Crew the benefit of the doubt and say they just weren’t offered anything of value for these two. But if there were and the team passed, shame on them.
Hawkins and Hoffman are also in the same boat. Both have had pretty lousy seasons, but both have a cache of MLB success behind them, so a trade for either would be justified, especially at the reduced cost.
Especially in Hawkins’ case, as he is owed $4.25M next season, the Brewers might have to eat some salary, but getting a solid prospect back for either would seem pretty feasible. However, these two are also the only two that would clear waivers for a waiver trade, so the Brewers might be holding out yet. We’ll have to see. And its entirely possible that their putrid performances this year by standard metrics (Hoffman’s ERA is 6.62 and Hawkins is at 7.90) probably scared away most teams. Hawkins FIP of 3.11 and xFIP of 3.46 suggest he has been one of the most unfortunate pitchers in baseball this season, and he can help a team out.
Hurting Hawkins chances was his presence on the DL as well, but he is due to come off on Saturday, and Kerry Wood was traded while on the DL. Still, probably too many red flags for most teams to actually pay for Hawkins. That is probably no loss to the Brewers really, as they need good arms and his is one that can be a real aid next year.
As with Counsell and Edmonds, if the Brewers turned down just about any offer for Hoffman, shame on them.
I don’t want to get into it too much, but as yesterday’s post might illustrate
I think the Brewers should’ve traded Corey Hart for a decent prospect. I’ve no idea what other teams offered for him, but something similar to what Ryan Ludwick cost would’ve been enough for me to send him out, personally. But as the extension shows, the Brewers have him in their long-term plans. I think this is a mistake, but whatever, it’s too late now.
Then there is Prince Fielder, who I argued should be dealt. I didn’t hear of any real rumors surrounding him, which suggests either the Brewers were not interested in trading him, which I would find very discouraging, or that other teams were not really willing to acquire him, which I find unlikely, but possible. He would be expensive to any team that acquired him, and a team like the Yankees might be more content to just go with Berkman and Adam Dunn for the next 1.5 years and get Fielder for “free” in free agency.
It’s hard to say.
There is still this offseason, but after that, the offers for Prince are going to get pretty low for a player of his offensive ability.
Overall, I’d have to say I’d rate the Brewers non-action as a D or D-. It really is possible no one wanted what they had to offer, and didn’t want to pony up top prospects for Prince.
But I sorta doubt it. I mean, Jake Westbrook was actually traded for Ludwick.