The Milwaukee Brewers exit this Father’s Day weekend with the third best record in baseball and don’t seem to be looking back. Since Ron Roenicke adjusted the lineup a few weeks back, the offense has found its stride. Pitching has been shaky, but with run support comes masked success.
We are about a month away from the All Star break and 41 days away from the trade deadline. Usually the Brewers are on the tanking end of things and are looking to acquire prospects for their top available player but that is not the case in 2014. The Brewers are probably going to look to add some bench depth for the middle infield and outfield throughout the next few weeks. I have compiled a small list of players I believe the Brewers will have interest in.
3. Brad Ziegler, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Brad is having yet another outstanding year out of the bullpen. He has been dominant since he was called up by the Oakland Athletics in 2008. The Brewers may want to upgrade their bullpen as it has started to slip in recent weeks. Brad currently holds a 3-1 record, a 2.58 ERA in 40 appearances with 33 strikeouts and 14 walks (4 intentional) and a WHIP of 1.12. He surrenders half of a home run every 9 innings pitched this year and has held batters he’s faced to a .213 average. He actually holds left handed batters to a lower batting average than he does right handed hitters. Jonathan Lucroy didn’t help my cause as we belted a grand slam off of Brad during the series the Brewers just finished up in Arizona.
2. Seth Smith, LF, San Diego Padres
It is pretty evident that the Brewers need a bench bat. Besides Rickie Weeks, the Brewers don’t have much pop off the bench. With Seth Smith, you get that and more. Not only does Smith provide his bat, but he also gives the Brewers the option of having a solid left fielder to put in the lineup when Khris Davis doesn’t have a favorable match up against a right handed pitcher.
Smith is having an outstanding year for the Padres. Smith currently has a 1.9 oWAR and a 150 OPS+. The Padres just don’t have a team that can hit the ball and produce runs. Therefor, the Padres don’t have a shot in the dark to make the playoffs this year and Smith should be available to acquire. It also shouldn’t take much to get Smith from the Padres, so don’t expect the Brewers to ship the farm system for a guy like Smith.
1. Ben Zobrist, 2B/SS/RF, Tampa Bay Rays
If the Brewers went out and got Ben Zobrist, the would be the best trade the Brewers could possibly make this year to improve the team’s chances at going to the World Series. Zobrist is a switch hitting middle infielder who can also play right field. Throughout his playing career, the only position Zobrist hasn’t played is catcher. However, majority of his playing time has come in the middle infield. Acquiring Ben would eliminate the idea of ever having to call up Elian Herrera or Irving Falu again because of Ben’s uber utility and versatility. Having a little more power from the right side, Zobrist can provide a new bat into the line up against a left handed pitcher or really whenever Scooter Gennett needs a day off. Unfortunately, this move does pretty much put Rickie Weeks without a job. As much as Rickie gets hate from the fans, I have always defended Weeks. I just hope if the Brewers do move him that he can go to a good team and turn things around.
One thing about acquiring Zobrist is what the Brewers would have to give up to get him. I think the Brewers would have to put a trade together where we would send one major league ready player and two prospects in order to get Zobrist. Something along the lines of Rickie Weeks, Mitch Haniger, and Ariel Pena for Ben Zobrist would definitely get the job done.
Also worth noting: Zobrist comes with a $7.5MM team option which is very appealing for a team like the Brewers. So, don’t look at Zobrist strictly as a rental. If we got him, he could be a part of the 2015 Milwaukee Brewers as well.