Another day, another loss for the league worst Milwaukee Brewers. Now sitting at 16-29, it’s more appropriate to start saying that the Brewers are a half game out of the number one draft pick for 2016, rather than keep reminding ourselves of the 12.5 game deficit we need to overcome to catch the division leading Cardinals. With some level of sell-off all but certain at this point and trading season right around the corner, it’s a good idea to start keeping a pulse on what other teams around the league might be looking for in a deal.
Earlier today, news broke that the San Francisco Giants have designated 3B Casey McGehee for assignment. The former-Brewer won the NL’s Comeback Player of the Year last year after putting together a .287/.355/.357 line and 1.1 WAR in 161 games for Miami, and was acquired to replace Pablo Sandoval when he departed via free agency. McGehee has been a major disappointment this season, however, hitting just .200/.254/.282 in 118 plate appearances, hitting into more double plays (12) than he has for extra bases (five).
With McGehee no longer in the fold, the Giants will turn to 24 year old Matt Duffy as their everyday third baseman. Duffy, an 18th round pick in 2012, has put together a solid 107 OPS+ so far in 105 plate appearances, but he has never hit for much power in the minor leagues and has yet to establish himself at the big league level. With their record at 25-19, the defending World Series champions are likely to be in the thick of the playoff chase throughout the season, and could be in the market for an upgrade at the hot corner.
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That is where the Brewers come in. Milwaukee has already reportedly put several of their veterans on the trading block, including third baseman Aramis Ramirez. The soon to be 37 year old is likely in his final big league season and making $14 mil this season, and he will require days off here and there throughout the course of the season. Ramirez was an All-Star in 2014, however, and he has been among the best defensive third baseman in the league this season, ranking second in the majors with a 3.9 UZR. His .227/.276/.420 batting line would look much more impressive if Ramirez wasn’t hampered by a measly .237 BABIP. With a .193 ISO and 13 of his 27 hits this season going for extra bases, Aramis is proving he is still capable of providing some solid pop at the plate.
LHP Ty Blach is one player that could interest the Brewers in an Aramis Ramirez trade. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Of course, the Brewers shouldn’t expect too large of a return for Ramirez given his age and contract situation. The Giants don’t have an especially deep farm system, but one thing they do possess is plenty of young pitching. A team can never have too many arms, and the Brewers would be wise to target the Giants’ many young arms in a potential deal. One player that I think would be a fair return is the 24 year old lefty, Ty Blach. A fifth round pick in 2012, Blach is currently ranked as the Giants number seven prospect by MLB.com. He comes after hitters with a repeatable delivery and mixes things up with four pitches, his best being a plus changeup. He’s demonstrated terrific control throughout his minor league career, walking just 1.7 batters per nine across 320.2 innings pitched. Currently pitching in AAA, Blach should develop into a solid number four starter at the big league level, relying on his pinpoint command to make up for a lack of overpowering stuff. If the Brewers were to acquire the southpaw from San Francisco, he could quickly become an option for the big league rotation, probably competing for a job in Spring Training next season.
With June right around the corner and the trade market about to begin gaining steam, things should finally start getting exciting for fans of the Milwaukee Brewers. While we have little to look forward to in terms of on the field play, we can at least look forward to trying to keep up with all the trade rumors that are sure to begin flying as the Brewers look to start making some deals with the future in mind. One player that is almost certain to be dealt is veteran 3B Aramis Ramirez, long one of the games’ best players at the hot corner. The Giants, in the midst of a title defense and with a need at third base, seem like a natural fit as a trade partner for the Brewers. With several solid arms like Ty Blach in their system, the Giants likely have both the means and desire to get a deal for Aramis Ramirez done.