The Milwaukee Brewers got a steal in the Carlos Gomez trade. While they dealt a very talented player, the Brewers got four players who can be big time factors, some as early as next season. With 23-year-old Domingo Santana having nothing left to prove in the minor leagues, the Brewers should move Ryan Braun to first base in 2016.
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Yes, the Brewers have Adam Lind at first this year and his intriguing and affordable option for next season in front of them, but they are in a situation where they could continue to build towards the future without him. By dealing the 32-year-old Lind either this August or this winter, they could net another piece that can contribute in the future. Given his age and his injury history, he doesn’t appear to be a realistic player if and when this team is going to turn it around.
By moving Braun to first, they would not only open up a spot for Santana, but also for several other top prospects. Currently on MLB.com’s top prospect list the Brewers have ten outfielders in the top-30 and five in their top ten. By moving Braun over (his third position switch of his career) it would clear a path for more prospects on their way up the the big leagues.
This season through his first 79 games in AAA, Santana has batted .327 with 16 home runs and 1.008 OPS. While he has struggled during his limited action in the minor leagues, leaving him down in AAA for any period of time next season is ludicrous.
Many others in the league have made the switch to first later in their careers and moving Braun would greatly help the Brewers both now and in the future. With a strong arm and a dangerous power bat, Santana cannot be up here simply to platoon with Davis and others in 2016. Santana needs to play everyday as the Brewers move towards the future and begin to reap the benefits of their monster trade.