Potential Players To Buy
This is tough. The Milwaukee Brewers aren’t likely to land any top players at any position since that would require parting with prospects. It’s extremely unlikely the Brewers give up any of their top 30 prospects in a deadline deal, so look for some buy-low guys. It’s hard to find cheap options since no one really knows if that player is available until they’re traded, but we’ll try.
The Brewers have been said to be looking for bullpen help and it’s not hard to see why. The offense is good, the rotation has some depth, but the bullpen has underwhelmed outside of Corey Knebel.
Swarzak was signed to a Minor League deal this past winter, but has done a solid job in the White Sox bullpen. He’s posted a 2.52 ERA through 39.1 innings with 41 strikeouts. His WHIP is at 0.99 and he’s only walked 10 batters this year. Swarzak has allowed only 11 earned runs in his 34 appearances.
As a sixth or seventh inning option that will be a free agent at the end of the year, the 31-year old Swarzak can be had for very little in return. He’s having a great season but the White Sox aren’t going anywhere and most of their players will be up for sale.
Perhaps a Class-A pitcher that isn’t highly regarded can be sent to Chicago in return for Swarzak.
McGowan is another impending free agent at the end of the year, but is having a great season on team that’s willing to sell. McGowan has a 2.86 ERA through 31 appearances. The 35-year old reliever has 37 strikeouts through 44 innings of work and has a 4-0 record with a 1.16 WHIP.
He would present another option in the sixth or seventh inning and has a longer record of recent success than Swarzak. McGowan is coming off of a good year in 2016 where he pitched to a 2.82 ERA in 67 innings of work. His price might be slightly higher than Swarzak, who has yet to post consecutive sub-4.00 ERA seasons in his eight-year career.
So perhaps instead of a single Class-A player, maybe it will cost two Class-A players. But neither will be highly regarded prospects, otherwise Stearns is unlikely to do the deal.
Madson used to be a well regarded closer and then he missed all of 2012-2014 with injuries. But now, as a 36 year old pitcher, he’s settled in to a setup role and has thrived in it this year. Madson has a 2.41 ERA through 35 appearances and 32 strikeouts. He’s walked only six batters all year and has 14 holds.
He owns a WHIP of 0.87 and has done an exceptional job in middle relief. Madson does come with a somewhat hefty price tag as he’s in the middle of a three year/ $22 million contract and is signed through next season.
David Stearns would like Oakland to eat a chunk of that money for the Brewers to get him but that would force Stearns to give up a better prospect return which he may not be willing to do. The Brewers have the lowest payroll in MLB so they can absorb that contract without putting a burden on the team.