C’mon Trevor, Pat Neshek?! The guy is 37 years old and a free agent at the end of the year. Sure he’s having a good year but he’s not under long term control and the Milwaukee Brewers are looking for control. I think the reported interest in him is just due diligence. I wouldn’t want to give up a top 30 prospect or two for a rental in the 7th inning.
Don’t get me wrong, bullpen help is also a need but Neshek has too many suitors and would cost too much for a rental. I would rather have a guy like David Phelps from Miami who the Brewers are also reportedly interested in. He still has another year of arbitration left and while 30 years old isn’t necessarily young compared to the rest of the Brewers, he’s way younger than Neshek.
Perhaps another relief pitcher that could be available is Chris Beck of the White Sox. He isn’t arbitration eligible until 2020 and isn’t a free agent until 2023. He’s got a lot of team control left and is having a decent season. He’s only 26 and would fit perfectly into what the Brewers are trying to do. Since the White Sox have nearly everyone for sale, perhaps he could be on the move as well.
As for Gray, you make a good point about the price being worth it. If he dominates like CC Sabathia did in 2008 then the price will be easier to bear. He may not make a huge difference in a series with the Nationals but it will at least give us a fighting chance. If Gray isn’t in that rotation, the Brewers stand practically no chance of making it out of the NLDS.
Jimmy Nelson and Chase Anderson can’t pitcher every game of a series, as much as we’d like them to. Gray also brings postseason experience, something that Nelson and Anderson don’t have. He pitched well in both of his starts in the 2013 ALDS including an eight shutout inning performance in Game 2. And he could do the same with Milwaukee. If the move for Sonny Gray is not made, the chance at a deep postseason run this year is gone. That may not necessarily be a bad thing in the long run, though.
Keeping those prospects it would’ve taken to acquire him could end up being huge contributors in later playoff teams for Milwaukee. I’m not sure David Stearns is willing to pay the price it would cost to get Sonny Gray and that’s not a bad thing either. I think the Milwaukee Brewers fanbase is pretty split right now between wanting to get Gray and go for it this year and wanting to stand pat and save the prospects for the future.
I’m not advocating that they should get Gray and I’m not advocating that they shouldn’t, but they need him IF they’re going to make a deep postseason run. It could be a huge gamble on the future of the team and the prospects Stearns has worked so hard to acquire and it could backfire. But if it pays off, and they make a run, it’s going to be the most magical baseball season in Milwaukee since 1982.
What would make the potential acquisition of Gray a truly great deal is if he signs a long term extension with Milwaukee. If, when he reaches free agency after the 2019 season, or even before, signs a long term deal to stay in Milwaukee, it would make for an incredible trade that would be well worth the prospect price.
You can’t win a World Series without good pitching and that’s the upgrade the Milwaukee Brewers need if they’re going to make any postseason runs in their window of success. Gray makes the most sense and it would show everyone in the baseball world that the Brewers are serious contenders and they are here to stay.