Milwaukee Brewers: Anthony Swarzak Acquired From White Sox

DENVER, CO - JULY 08: Anthony Swarzak
DENVER, CO - JULY 08: Anthony Swarzak /

The Milwaukee Brewers have finally made a Trade Deadline acquisition and added to their club.

It marks the first time the Milwaukee Brewers have bought at the deadline since 2014. Although the player acquired wasn’t who most fans might have expected. Or was it? Fair warning: there will be some gloating.

Going back to our Trade Deadline Preview, I wrote that Anthony Swarzak was a potential option for Milwaukee. And guess what? They just traded for Swarzak. I CALLED IT! Like Babe Ruth calling his shot over the center field fence, the Brewers got the guy I believed to be available for them. It was more of a educated guess than a guarantee but hey even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

Okay, enough gloating, let’s get to the trade. The price for Swarzak was slightly higher than I anticipated as it actually cost the Milwaukee Brewers a Top 30 prospect. But it probably won’t have a damaging effect on the future.

The prospect heading to Chicago in return is OF Ryan Cordell. He was acquired last summer as the PTBNL in the Lucroy/Jeffress deal with Texas.

Let’s face it, Cordell wasn’t going to be a big time contributor for Milwaukee anyways. He performed well in Colorado Springs this year but was not going to be a part of the long term future for the Brew Crew, as he was already behind Brett Phillips and Lewis Brinson who both earned call ups this season.

Swarzak is 31 years old and is having the best season of his career. He’s posted a 2.23 ERA with a 1.03 WHIP in 48 and 1/3 Innings pitched. In addition, he has averaged 9.7 K/9 and has a 40.5 percent ground ball rate. He sits 94.5 MPH on his fastball and has shown an ability to miss bats this season.

He is most likely going to be the setup man for Corey Knebel. Swarzak signed a minor league deal last winter with Chicago with a $900k salary in the majors and he’s performed extremely well. He is going to be a rental as he is a free agent at season’s end.

But if he continues to pitch well down the stretch in Milwaukee, I can very easily see the Brewers signing him back to their bullpen in 2018.

The Brewers have made a small move at the deadline but certainly an important one. The bullpen has been a real weak spot on this team and Swarzak fortifies the ‘pen. Overall it’s a good trade. Cordell has a future as a fourth outfielder at best and there wasn’t going to be a spot for him here. So David Stearns trades from a position of strength for a position of weakness. It’s a win-win for both sides.

Next: Villar is a mixed bag

There could very well be some more trades completed by David Stearns before the Trade Deadline is over. The Milwaukee Brewers are trying to hold on to first place and they won’t give it up so easily. Don’t get any hopes up for Sonny Gray or Justin Verlander but maybe some more moves like this one for Anthony Swarzak.