Milwaukee Brewers: State of the starting rotation
Most Milwaukee Brewers fans would like to see the team make a trade. There are a number of available options, but the price seems a bit high to this point.
Sonny Gray is at the top of everybody’s wish list. Even with his injury shortened season in 2016, Gray has been especially solid. His career ERA sits at 3.42 in 705 innings pitched. He’s gone over 30 starts twice in his career. In both occasions he also surpassed the 200-inning threshold.
That isn’t even what is enticing about Gray. He comes with still two more years of team control after this season. There’s a very real possibility he is just now entering his prime. Still, not worth Lewis Brinson, so the Brewers should take a pass.
Dan Straily is a name that has popped up recently. If the price doesn’t include Brinson it might be worth exploring this option. This season, Straily has a 3.84 ERA, with 107 strikeouts and 33 walks. He’s allowed a solid .274 BAbip, so he is having success.
However, for his career Straily has struggled. He’s had only three seasons with more than 100 innings pitched. Also, he’s only started 30 or more games once in his career. Straily comes with a few years of team control, but how many games can the Brewers count on getting from him?
Two of the less covered options come from the Toronto Blue Jays. J.A. Happ is a veteran lefty who has put up solid numbers in a career that spans back to 2007. He would provide a steady veteran presence to a rotation that otherwise has none.
This season Happ has been uninspiring. Sporting a 4.15 ERA in 78 innings over 14 starts. However, he has struck out 70 batters. He’s also shown good control walking only 23. He could provide a jolt for the rotation plus having a lefty would help a lot.
The other Blue Jay is Francisco Liriano. Another lefty with plenty of years at the Major League level. This year he has struggled to the tune of a 5.88 ERA in only 82 2/3 innings pitched. A change of scenery may be good for him.
Coming to Milwaukee would be a return to familiar grounds for Liriano. Having spent 3 1/2 seasons with Pittsburgh, he’s familiar with the division. That type of familiarity would only help the younger arms on the Brewers staff improve.
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The cost for either one of the Toronto two should be low. Anything more than a mid-level prospect or two is way too much to give up. The Milwaukee Brewers weren’t expected to contend this season. Sometimes the best move is no move at all.