Milwaukee Brewers: Complete 2018 Off-Season Preview

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 28: Corey Knebel /
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MIlwaukee Brewers
MILWAUKEE, WI – SEPTEMBER 23: The Milwaukee Brewers celebrate after Travis Shaw /

GM David Stearns has had some success on the trade market lately. In case you didn’t notice, the Travis Shaw-Tyler Thornburg deal was a massive win for the Brewers.

Could lightning strike twice this winter? Let’s hope so.

The MLB Winter Meetings will be from December 10-14 in Orlando, FL this year. Those meetings are where most of the action happens on the Hot Stove. That’s where Stearns made the deal of the hour getting Travis Shaw from the Red Sox. It was the deal of the day until Boston got Chris Sale a few hours later. The Winter Meetings are an exciting time.

If deals are going to get done, these meetings are where most will happen. Every GM and his staff will be in one hotel for these meetings. So who could be on the trading block for the Brewers? There’s a couple positions that come to mind.

The Outfield

One of the current starting outfielders will be wearing a different uniform next season. That’s as much of a guarantee as can be provided. The starting outfielders include Ryan Braun, Keon Broxton, and Domingo Santana. One of those three will be gone next year.

Of the three, Broxton seems most likely to go. The Milwaukee Brewers have two prospects in Brett Phillips and Lewis Brinson ready and able to take over center field. Room needs to be made for them. Broxton could garner a return of a back-end starter and a decent prospect at best. Stearns can use Broxton’s 20-20 season to sell teams on his potential.

Santana has garnered a lot of interest from around the league from his great season and could also be a winter trade candidate per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag. He would certainly get a big return for  Stearns but losing the production of Santana may be counterproductive to whatever return that may be. Stearns would have to be blown away to even consider dealing Santana.

The Milwaukee Brewers will likely trade Ryan Braun if they can. But it will be difficult to find a suitor for him. Virtually no market developed last winter for him and after the injuries he suffered this year and down production, Braun will likely stay in left field for the foreseeable future. The only way he leaves is if the Brewers accept a prospect package way below Braun’s value.

So Broxton seems the most likely to be traded and even though he would get the weakest return, it would open up a spot for the stash of outfield prospects waiting.

Left-Handed Pitching

This will be the key to any deal David Stearns makes this winter. If he trades for anyone, it will likely be a pitcher. The team needs starting pitching and could stand to add different arms in the bullpen.

Josh Hader and Brent Suter are the only lefties the Brewers currently have on their roster and that should change. Milwaukee has been without an everyday starting lefty for quite some time.

Suter doesn’t really count because he can’t be counted on to go past five innings. They need a lefty that is a traditional starter.

As for who that trade target could be, it’s anybody’s guess. There’s a lot more unknown about the trade market and the availability and interest of certain players. No one heard anything of the Brewers interest in Travis Shaw until the trade came down.

Whether it be a bullpen arm or a rotation arm, the Milwaukee Brewers should be on the lookout for a lefty this winter.