As the GM Meetings get underway in Orlando this week, the groundwork for trades get laid out. The Milwaukee Brewers could certainly be active on the trade market this winter.
After speculating potential trades with Kansas City, Detroit, Colorado, Seattle, and Toronto, we move on to the Oakland Athletics. The Athletics are rebuilding, again, and they have a need for some outfield upgrades. How convenient? The Brewers have plenty of extra outfielders.
What would the A’s want in a deal?
The A’s could look at some of the outfielders on the free agent market to upgrade their team. However, the franchise famous for “Moneyball”ing their roster may not like the idea of shelling out top dollar for a guy like J.D. Martinez. Instead they will look to make inexpensive trade acquisitions.
The Milwaukee Brewers were interested in the top trade chip Oakland had to offer during the summer, Sonny Gray. But David Stearns was unwilling to part with Lewis Brinson and Gray ended up going to New York. Even though Gray is gone there is another trade chip that should interest the Brewers this winter, and he will not cost Brinson.
Here’s a speculative look at what a trade with Oakland might look like.
Of the six trades we’ve speculated on, this is the fourth that has included Keon Broxton. This isn’t necessarily by design and we’re not trying to run Broxton out of town. It’s just that he’s an extremely likely trade chip and could go to any team looking for a center fielder.
The Brewers receive Jed Lowrie after Oakland picked up his contract option for next year. They’ve stated they want him back since top prospect Franklin Barreto isn’t quite ready yet and the 33-year old Lowrie is only under contract for $6 million for 2018.
Why would the Brewers want Lowrie?
The switch-hitting Lowrie hit .277 with 14 homers in 2017 with 49 doubles and a career high 73 walks. He can play all over the infield. The Milwaukee Brewers value his versatility. Lowrie also has plenty of postseason experience with both Oakland and Boston. That combination of experience, versatility, and production should make him a target of David Stearns this off-season.
What would the A’s get in this deal?
In return, Oakland gets Keon Broxton, who put together a 20-20 season despite a lot of hills and valleys. He can come in and start for Oakland on Opening Day over Boog Powell. Finding consistency is the key to Broxton’s success and he won’t get consistent playing time in Milwaukee next year. He can also team up with former Brewers outfielder Khris Davis, who’s done nothing but rake since being traded.
Also, Andrew Susac goes to Oakland to help with the catching situation. Incumbent starter Bruce Maxwell is in legal trouble and Oakland is on the search for catching depth. With the emergence of Manny Pina and Stephen Vogt in Milwaukee, Susac has become expendable. However, the A’s need his services and he goes into this deal. Frankly, it could be Susac or Jett Bandy that added in as the catcher in the deal, since the Brewers don’t need both of them anymore.
How likely is this trade?
David Stearns will need to do some work to convince A’s GM David Forst to give up Lowrie since the team wants to keep him around. At the GM meetings this week, in all likelihood, these two will talk to each other at some point. If they do, and if Lowrie gets discussed, one of three possibilities would happen. Forst could say Lowrie is untouchable, he could set a ridiculously high asking price, or he could set a reasonable price that Stearns can afford.
A package of Broxton and Susac should get a deal done this winter. While it’s unlikely that this trade would be Plan A for either of these teams, depending on how the market shakes out, it may end up being the best scenario for both teams.
The Milwaukee Brewers will be in the market for second baseman this winter and Lowrie is one of a couple options on the trade market. David Stearns will be doing all that he can to find the best upgrade at second base, and this potential trade is just one option