In the beginning of the Hot Stove season, nearly everything is on the table as plans are being finalized. The Milwaukee Brewers are doing the same and are willing to listen to almost any proposal.
It’s a poorly kept secret that the Milwaukee Brewers have been hoarding outfielders over the past two years. Nine of the Crew’s top 30 prospects play in the outfield. The team already possesses three Major League quality starting outfielders. So it comes as no surprise that GM David Stearns is reportedly taking calls on all of his outfielders.
Which outfielders will the Brewers look to deal?
Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports wrote in his latest Inside Baseball column that the Milwaukee Brewers will listen on everybody.
"They have extra outfielders, and they are taking calls. Nobody is seen as untouchable, but Lewis Brinson is probably close."
It’s interesting how in the past few months that Lewis Brinson went from completely untouchable to now being close to untouchable. That can mean only one thing. The only way Brinson moves anywhere is in a trade for a bona fide ace. The Milwaukee Brewers will need Chris Archer or Marcus Stroman in return for Brinson to go anywhere. But he is available now after a July deadline that saw the Brewers resistant to even consider his name in trade talks.
Everyone is on the table. It’s unlikely that other teams will call on Ryan Braun, but other outfielders could garner interest. Domingo Santana had a breakout season and has a ton of value right now. Keon Broxton has less return value, but should still garner interest due to the number of teams looking for a center fielder. Brett Phillips may get some calls on him but it’s doubtful Stearns would consider trading him.
What else is going on with the Brewers?
Also, Heyman had a few other notes about the Brewers off-season plans.
"They haven’t ruled out taking a look at one of the big-time pitchers, but it doesn’t seem like a likelihood – at least not yet.The Brewers could consider trying to lock up some productive young players this spring, including Travis Shaw, Domingo Santana, Orlando Arcia and a couple others."
We discussed the rumor that David Stearns hasn’t ruled out the free agent starters and passed it off as mostly due diligence for now. That’s exactly what Heyman believes as well. It’s unlikely at this point the Milwaukee Brewers will aggressively pursue the big name pitchers. But that can change depending on how the Cubs or Cardinals attack the off-season.
Also, Heyman believes the Brewers will try to sign young players to contract extensions this winter, another idea we looked into. After the Chase Anderson extension, it became clear that David Stearns is interested in locking up his young players. His mantra of “Acquire, Develop, Retain” comes to completion with the long term extensions retaining his young talent.
The extensions may have to wait until much closer to Spring Training. However, the trade talks and free agent conversations will come to a head during the Winter Meetings.
Even though the off-season has been mostly quiet so far, things will heat up soon. Stearns made two early moves before the postseason ended in extending Chase Anderson and re-signing Eric Sogard. That removed two priorities for the Brewers before the Hot Stove had a chance to warm up. As things heat up around baseball, the rumors will start to flow as we get a clearer picture of the Brewers plans this winter.