There has been plenty of focus already on finding a starting pitcher to fill the Milwaukee Brewers rotation. However, there is reason to think about the bullpen as well.
A trip to New York might hold all of the pitching answers for the Milwaukee Brewers. There is already speculation about some of the Mets pitchers possibly on the move, but the Yankees have options for the bullpen.
Without a doubt the Yankees are the lucky owners of one of the top bullpens in the MLB. And that wealth can be spread around to help out in reaching Corey Knebel late in games. Thanks to their trade with the White Sox at the deadline, they are stocked up with more talent than they need.
Obviously, their top prize is Aroldis Chapman. They may have dealt him once to the Cubs, but they won’t be doing that again any time soon. And Knebel is excellent, so there is not even a need for that. The set up men and middle inning arms, however, are where help can be found.
The elite set up man around the MLB. Eventually, Betances could headline a closing job, but for now he works great out of the eighth inning. This is not a wild speculation or pipe dream either. There are reasons to believe he is a valuable trade chip. However, it is worth noting that with a strong farm system right now, there would be a need to fill a gap at the MLB level.
There is a lack of left handed options in the bullpen as is, and the Milwaukee Brewers may not be able to help that. And with the inevitable debut of Gleyber Torres, most likely at third, that will move Chase Headley elsewhere. Whether that be first base, bench or DH. So there is question as to what else they could want.
As it stands, there is a lot of youth in the field for the Yanks, and it is a talented group of youngsters. There is a longshot that they may be interested in Jesus Aguilar, but it is doubtful. Although, they could draw interest into a Swiss army knife type of player such as Henan Perez or Jonathan Villar. Those type of players allow a lot of flexibility for managers.
Before being moved at the deadline, Robertson closed games for the White Sox. He was having a great year in that role. He could prove to be a nice addition to the back end of the bullpen if traded for.
The price tag to get Robertson is a little fuzzy. In order for the Yankees to nab him, they had to trade away a top outfield prospect in the system, Blake Rutherford. That being said, the deal also included Todd Frazier and Tommy Kahnle.
So alone, it could be the same kind of deal that it would take for Betances on a lesser scale. However, he still is a serious option to consider when wanting to improve the bullpen.
In a deal with two former All-Stars, Kahnle seems like somewhat of a consolation prize. However, he is far from that. In 62 innings last season he posted a sub three ERA. If he were anywhere else besides where the three-headed late inning dragon of Chapman, Robertson, and Betances resides, he would be an extremely reliable set up man.
After two solid years of work, Kahnle would be the cheap value prize to go after for the Milwaukee Brewers. He is consistently solid, but does not have the track record of the other two. And the main value point in relievers is that consistency, because it can all change so quickly.
It would be tricky to work out, but a trade for this kind of guy could be worked out with prospects. Most likely it can be done with ones who aren’t seen as undisputed future assets. That is a huge upside when looking for a late innings guy through trade.
These are just the top guys. It is a very deep bullpen, however everyone else would prove to be talented middle relief. So in order to find the right late inning guys to either replace or join Anthony Swarzak, it would be one of these three arms. Once the starters are squared away, the Milwaukee Brewers need to think about making the bullpen more reliable.