The Milwaukee Brewers have shown that they are close to contending. However, there is still one major issue that remains. Who will play the outfield for Milwaukee in 2018? Due to their outfield depth, this issue requires addressing in order develop into a future World Series contender.
On Opening day 2018, the Milwaukee Brewers will have no more than four outfielders on their 25-man roster. They only have two names who are guaranteed a starting job. Domingo Santana, who is coming off of 30-homer season, and Ryan Braun are locks for the 2018 outfield. That leaves a plethora of young talent in Lewis Brinson, Brett Phillips, and Keon Broxton.
General Manager David Stearns will have his hands full determining which outfielder deserves to start in 2018. To narrow down the options, we should consider the production each player has shown at the Major League level.
Of course, it’s not fair to judge Brinson. He has only played in 21 games and tallied 55 plate appearances during that stretch. We will just use his prospect status as his more attractive feature.
How will the outfield situation shake out?
The Brewers are going into 2018 with a few unanswered questions for the 25-man roster. They need to find another starting pitcher to replace Jimmy Nelson and a starting second baseman. It is possible that we see one of the outfield options involved in a trade to address one, or even both needs.
The hardest question to answer is, ‘Who is the best option that can go to another team and provide the lowest risk possible for Milwaukee?’ Could that answer involve the Brewers current top prospect?
Who has the most value?
Broxton is known for his Gold Glove caliber defense and an inability to hit consistently at the Major League level. HIs line of .220/.299./.420 with 20 home runs and 49 RBIs in 143 games played give us that impression. However, he did have a 20/20 season and that could be used as an attractive bargaining chip in any possible deal.
Of course, the Brewers would not receive anything worthwhile in any deal involving Broxton alone. There is still a very good chance that he does get moved due to the emergence of the best laugh in baseball.
In 2017, Phillips got the opportunity to make his mark and prove to everyone that he is more than just a very strong arm. He batted .276/.351/.448 with four home runs and 12 RBIs in 37 games.
If you were to ask any Milwaukee Brewers fan, Phillips is easily the favorite to be the third starter in 2018. A trade of the young stud is highly unlikely, but if it did take place he would get a bit more than Broxton due to his high upside.
Like Phillips, Brinson was also given a shot at the Major League level. The headliner in the Jonathan Lucroy trade clearly did not get enough opportunities to prove who he can be.
Brinson made several trips between Colorado Springs and Milwaukee in 2017. He would finish the season in Colorado Springs with a .331/.400/.562 slash line, while slugging 13 homers and driving in 48. Those stats earned the title of Brewers Minor League player of the year.
In his very limited time in the Majors, he struggled with a .106/.236/.277 slash line and only tw home runs and three RBIs. These numbers do not represent what value the 23-year old possesses. Brinson had been asked about in any trade the Milwaukee Brewers attempted to make in 2017.
Now that the team sees that they are truly ready to make some moves. Will the Brewers decide to go all out and make a splash, even if it comes at the cost of there most coveted prospect?
Trading Brinson would truly be a shock to all Milwaukee Brewers fans, but the return they could receive might make up for the loss. Dealing Brinson to a team in rebuild mode would send proven major league talent back to Milwaukee. For example, if the Crew offers Brinson to the Tampa Bay Rays, he may fetch Chris Archer in return. The Milwaukee Brewers would finally have the long-awaited ace in their rotation and would an instant playoff threat.