Milwaukee Brewers: The bullpen answer could be in Detroit

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 04: Shane Greene
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 04: Shane Greene /

The rapidly decreasing free agent relief market is posing a potential issue for the Milwaukee Brewers.

One potential answer for the Milwaukee Brewers lies within the Detroit Tigers organization. The team is in a rebuild, so they are looking for young talent. The Crew is full of that. However, for a reliever it would not be smart to give up too much.

So, a potential trade would ideally give the Brewers a reliable arm, while giving the Tigers something to build with. All of the Ian Kinsler rumors mean GM David Stearns has recently been in contact with Al Avila of the Tigers.

So, what would the deal look like?

Why would Milwaukee do this?

There is a need for a reliable pitcher to set up Corey Knebel. Greene poses as an answer to that. He was used in a lot of different roles in 2017 with a lot of success. Since transitioning to the bullpen, Greene is proving very valuable.

In 71 games, Greene struck out 73 batters and posted a 2.66 ERA. He even stepped in to close nine games after the departure of Justin Wilson. The 29 year old features a mid 90’s two seamer, and excellent control. He consistently will get the job done.

Ideally there would be more in the trade. However, the rebuilding process means a higher price tag. It is one that would be worth paying, especially since Anthony Swarzak will not be retuning to the club.

This gives the Milwaukee Brewers a chance to sell Villar with some value left in him, instead of hoping for a bounce back season. And with the abundance of outfield talent, Wren is an expendable name.

Why would Detroit do this?

They need to. Greene is one of the most valuable assets they have, and getting young talent will accelerate the rebuild. Plus they need a second baseman, which is something Villar can play. Both he and Wren are 26.

Villar is a switch hitter, and Wren is a lefty, giving more options in the lineup card. If Villar can bounce back, this is a win-win situation. However because of his down year, the extra talent in Wren is needed. Another positive is if the team needs a third baseman in the midst of Nicholas Castellanos transitioning to right, Villar can play there too.

Detroit already has some of their bigger prospects working at the big league level. That means in a few years, they will need some veteran presence. Players like Miggy will be well past their prime. Villar and Wren would both have several seasons under their belt at a good age. Assuming Wren is in the MLB for Detroit.

Potential Obstacles

There are a few here. One is Dixon Machado. He played intermittently last year, especially during Kinsler’s stint on the DL. The team might decide he is ready to take on an everyday role. That is the only complete deal breaker.

The other potential issue that with Castellanos shifting to patrol the outfield, it is a little crowded. They have Alex Presley and Mikie Mathook also in starting roles. Not to mention their selection in the Rule 5 draft is also an outfielder. So, if a complementary outfielder in the deal like Wren doesn’t work, then there are other players that could get the deal done.

From a Brewers standpoint, who will play second? In an ideal world, Neil Walker comes back to take over those duties. However, unless that happens, this move would create a bigger question mark at that position in Milwaukee.

Next: Winter Meetings final roundup

In the midst of a rebuild, taking a chance on a Villar bounce back might not be on the list. However, one year does not fully diminish the value of a 26 year old who was stellar in 2016. Overall, this deal greatly helps both teams.