This is a difficult situation for the Milwaukee Brewers to assess. There are too many moving parts to really get a grasp on the topic. There are guys who are ready, and who will be ready soon. This means some substantial contracts and potential trades on the horizon.
The only certainty in the situation is that the Crew will not be hurting for outfielders anytime soon. There is quite simply too much talent and too much potential patrolling the grass. Ideally, the real run for the Brewers will come in 2019, and by then the outfield picture should be pretty clear one way or another. For me, it reads Domingo Santana, Keon Broxton/Lewis Brinson, and Brett Phillips from left to right.
There will be somebody in this group leaving soon. It might not be this offseason. I do not see Phillips or Santana as a piece moving, however. The centerfield position is the tricky part. As of right now, Broxton is expendable. However, a greater return will be had for Brinson. That might be the more beneficial move to make a run at a ring.
Brinson looks more like a moving piece to get a top flight arm to solidify the rotation, which will be important in a long run. The only real return for Broxton would be either a mid level arm, a decent second baseman, or a couple average prospects. That is up to David Stearns based on what he wants.
I am dealing Brinson in this scenario. Broxton is a perennial 20/20 player, which is not a slouching bat from centerfield. The potential return from Brinson is too helpful to ignore and decide to keep. They are far from the only trade options, but they appear as the most likely at this point.
Monte Harrison and Corey Ray also pose as great options to trade. One is playing well below expectations, and one is blowing by any and all expectations. Both pose as options to get the same type of return as Brinson, but a lesser extent. Instead of an ace, it would more than likely be an established second in the rotation.
As seen with the Ryan Braun contract, these are tricky. But as players start to reach this point in time, Stearns will have to decide who is worth keeping. Now, the good news is that a lot of these contracts are still a few years off. That means the core will have a chance to prove themselves, and that is who can be given the contract. It is just something to keep in the back of the mind for now.
There are only two. If Phillips can continue to grow and hit the ball, his potential fills out best in right field. He needs to start there as soon as possible. Braun makes that very hard to do, however.
And to close out, coming up in the system is another potential stud in Je’von Ward. He is 6’5” with speed, and he is not yet 20 years old. That is just a name to keep in mind, as it will throw another wrench in this logjam of outfielders. It is a good problem to have though. A very good problem.