Milwaukee Brewers Roundtable: The Ideal Future Outfield
You make some very good points Trevor, but I have to disagree with you slightly. When it comes between Keon Broxton and Lewis Brinson, Broxton will be on the trading block. While Keon may be a perennial 20/20 player, Brinson is going to be a perennial 30/30 player and that potential is going to lead to him being kept over Broxton.
Yes, Brinson would bring the large return, most likely including a front of the rotation starter. However, I don’t think David Stearns is ready to make that move just yet. He wants to see what he has in Brinson first.
That being the case, the ideal outfield for me has Domingo Santana in left, Lewis Brinson in center, and Brett Phillips in right. Ryan Braun is under contract for three more seasons, and his contract is more movable every day. He’s going to receive $20 million in 2018, $19 million in 2019, and only $16 million in 2020. If he puts together a healthy 2018 season, I could easily see him back on the trade market next offseason despite the many free agent options. Whether or not he would accept is trade is another dispute.
If not traded, Braun could also be on the move to first base. It won’t happen this year but maybe in 2019 with Eric Thames in the last year of his contract. Braun has shown in the past he’s willing to move positions for the good of the team. He’s said himself that he’s open to another position change.
With Braun either traded or moved to first base, that clears the way for Santana to move to left and Phillips to take over in right. Brinson will win in a battle with Keon Broxton to be the starting centerfielder.
I agree that Corey Ray is likely trade bait and Trent Grisham also makes sense to be on the move. But Monte Harrison is one guy I think David Stearns should keep for now. He was finally healthy in 2017 and put together a great regular season and Arizona Fall League. His stock is still rising and he could be another future superstar.
In the event that Harrison continues to improve, perhaps Domingo Santana becomes expendable. The team is already shopping him to clear room in the outfield. Harrison then takes over left field with Brinson in center and Phillips in right.
Bottom line, the Milwaukee Brewers have plenty of options to put together a great outfield in the future. Phillips belongs in right field and Brinson offers the most potential of all the center field prospects. Domingo Santana is the first option for left field. Monte Harrison is not too far behind.