The Milwaukee Brewers best chance to acquire a frontline starting pitcher is to trade either Lewis Brinson or Domingo Santana. With Jimmy Nelson on the shelf, either one of these players will net an impact pitcher.
They don’t necessarily have to trade anybody right now, but they will need to soon. This is where it’s like a game of chicken for general manager David Stearns. Should he trade Santana now, while he’s at the peak of his value, while banking on Brinson reaching his potential? Or trade Brinson before he can damage his trade value at all? I say trade them both as soon as you can.
By trading BOTH Brinson and Santana, the Crew has the ability to do more than just land a frontline starting pitcher. They could get that, as well as complimentary pieces toward the future. Trading these two barely even dents the depth in Milwaukee’s minor league system.
Unfortunately, Ryan Braun and his contract aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. After seeing Adam Lind patrol left for the Nationals last season, I’m convinced ANYBODY can play out there. However, Braun’s future should be at first base. He will however still see plenty of time in left during the ’18 season.
That leaves us with Keon Broxton in centerfield for Milwaukee in 2018, and possibly beyond. He has already shown his 20/20 abilities while flashing a lot of leather. The Brewers still have four more years of control over Broxton, and right now they would be selling low if they traded him. Think about how long it took Carlos Gomez to reach his potential, Broxton could be that same type of player.
If Broxton doesn’t work out, Corey Ray will be the same type of high-risk-high-reward player in center. At worst Ray would be Broxton, but with more years of control. At best, he could be a true threat, everywhere on the diamond. His stock is down right now, but all it takes is that one hot streak to get you going again.
After Braun shifts to first in the coming years, there’s still players like Monte Harrison, Lucas Erceg, or any number of quality outfielders still making their way through the system. If we have Erceg or Harrison playing in left, possibly along with Braun, in 2019 and beyond, I’m feeling pretty good about the future.
It’s pretty obvious to any Brewers fan who the future right fielder is. Brett Phillips has the type of arm strength that puts him in the same conversation as some of the greats. By playing Phillips in right, he can cover any weakness they may have in the outfield. It’s possible that he’ll struggle to hit, but everybody thought Orlando Arcia would struggle to hit too. That went pretty well for Milwaukee last season.
In the end though, it really is a win-win situation for this organization. Trade two possible stars for at least a top-notch pitcher, or hold onto both of them. Play Santana in left, with Brinson in center, and Phillips in right. Either way, David Stearns can do no wrong right now.