The Milwaukee Brewers and Cleveland Indians seem as though they could be trade partners on the surface.
The Indians have good pitching, and an extra guy roaming around the infield, whereas the Milwaukee Brewers have plenty of prospects and even a surplus in the outfield. Instead of trying to figure out a trade between myself and my fellow Reviewing the Brew writers, I brought in external help.
I reached out to Believeland Ball, the FanSided site with focus on the Indians. This seemed to be the best way to truly find the right deal for both sides. Things did not go as well as planned. We came to the most fair deal with could, but it did not benefit our side enough to be truly pleased. Because of that, the two teams no longer appear to be potential trade partners.
There were two guys that the Indians were willing to part with for a price. The first being Danny Salazar. With no real interest in him due to his injury history, the conversation moved to Jason Kipnis.
Things started with the offer from Believeland Ball that read Kipnis for Luis Ortiz and Trent Grisham. That was certainly too high a price to pay. But with Grisham being lost in the outfield mix, we countered with Diplan instead of Ortiz. That was the highest we were willing to pay for Kipnis.
They were not immediately on board, they wanted Freddy Peralta. When we stuck with the Diplan/Grisham package, they stuck with Peralta and offered to pay half the salary. That is probably the toughest no I’ve ever given.
They finally agreed to Diplan, but wanted Villar along with the other two. Unfortunately for them, their farm system is not all that deep, so it did not work out. Before I reveal the decided upon deal, it is important to say that this is the closest to fair we could get to and in no way do I think it is a deal that should be made.
The Milwaukee Brewers are a young enough team to be able to cover the assets traded away. Though we saw Ortiz and Peralta as too high of price tags, Diplan seemed about right. Between him and Grisham, there is not a whole lot lost in terms of vital need.
Ideally, the Indians would be paying part of Kipnis contract, which is 13.5 million in 2018 and 14.5 million the following year with an option for a third year. The money, and the injuries are two main reasons this is not a deal to make this specific deal. Kipnis is a great talent, but isn’t worth the risk when giving up two prospects in the top 30 for the organization.
Prospects such as Mauricio Dubon and Isan Diaz are the other reasons not to make this deal. Personally, I think Dubon could earn the starting spot Opening Day with a good Spring. But regardless there are prospects that would get blocked by Kipnis, and that is not a smart move to make.
What Was Learned?
The Milwaukee Brewers and Cleveland Indians should not make a deal at this magnitude. It is tough because both are in a place to compete for playoff contention. And even though a player like Kipnis could help, and there are the prospects to get him, it is not worth it.
Going in, I was sure there was a deal that would make both sides happy. But unfortunately, that is the business side of it. Milwaukee is in a great place without making a move like that anyway, so why go for it?