A market for the Milwaukee Brewers first-baseman Eric Thames could open after Eric Hosmer signs.
Most Brewers trade rumors revolve around their outfielders. Trading an outfielder makes sense because Milwaukee has many quality players at that position. Baseball insiders have not brought up Eric Thames in their reports, however, that might be because of the slow moving market.
Why Trade With Milwaukee Brewers For Eric Thames?
Because of the cold 2017-18 hot stove, some teams still have potential openings at first base. The San Diego Padres have reportedly offered Hosmer a contract for seven years, $140M. The Kansas City Royals have reportedly offered seven years, $147M.
If the Royals lose Hosmer to the Padres, then they could look for a cheaper option to fill their first base vacancy.
Eric Thames fits the profile. He has power and a good batter’s eye. Thames has shown a trend of striking out, but Hosmer has a bad ground-ball rate. Thames does not possess all of Hosmer’s intangibles, but he comes at a cheaper price.
Saving money here would help the Royals focus on filling some of the many other holes free agency caused them. Furthermore, they could fill more holes by making the Thames trade with the Brewers a blockbuster by adding names.
The Brewers and Royals have recent trade history. Milwaukee sent Kansas City a slew of prospects for Zack Greinke in 2010. Perhaps the Royals could return the favor by sending some prospects for Thames and a Brewers outfielder to replace Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain.
Reporters have linked the Brewers to many rumors regarding Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana. Milwaukee could use Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield or one of the Royals elite relief pitchers such as Kelvin Herrera or Brandon Maurer.
Why Should the Milwaukee Brewers Trade Eric Thames?
In other words, who would the Brewers replace Eric Thames with? Jesus Aguilar played well at first base for the Brewers during spells last season. That being said, Aguilar is big and lumbering defensively. He projects better as a backup/platoon/DH.
But, the Brewers have some prospects in Jake Gatewood and Jacob Nottingham that could consistently fill the spot in the future.
Also, the Brewers have potential All-Star prospect Lucas Erceg sizzling in the minors. Erceg is a third baseman. But the Brewers current third baseman, Travis Shaw, can also play first base.
Furthermore, Milwaukee has many athletic outfielders in their system that might be able to convert to first base.
The Value In the Milwaukee Brewers Trading Eric Thames
When the cold stove lights some embers and Eric Hosmer signs, the Brewers could have a unique opportunity to trade Eric Thames.
This likelihood doubles if Eric Hosmer does not re-sign with the Royals. The Brewers and Royals match up well as trade partners. Also, they have a recent past of making a blockbuster trade that helped both teams.
Trading Eric Thames would potentially free up space for the Brewers to get a look at their free agents while giving the Royals time to see what they have without overspending.