With all of the additions to the Milwaukee Brewers outfield, there are a lot of questions that need answers.
One of them is where to put Ryan Braun. Now, we know he will start working out at first base. But that leaves three guys wondering what will happen. There are trade rumors surrounding all of them, it is just a matter of what moves the Milwaukee Brewers front office can make.
Earlier in the offseason there was interest in both Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana. However, after the Christian Yelich trade and the Lorenzo Cain signing, whispers began surrounding the name Brett Phillips. That would not be a smart decision.
Phillips arm alone makes him a solid potential right fielder for the coming years, but he can also hit. In 98 at bats the outfielder hit .276 with four homers. Though not a full season sample size, his .408 BABIP shows that good things happen when he can put the ball in play.
Reasons To Trade
The first reason is that the return would probably be very high. As pointed out in a great piece on Fangraphs, all numbers from his brief outing point to good things. The numbers highlighted by his 1.0 WAR and 4.5 runs saved on defense. But that same article is why the Milwaukee Brewers should be selling high on the emergence.
The author draws statistical comparisons to Drew Robinson. It is an interesting read, and the stats and grades are very similar. Their strikeout rate through almost the same exact sample size is the exact same number. Their swings are similar too. All in all, it is not a terrible comparison.
As can be guessed, Robinson is not a highly touted name. So as things regress toward the mean, these two appear to be in similar boats. But the author does concede that several other numbers are different that make Phillips more.
Why To Keep Him
Statistical comparisons are great. I love reading them. But Phillips is already a Milwaukee Brewers treasure and stats cannot show that. His personality is no reason to stop a trade, but he is a lot of fun for the fans. Not to mention he is an amazing guy to have in the clubhouse.
On the field, he fits with what both Yelich and Cain bring to the table. They can play some serious defense. But the offensive output will be there as well. Phillips wRC+ is 104, and he will only be getting more comfortable in the box.
I am not saying that Phillips is the next huge name in the league, but he is controllable through 2023, and is the most unique of the potential trade bunch. Santana brings more pop and a lot less defense. Broxton is simply another centerfielder to add into Yelich and Cain. Frankly, the best looking outfield for 2018 and beyond is Yelich in left, Cain in center, and Phillips in right. It would be a mistake to trade Phillips.
There are a lot of outfielders, and there are a lot potential moves to be made. The Milwaukee Brewers front office has a lot of power in their hands right now. A trade is imminent for the outfield, but moving Phillips would be foolish.