Milwaukee Brewers: Is Collin McHugh a trade target?

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 06: Collin McHugh
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 06: Collin McHugh /

Despite adding Jhoulys Chacin this past off season the Milwaukee Brewers are still looking to boost their starting rotation. The Houston Astros have an abundance of pitching, and are looking to move Collin McHugh. Is there a fit with the Brewers?

The Houston Astros have seven(!) pitchers on the Major League roster capable of starting. Brad Peacock has the long relief role secured, and that leaves Collin McHugh without a defined role. The Astros won’t DFA McHugh, but they don’t really have a spot for him. If the Milwaukee Brewers come calling before Opening Day, could they find a fit?

How has McHugh been this spring?

Spring stats are useless, but he’s been okay. The 7.27 ERA is gross, but it comes with 14 strikeouts and three walks in 8 2/3 innings. He’s been tagged for a pair of homers, and only two of his appearances were starts.

What happened to McHugh last year?

McHugh only tossed 63 1/3 innings in 2017. He was taken down by an arm injury that didn’t require surgery. First it was a ‘dead arm’, and it evolved into an elbow impingement. He rehabbed it, and came back for the stretch run. He did suffer a couple annoying finger and fingernail injuries after he returned, but he worked in the playoffs, and ended the year healthy.

What’s his contract status?

McHugh is signed through 2018, and has one year of arbitration remaining before he hits free agency.

What would a deal for McHugh look like?

The Milwaukee Brewers won’t get McHugh for Keon Broxton or Jesus Aguilar in a one-for-one deal. However, Aguilar might make sense in part of a package for McHugh. The Brewers would have to give up a real prospect for a pitcher who could walk into their rotation and slot in as a solid third or fourth starter.

The Astros could use a corner infielder / DH on their roster, and the Milwaukee Brewers have a few of those guys available. Would they really say ‘no’ to Aguilar and a prospect like Cody Ponce or Kodi Medeiros?

Next: How does the Brewers bullpen rank for 2018?

McHugh to the Milwaukee Brewers makes sense on paper, but it depends on how much the Astros would demand in return. The Brewers probably wouldn’t deal a top-10 prospect, but one of their extra bats and a prospect in the top-20 could make sense.