Milwaukee Brewers: Deal Braun to Dodgers for Kemp?

MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 23: Ryan Braun
MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 23: Ryan Braun /

Based on a report from NBC’s MIchael J. Duarte, the Milwaukee Brewers are looking to deal Ryan Braun to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Matt Kemp and a package of prospects. Wha…huh? It’s not even April Fool’s Day…yet.

With his no-trade clause, the only team Milwaukee Brewers superstar Ryan Braun can get traded to without approval is the Los Angeles Dodgers. His no-trade clause forbids a deal to any other franchise without his say so. If Duarte’s report is accurate, Braun could end up in a Dodgers uniform before the end of the weekend.

But trade rumors need to come with a few grains of salt. Milwaukee Brewers GM David Stearns has already commented on this.

What is the rumored deal on the table?

The rumor states that it’s Ryan Braun heading to the Dodgers, and Matt Kemp comes back to the Brewers with prospects. The package coming back to the Milwaukee Brewers would be an absolute haul. Specific prospect names haven’t been attached to any of the rumors yet.

What’s the difference between Braun and Kemp right now?

Well, let’s start with their contracts. Kemp is under contract through 2019 at $21.5 million per year. Braun’s deal runs until 2020, but it has a mutual option for 2021. It’s unknown if his option becomes guaranteed. He’s due $49 million through 2020. The option is worth $15 million and comes with a $4 million buyout.

Kemp’s most recent year with a WAR above 1.0 was 2014. Braun was a 1.5 WAR player last year.

How many prospects would the Brewers get in this deal?

Quite a few. While top prospects Alex Verdugo and Walker Buehler probably won’t get dealt, the MIlwaukee Brewers should ask about everyone else. Gavin Lux, Mitchell White, and Will Smith would make sense in a return package.

Why are rumors breaking now?

No idea, really. Maybe Duarte felt bored or someone decided to have some fun with him? The Milwaukee Brewers were believed to be actively pursuing deals right before Opening Day that involved their glut of first basemen. However, rumors never broke that Braun was one of the names discussed until now.

Next: Which starting pitchers will be available at the deadline?

The timing is odd, but it’s not completely unbelievable. Duarte would only come forward with this rumor if he felt strongly about his source. Could a reliable source be having fun with him? Rumors breaking two games into the season is unusual, and it’s hard to believe