The Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago White Sox were able to work out a deadline deal last year. The Brewers picked up reliever Anthony Swarzak in exchange for outfielder Ryan Cordrell. Could the two teams find common ground again this year?
The Chicago White Sox are still rebuilding. They were out of the division race after April, and their Wild Card hopes ended after May. They’re going to sell off veterans at the trade deadline again to further aid their rebuild. Do the White Sox have any players the Milwaukee Brewers might want?
Where would the Brewers like to add?
The Milwaukee Brewers need to add another starting pitcher if they want to contend. The moves for Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain signaled that the team was going ‘all-in’ for 2018. Now it’s time to add greater depth to their starting staff, or possible add another arm in the bullpen.
The Brewers probably won’t look to add to their bench or at second base. Jonathan Villar is quietly having a solid season, and they already have a hard time finding at-bats for the current players. Adding another name like Neil Walker or Stephen Vogt to a deep bench is unlikely this year.
Do the White Sox have any players to deal?
The White Sox may have a 21-41 record, but they still have a few key pieces to deal that will fetch a solid return.
Jose Abreu is the biggest name they have left. He could move at the deadline, but the last place the Milwaukee Brewers want to add another name is at first base. Unless Eric Thames can’t come back and a gets hurt, the Brewers won’t add a player like Abreu.
The White Sox would love to move on from James Shields‘ contract, and he’s actually been better this year. He’s managed to cut his HR/9 almost in half from 2.08 last year to 1.09 this year. Giving up fewer homers has also lead to a lower ERA. He has a 4.92 ERA in 82 1/3 innings of work.
Nate Jones is the bullpen piece that the White Sox will look to move this year. Jones is less than a year removed from Tommy John surgery, but he appears to have found himself. He’s still averaging over 97 MPH on his fastball, and he’s racked up four saves and a few holds. He’s a big power righty who would fit into almost any bullpen in the league, even the Brewers.
Who would the Brewers deal for?
Jones is the obvious answer. Winning in September and October requires a deep bullpen. The Milwaukee Brewers have one of the deepest ‘pens in the league, but they could always add another arm. Flipping one of their extra outfield prospects for Jones would add another power arm to the Brewers bullpen, and force Dan Jennings off the roster. Jennings has been solid for most of 2018, but his June has been awful.
A deal with the White Sox for Jones is the only option that makes sense. Shields would look great in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform…five years ago. Shields in his age-36 season would provide depth for the Brewers rotation, but he can’t be trusted to work deep in games or keep the opposition off the scoreboard. Adding Shields simply wouldn’t improve the rotation for the stretch run. He’s just more of the same. If the Brewers choose to add to their bullpen before the deadline, Jones makes a lot of sense.