The Milwaukee Brewers are going to be connected to a lot of names over the next few weeks leading up to the Trade Deadline. That means prospects could be on the move. Which ones shouldn’t go anywhere.
In hearing about negotiations for Manny Machado, teams like the Yankees and Dodgers are going to have a large list of prospects that are untouchable and won’t be included in a deal no matter what. The Milwaukee Brewers will have that list as well, but it’s much shorter.
The acquisition of Christian Yelich thinned out the farm system a little bit, but there’s still good depth and quality in that group.
Also, owner Mark Attanasio and GM David Stearns have shown more of a willingness to dip into their prospect pool to make a big splash. Attanasio is a pretty competitive owner, and he wants to win more than anyone. He’d authorize a big acquisition if Stearns felt it necessary.
But the Brewers can’t just throw prospects around and gut their farm system for these trades. Prospects aren’t that easy to come by and Stearns could run the risk of shortening their championship window by giving up too many prospects, or giving up the wrong ones.
Teams like the Yankees and the Dodgers got to where they are now by keeping the right prospects and selling the others. So which prospects should be untouchable for the Brewers as we go through this trade deadline?
This list of untouchable prospects will be organized by the big league player the Brewers could acquire.
Untouchable Prospects: Keston Hiura, Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta
Machado is a pure rental, and even though he’s a great player and it’s a competitive market to acquire him, the Milwaukee Brewers shall not include their top prospect Keston Hiura. The Orioles have asked for Corbin Burnes in the deal, but David Stearns is reportedly unwilling to include Burnes. That’s smart on Stearns part.
Freddy Peralta also is untouchable for me. He fits into this big league rotation already and he’s only 22. With his youth and early success, Stearns should not be willing to move him.
The Orioles want young pitching talent for Machado, and Peralta fits that bill, but he’s too good and too valuable to the Brewers right now for him to get sent to Baltimore. The Brewers would rather move Luis Ortiz as a part of a headlining package, and it’s easy to see Marcos Diplan involved in this deal as well.
Untouchable Prospects: Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta
The two pitching prospects are also untouchable in a deal for Whit Merrifield. In a mock trade with Kings of Kauffman for Merrifield, we said during negotiations that Burnes and Peralta were untouchable. And that should stay true.
Keston Hiura is not untouchable in these negotiations, but it’s going to be tough to give him up. In getting Merrifield, the Brewers will acquire a long term answer at Hiura’s defensive position, making him expendable. A similar move was made this last winter when Lewis Brinson was traded for Christian Yelich.
If the Brewers are going to move either of their top pitching prospects, it needs to be for a pitcher in return.
Untouchable Prospects: None
If the Milwaukee Brewers are going to acquire Jacob deGrom, there can’t be any untouchable prospects. It will take Keston Hiura and one of Corbin Burnes or Freddy Peralta as headliners in this trade.
However, if the Mets ask for both of Burnes and Peralta, along with Hiura, that may be too rich for the Brewers’ taste. Giving up both those pitchers is the price I would balk at, but other than that, everyone should be on the table in a deal for deGrom.
DeGrom is controllable for two years beyond 2018 and is dominating to the tune of a sub-2.00 ERA this year. He is the ace that can carry this rotation through the playoffs. And getting a guy like that is the missing piece that they need the most. While a middle infielder may be nice, getting that stud pitcher that’s been missing from the Crew’s rotation would push this team to a legit World Series contender.
For the most part, the stud pitching prospects in Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta should be untouchable. Keston Hiura is the top trade chip the Brewers have, and could be on the table for any long term acquisition.