The Milwaukee Brewers have now missed out on a couple of middle infield trade targets. Who is left on the market for the Brewers to acquire?
Manny Machado was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Then, Eduardo Escobar was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Shortly after that, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired Asdrubal Cabrera. The once stacked market for middle infielders is now running thin.
Orlando Arcia has been called back up to the big leagues. With him entrenched back at shortstop every day as he continues to recover from a season long slump, the Milwaukee Brewers biggest need in the middle infield is now at second base.
We’ve seen the defensive disasters that are Brad Miller and Tyler Saladino. And their offensive numbers aren’t quite making that poor defense worthwhile. With some of the big names off the trading block, here’s the remaining names left.
Stats: .228/.310/.414, 16 HRs, 51 RBIs
Dozier is a pure second baseman. It’s the only position he’s played for the last six years. He’s a strong defender, winning the Gold Glove at second base last season.
He’s normally a much better hitter. His averages are down but his 16 homers shows he still has pop in that bat. Dozier is a second-half monster, by the way. His batting average increases 16 points when in the second half compared to the first, and his OPS rises another 50 points.
Dozier would be a rental, becoming a free agent at season’s end. As the trades of Escobar and Cabrera has shown, rentals may not be as cheap as they once were.
Still, he could be acquired for one of the Brewers blocked prospects that are Rule 5 eligible this winter. Perhaps a Trey Supak, Cody Ponce, or Phil Bickford could be enough to get a deal done for Dozier.
Stats: .286/.352/.460, 13 HRs, 36 RBIs
Dietrich has played all over the field for the Miami Marlins. That kind of versatility is highly valued by David Stearns and the Milwaukee Brewers. While he can play outfield and third base, he also has plenty of experience at second base, which is where he would play in Milwaukee.
Most of Dietrich’s success this year has come on the road, away from Marlins Park, which is notoriously pitcher-friendly. Miller Park is notoriously hitter friendly and could help Dietrich’s numbers improve even more. Similar to the improvement Christian Yelich has shown this season.
A left handed hitter, Dietrich hits righties well but struggles sometimes against lefties. He’s hitting .300 this year against righties but only .237 against southpaws.
Dietrich is under team control for two more seasons after 2018. He would be a free agent after the 2020 season, which would make him more expensive to acquire than a rental piece like Dozier.
Stats: .240/.271/.435, 15 HRs, 34 RBIs
Schoop has been turning it on in July after a rough start to the season. During this month, Schoop is hitting .369/.365/.702, with seven home runs. That gives him a 1.067 OPS during the month. Sounds like he’s trying to get traded.
But he won’t hit like that forever. He has a .393 BAbip during the month of July, meaning he’s due for quite the regression since a number like that is not sustainable.
Nevertheless, the Brewers have had interest in Schoop and he is under team control for next season, becoming a free agent in 2019. The Orioles are having a fire sale and Schoop figures to go at the deadline.
The Milwaukee Brewers should be able to land one of these options that remain. They are the only ones left that would represent an upgrade over what the Crew currently has. Dozier’s a rental. Schoop is controllable for one more year, and Dietrich is controllable for two more years. David Stearns will be able to take his pick of the three.
Now that the Crew’s chief competitors on the second base market, the Phillies and the Diamondbacks have their guys, the Brewers are the only ones left searching for a significant upgrade at the position.
There is still a few more days left until the Trade Deadline. David Stearns will have to move quickly to solidify this roster.