Matt Yeazel (MJ)
Deadline Grade: B
The Brewers took the same approach this trade deadline as they did in the offseason and in past moves, add the best talent you can and figure out the roster afterwards. The additions of Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich were somewhat unexpected due to the surplus of outfielders the team had, but both of those moves worked out, and they are probably the biggest reason the Brewers have the record they do, and both are here to stay for the next four years.
The same approach was taken here in the sense that good players were acquired even though there would be an issue with fit. Mike Moustakas and Jonathan Schoop are both great hitters, former all stars, and are able to fill offensive holes in the Brewers lineup.
However, once again Counsell is put into a situation where there isn’t a perfect fit for all players who deserve playing time, and this time he has the added challenge of the defensive issues of players playing out of position. There may be challenges, and things that don’t go as smoothly as you may want with playing Travis Shaw and potentially Schoop or Moustakas out of their normal positions, but at the end of the day, hitting the ball will get you a spot in the lineup.
The other addition to the team is something that will probably fly under the radar, but could be huge for the team in the long run. The Brewers bullpen is well equipped with strong arms, but adding Joakim Soria adds another piece to the depth of that unit. Especially in the playoffs, when starting pitchers will have even shorter leashes, the Brewers having the bullpen they do will give them an advantage. But every pitcher in that bullpen will need to be used to avoid burning out Hader or Jeffress. Soria has had a great year, and fits in very nicely into that unit, and will bring a veteran presence and experience to the postseason.
Overall I give the Brewers a B for their deadline grade because they improved as a team in multiple ways, but there are questions that remain. The starting pitching is something that still needs to be addressed, but with how good the Brewers bullpen is, I’m not upset about not spending prospects for the pitchers who were available.
But defensively, the Brewers will need to work things out, because you can’t have Travis Shaw making a mistake on a simple double play turn simply because he’s not used to the position. The Brewers have work to do, but they got better as a team at this deadline, and could still potentially improve by the next deadline. Fans should be excited for the new look offense as well as how aggressive the front office is being to win this season.