Milwaukee Brewers: The Hypothetical Perfect Off-Season Plan

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Manager Craig Counsell #30 of the Milwaukee Brewers looks on from the dugout during the first inning of Game Three of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Manager Craig Counsell #30 of the Milwaukee Brewers looks on from the dugout during the first inning of Game Three of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Brewers
MILWAUKEE, WI – MAY 24: Zach Davies #27 of the Milwaukee Brewers walks off the field after being relieved in the fifth inning against the New York Mets at Miller Park on May 24, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Trade Zach Davies and/or Chase Anderson

These two were supposed to be the core of the 2018 rotation. Instead, Davies missed three months with various injuries and Anderson regressed so much they skipped his final two starts. Both were left off the initial postseason rosters in favor of the young prospects. I think that’s a telling sign.

Davies, despite coming off the injury plagued season, will have the higher trade value of the two. He’s still only 25 years old, he’s entering his first year of arbitration, and is under control through 2021. He can pitch like a No. 3 starter at times, but is normally a No. 4 starter type. He won’t gain a big return, but he’ll be worth something in a trade.

Anderson signed an extension prior to the 2018 season, with two years guaranteed and two option years. He’s due $6.5 million next year and the two options are worth $8.5 million and $9.5 million respectively. I don’t like extreme fly ball pitchers in Miller Park because they don’t do well. See Marco Estrada for example. Anderson is a fly ball pitcher and his 30 home runs allowed in 30 starts, 22 of which were given up in Miller Park, is a consequence of that.

Ideally, I’d like to trade both, even though it might be tough to see Stearns parting with both starting pitchers. These two are the experienced arms in this current rotation, but that could change with a free agent addition.

Current Payroll Projection: $101.7 million

Sign Dallas Keuchel To A 4 Year/$75 million Deal

How much money Keuchel signs for will depend on how his market plays out and what the bidding war gets up to. Jim Bowden of The Athletic (subscription required) projected Keuchel to command a deal around four years and similar to this much money. He also listed the Brewers among the best fits for Keuchel.

The Milwaukee Brewers have lacked a lock-down left handed starting pitcher for several years now and don’t currently possess many in the organization. But the addition of Keuchel will change that. The Brewers need an experienced front of the rotation arm to depend on in the playoffs and Keuchel is just that. He holds a 3.31 ERA in the postseason in his career.

Keuchel is not only left handed, he’s also a dominant ground ball pitcher. The majority of the outs he gets are on the ground, which is exactly what a pitcher in a fly ball friendly ballpark needs to do. He doesn’t strike out many and he doesn’t blow hitters away with his fastball, but he’s proven to be an impactful pitcher for several years now.

At 30 years old, Keuchel has been around awhile, but a four year deal isn’t an egregious contract length for a player of his age.

Current Payroll Projection: $120.45 million

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