Milwaukee Brewers: Position Player Trade Targets
Top-Tier, but Unlikely To Move
Beyond Merrifield and Conforto, the top of the trade market for position players is even more scarce. Out of any of the potential top-tier position players to move this summer, only three have even a marginal chance of moving beyond the two we’ve already discussed.
Anthony Rendon, RHB, 3B, Washington Nationals
With his free agency rapidly approaching, rumors were beginning to swirl a few weeks ago that the then scuffling Washington Nationals could consider moving Anthony Rendon.
Since that time, the Nationals have gotten themselves back into the thick of the playoff race in the National League. Rendon has been a major reason for their resurgence.
Rendon would indisputably be the best position player on the market this summer if the Nationals decided to consider offers for him. Though he’s had injury issues throughout his career, Rendon has been one of the best position players in baseball when he’s been on the field.
Rendon is coming off of back-to-back seasons where he has posted a WAR above a six, and has reached that mark three times in his career so far. He finished ninth among all position players in WAR last season (6.2) despite the fact that he played just 136 games.
Offensively, he’s a juggernaut who excels at all facets of the game. Rendon has hit above the .300 mark in three consecutive seasons, while posting an OPS of .903 or better during that time. He has a career best OPS mark of .997 at the all-star break this season.
He doesn’t strike out much (his K% is 15.1% right now after being 13.6% and 13.7% in the previous two seasons). He draws a lot of walks (his BB% has been at or above 10% in all but one MLB season). He also hits for a ton of power too (he had 70 XBH last year and is on pace to set a career best in home runs in 2019).
In addition to his incredible offensive profile, Rendon can be a very good defender. His DRS hasn’t been stellar in either of the past two seasons, but he grades out above average in several other defensive metrics.
Unless Washingon collapses coming out of the break, there is no way that they’ll consider moving him before the July 31st trade deadline. If they do entertain offers, he could fetch them a big return, even as a rental.
Adalberto Mondesi, Switch Hitter, SS/2B, Kansas City Royals
Adalberto Mondesi has emerged as one baseball’s most electrifying infield prospects.
After initially struggling in limited appearances in his first two seasons in the Majors, Mondesi has taken a major leap forward over the past two.
Mondesi was good for a 2.8 WAR one season ago despite the fact that he played in just 75 games! 2019 has been comparable too, as he’s posted a 2.1 WAR in 77 big league games in 2019.
Offensively, Mondesi provides value with his ability to hit for contact and run. He’s Hernan Perez when it comes to walks (his walk percentage is 4.7% right now after being just 3.8% last year), but he’s posted solid batting averages of .276 last season and .268 this season.
Mondesi is arguably the fastest player in baseball. He grades out in the 99th percentile in speed this season. That speed allows him to leg him out a ton of hits, including triples. Mondesi has hit 18 doubles and an MLB high nine triples so far this season. Those extra base hits he runs out are boosting him to a respectable .445 slugging percentage despite the fact that he’s hit only seven home runs.
There are few players in baseball better at stealing bases than him. Mondesi stole 32 bases while being caught seven times a season ago, and is first in the majors at 28 this season while having been caught on just three occasions.
On the defensive side of the game, Mondesi grades out quite highly as well. He’s been good for six Defensive Runs Saved at shortstop and three at second base in 2019. He has the ability to be an elite, gold glove caliber shortstop.
Given how young he is, and how well he’s played, it’s very unlikely that the Royals would even consider trading him this summer. However, if they did, Mondesi could land them an unfathomable return.
His lack of plate discipline remains a major red flag, but if he can improve on that, he’s going to be a great shortstop for years to come.
If the Milwaukee Brewers wanted to pivot away from Orlando Arcia this summer, Mondesi could be worth a serious look.
Tim Anderson, RHB, SS, Chicago White Sox
One final player who could find his way onto to the trade market if circumstances change is Tim Anderson.
Anderson is in the midst of his finest big league season. Though he was a two WAR player in 2016 and 2018, Anderson has already posted a WAR of 1.7 going into the all-star break in 2019.
On the offensive side of the game, much of Anderson’s value is coming from a career best season in batting average (.317) and slugging percentage (.491). He’s flashed decent gap-to-gap power in the past, but he’s never been an elite power hitter, even for his position.
Much of Anderson’s successful batting average this season is fueled by his elite speed on the bases. Anderson grades out in the 87th percentile in speed. He stole a career best 26 bases last season, and has stolen 15 in 2019 while being caught on only four occasions.
Anderson’s also seen a significant uptick in hard contact and exit velocity this year. His average exit velocity is a career best 88.9 MPH and his hard contact percentage is a solid 40.1%. Those numbers, combined with his speed, are helping to fuel an expected batting average and slugging percentage that’s close to his actual numbers at the moment. This suggests that his improvement this year may be sustainable.
Defensively, Anderson is below average this year, but he’s shown the ability to be better in past seasons. He can be at least a major league average defender at shortstop.
Anderson just barely cracks this list. Though he’s in the midst of a career season, there’s still cause for concern. His walk percentage is awful (2.8% in 2019) and his defense has never been above-average on a regular basis. His batting average is also being propped up by an unsustainable BABIP .373. There’s a decent probability that he’s having a season he’s unlikely to have ever
There’s virtually no chance that he’ll actually move this summer too. He just signed an extension through 2024. The White Sox would definitely demand a king’s ransom for him given that they view him as part of their future. Unless the White Sox get an insane return, he’ll remain on the south side of Chicago for the foreseeable future.