Milwaukee Brewers: Pitching Possibilities Dwindle Ahead Of Trade Deadline

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 21: Manager Craig Counsell #30 of the Milwaukee Brewers watches from the dugout during the first inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 21, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 21: Manager Craig Counsell #30 of the Milwaukee Brewers watches from the dugout during the first inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 21, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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The Milwaukee Brewers are in dire need of pitching help as time winds down on this year’s non-waiver trade period, and options are getting thin.

This is the first year there is just one trade deadline during the season as the August waiver period was eliminated this past offseason. Every GM across baseball is navigating this scenario for the first time, including Milwaukee Brewers GM David Stearns, so things have been a bit slow to start, unsurprisingly.

Things have begun to pick up over the past few days and now we’re within 24 hours of the deadline and all the Milwaukee Brewers have done is add a struggling Jordan Lyles to their staff. Not exactly an ideal haul.

What’s worse is that the options available for Stearns are dwindling and competition is still high.

Options Going Off The Market

According to the latest reports, Matt Boyd of the Tigers is now unlikely to be traded. Even the teams with the stacked farm systems aren’t willing to pay the price and they could search for help in the range the Brewers can afford.

Madison Bumgarner is unlikely to move given the Giants have gotten hot and become contenders again. This also takes Will Smith off the market most likely.

Marcus Stroman, who made a ton of sense for the Brewers to get, was traded to the New York Mets, who aren’t really in playoff contention. Trevor Bauer, who didn’t make as much sense for the Brewers, but was the top starter likely on the market, was just traded to the NL Central rival Reds in a massive 3 team deal.

Remaining Targets And Competition

The worst thing about the trades of Stroman and Bauer is that both players went to teams that aren’t really competitors this year but bought anyway and have thrown out of whack the supply-demand balance. There was already too much demand and not enough supply of top level pitching, but these trades made it worse.

Along with the Brewers, teams like the Yankees and Astros are both desperately seeking a starting pitching upgrade, and have stronger farm systems to deal from. The Twins are also seeking more pitching, as well as the Braves and Dodgers. That makes six teams searching for a top of the line starting pitcher.

Of the remaining options, there’s Robbie Ray and Zack Greinke of the Diamondbacks, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard of the Mets, Mike Minor of the Rangers, and Mike Leake of the Mariners. A few of those options like Minor and Leake are debatable as frontline additions.

What Do The Brewers Do?

It’s a seller’s market and the Milwaukee Brewers desperately need more quality, healthy starting pitching. Their only option if they don’t want to punt the season, is to pay up.

It’ll be tough to outbid teams like the Yankees and Astros on the top available guys like Syndergaard. But for someone like Robbie Ray or Mike Minor, that’s attainable for the Crew, but they might have to give up more than they would like.

David Stearns is going to have to pay the prospect price. This team has turned it around lately, and this roster is an established frontline starting pitcher away from being a legitimate, perennial World Series threat.

Time is running out and the options are running thin. The competition is fierce for pitching. July 31st is going to be a wild day. Buckle up.

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The Milwaukee Brewers would be sending a terrible message to the team and fans alike if they don’t add more pitching before the only deadline this season.

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