Milwaukee Brewers: Jesus Aguilar Traded To Rays For Pitching Help
By David Gasper
The Milwaukee Brewers have made a second move prior to the trade deadline, this time shipping away one of their first basemen.
Jesus Aguilar started his Milwaukee Brewers career as a waiver claim in spring training of 2017. He slugged his way on to a roster spot that year and saw most of time in a pinch hit role while Eric Thames crushed the competition. Aguilar did well in the role and hit 16 home runs.
Last year, Thames was once again the starter at first base and Aguilar was primed for a bench role again. Then Thames injured his thumb and went on to miss six weeks. Aguilar took over first base and just wouldn’t stop hitting, eventually earning the starting spot even when Thames returned healthy. Aguilar made the 2018 NL All Star team after the #WeBelieveInJesus campaign. He went on to finish 2018 with 35 home runs.
Now in 2019, Aguilar struggled as the starter and fell back into a platoon with Thames. Neither were producing very much, and the Brewers needed pitching. So Aguilar is now on the move.
What Was The Trade?
It’s a one-for-one swap of Aguilar and right handed pitcher Jacob Faria. Faria, 26, now joins the Brewers pitching staff, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll join the bullpen or the rotation.
Who Is Jacob Faria?
Faria is a 26 year old right hander that had a very impressive 2017 season, where he started 14 games and finished with a 3.43 ERA.
Since then, however, Faria has regressed. In 2018, he appeared in 17 games and had a 5.40 ERA. In 2019, Faria has covered 10 innings in the big leagues, with a 2.70 ERA, but has spent the bulk of his time in the minors. For Triple-A, Faria has a 4.07 ERA with 23 appearances and seven starts.
Faria has an 11.2 K/9 ratio in Triple-A.
For the future, Faria is definitely a rotation candidate, but might work best out of the bullpen for right now. He’s still young and has a lot of potential. The Milwaukee Brewers have contractual control over Faria through the 2023 season. That’s four and a half more seasons; plenty of time to develop him into a quality pitcher.
Faria has an above average fastball and a really good changeup. His other offerings are going to have to improve if he’s going to succeed as a starter.
Trade Grade: B+
Overall, it’s a solid trade. It hurts losing Aguilar as far as the emotional connection goes, but there was a corner infield logjam with Aguilar, Thames, Travis Shaw, and Mike Moustakas. Someone had to go, and it ends up being Aguilar.
In return, Faria is not as established a piece as I was hoping for, but it’s been a down year for Aguilar, and a young, up-and-coming pitcher who’s also had a down year is still a pretty nice return. Perhaps the Brewers see something in him that they can change and improve upon. Their analytics department is one of the best in baseball.
This trade could go up from a B+ to an A depending on how Faria develops.
The Milwaukee Brewers need more pitching, and Faria should help boost this pitching staff. We’ll see if any more moves come across as the hours wind down towards the deadline.