Having just non-tendered five players off their 40-man roster, the Milwaukee Brewers are also listening to trade offers on just about every other player not named Christian Yelich. Are any of the Brewers key players likely to get moved?
There were already rumors swirling that the Brewers were listening on Josh Hader, but the team is apparently listening on everyone. Lorenzo Cain and Keston Hiura‘s names have also both come up in trade talks. Is there any chance the Brewers pull the trigger on a deal involving Hader, Hiura, or Cain?
How likely is Josh Hader to get traded?
Of the talented trio that’s been mentioned in recent rumors, Hader is the most likely of the trio to get moved simply because he’s the best there is at what he does. Hader is the most lethal late inning weapon available, and he’s going to fetch a phenomenal return if Brewers GM David Stearns can find a match.
Speaking of the return for Hader, if Stearns doesn’t secure at least three cost-controlled, Major League-ready talents plus extras, he probably won’t make the deal. The Mets are known to be sniffing around Hader already, but they only have a few MLB-ready assets worth discussing. Dominic Smith and Jeff McNeil wouldn’t be enough to get Stearns on the phone. The Mets would have to cough up a bit more to come close to a deal.
There are also said to be many teams after Hader at this point. There has to be one willing to offer younger, better options than the Mets in order to secure the a two-time reliever of the year.
Chances of a deal: 40%. Stearns could get a ‘Godfather’ offer and have to take it.
Could the Brewers conceivably deal Keston Hiura?
Conceivably? Sure. Will they? Almost assuredly not. Hiura is an amazing offensive talent who can do enough with the glove to stay at second base for the next 10 years. He’s still a few years away from arbitration eligibility and his skill set should age really well. The Brewers would have to get a farm system in return to consider moving Hiura.
The fact that his name has come up in trade talks indicates there’s smoke, but it’s really hard to imagine a scenario in which a team goes all in for Hiura.
Chances of a deal: Less than 1%
How about Lorenzo Cain?
Cain’s situation is completely different from Hiura and Hader. He’s under contract until 2022, and he’ll be paid an average annual value of $16 million. Cain will turn 34 just after Opening Day 2020, and he’ll turn 36 before his deal ends. The Brewers wouldn’t mind moving on from his deal before it starts to look rough.
Stearns could probably flip Cain to a contender for a few names off of a Dominican Summer League roster, but the team doesn’t need to. The Brewers have cleared a lot of contracts off the books for 2020, and don’t have to shed any more payroll to fit a few quality options into their roster.
The Brewers don’t have much incentive to move on from Cain unless they truly want to tear down their roster and start over. The team has moved on from a few names that were expected to be key players, but they have yet to start really tearing down the roster, and there’s no indication that they’re selling assets. This looks like more of a ‘reload’ than a full rebuild.
Chances of a deal: 20%