Brewers 2020 Trade Deadline Targets/Options: Centerfield
The MLB trade deadline is August 31, 2020. With the deadline fast approaching, what are the Brewers options to improve their outfield, specifically centerfield?
Due to the departure of Lorenzo Cain, the Brewers are left with a big defensive hole in center field. To date, that position has been occupied primarily by Avisail Garcia and Ben Gamel.
While serviceable at the position, Garcia is best utilized as a corner outfield and Gamel has gone through more downs than ups offensively which makes one question whether or not he should continue to see playing time everyday.
What are the Brewers options within the organization?
Currently on the active roster are players Jace Peterson and Mark Mathias. Although likely best used as utility infielders, Peterson and Mathias have both played the outfield in small sample sizes.
Currently at the alternate training site are outfielders Keon Broxton, Tyrone Taylor, and Corey Ray. Could one of these players fill in at centerfield?
At this point in his career, we know what to expect out of Keon Broxton and that is spectacular defense and a powerful bat but a high number of strikeouts and low batting average. Broxton could spark something offensively while improving the outfield drastically from a defensive perspective.
Taylor and Ray are opposite type players of each other. Taylor is a speedy high contact player who hits and throws from the right side while Ray is a high strikeout rate, but has good pop in his bat, player who hits and throws from the left side.
Of the internal options to play centerfield promoting Keon Broxton may makes some sense. Having Broxton play out the remainder of the season will preserve minor league options for Taylor and Ray while still improving the Brewers current outfield situation, especially defensively.
Who could the Brewers target via trade?
Of MLB teams who are in sell mode, the Boston Red Sox have two options that the Brewers could target. Those are outfielders Jackie Bradley Jr.and Kevin Pillar. Jackie Bradley Jr.is a great defensive centerfielder while Kevin Pillar has been used as a corner outfielder, but could man center field just as well. Both could provide a spark offensively and are currently on one year contracts.
The Angels currently have a very strong outfield core of: Mike Trout, Jo Adell, Brian Goodwin, and Justin Upton. Mike Trout is obviously untouchable and Jo Adell, according to MLB Pipeline, is the #1 ranked prospect in the Angels organization and will demand a huge haul. However, one of Goodwin or Upton could be traded.
Brian Goodwin is a left handed batter who has pop in his bat and would remain under club control for two more season beyond 2020. Justin Upton is currently in year 3 of a 5 year $108MM contract, so the Brewers would have to inherit that salary, which is highly unlikely.
Of other obvious sell mode teams like the Pirates and Royals, there are just not any realistic options for the Brewers to target. With the shortened season it’s hard to establish which teams want to sell, so at this point in time the above list of players are some of the more obvious trade candidates.
If the Brewers do elect to trade for an outfielder, they do not necessarily have to trade for a player who will remain under club control beyond the 2020 season, which is something David Stearns tends to value. With Lorenzo Cain likely return in 2021 to man centerfield that will shift Avisail Garcia back to a corner outfield spot and then you feel much better about the Brewers outfield core of: Yelich, Cain, and Garcia.
If the Brewers decide to address the current hole in the outfield this season will be something to monitor as the trade deadline approaches. The deadline is in one week from now and rumors will certainly start to heat up as the week goes on.