Less than 24 hours remain until the passing of the MLB trade deadline. Could the Brewers end up going after an old divisional foe?
As the league nears the 2020 MLB trade deadline, rumors have become abundant and deals are starting to come across the wire. The Brewers have been plenty involved with some of the rumors, but to this point haven’t agreed to any deals.
At this point, no one knows for sure whether GM David Stearns has decided to be a buyer or a seller. Milwaukee dropped to 15-18 after Sunday’s loss to the Pirates, yet when the morning began, the Brewers held the 2nd playoff spot in the NL Central, so they are well within playoff contention.
One of the most glaring needs for the Brewers, should they decide to be buyers at the deadline, is extra support in the outfield. That’s why it would make a lot of sense to try and swing a deal for Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder Starling Marte.
Why should the Brewers target Marte?
It’s well documented at this point that the opt out for the 2020 season of center fielder Lorenzo Cain left a huge hole in the Milwaukee outfield. Players like Ben Gamel, Brock Holt, and Mark Mathias have been used to patch that hole to varying degrees of success, but Marte would provide an immediate upgrade.
Marte is having an excellent 2020 season, slashing .322/.396/.458 with two homers, 14 driven in, and a team-leading 23 runs scored. He also leads all Diamondback position players with a 1.0 bWAR on the season.
A trade to the Brewers would bring Marte to a venue in which he has found success in the past. The outfielder has a .304/.337/.510 slash line at Miller Park over his career and Milwaukee plays 14 of their final 27 games at home.
Arizona traded for Marte in the offseason in an attempt to contend this season, and at 14-20 they aren’t technically that far behind Milwaukee in the NL. But they have just one win in their last ten games and currently sit last in the NL West so it wouldn’t be suprising for them to be sellers at the deadline.
What would it take to land Marte?
First let’s take a look at the contract details. Marte has one year remaining on his 6-year contract, which will pay him $12.5 million next year. However that final year can be bought out for just $2 million and you have to imagine that whatever team holds that contract will exercise that buyout option.
That means Marte would likely just be a rental for the Brewers, which brings the price down a little bit. Still, the Diamondbacks aren’t going to give away their best hitter for nothing, and they will probably want a return that helps them continue to build upon their young talent base.
Arizona has young talent at almost every infield spot and a bunch waiting in the wings in the outfield. What they don’t have an abundance of is quality left-handed pitching, something the Brewers actually do have among their prospect pool.
Milwaukee has three left-handed pitchers among their Top 10 prospects per MLB Pipeline, including Ethan Small (No. 3), Aaron Ashby (No. 6), and Antoine Kelly (No. 7). A deal that includes at least one of those names would be a logical starting point for both clubs.
If the Stearns and the Brewers do in fact decide to be buyers at the deadline, Marte would make a lot of sense for the club. Stay tuned as we break down the rumors and moves all the way up until tomorrow’s deadline.