2. Sheldon Neuse, 3B, Oakland
Neuse, 26, is one of Oakland’s top prospects but lacks a true home. He has a very strong throwing arm and should make for a very strong defensive third baseman. The problem is that Oakland already has a Gold Glove third baseman in Matt Chapman on their roster for the next several years.
Neuse is versatile enough that he can play second base, some shortstop, and a little corner outfield, but that’s almost out of necessity at this point because of the organization he’s in.
Here’s a little from what MLB Pipeline had to say about Neuse.
"Neuse could be a big league regular in another organization, but for now looks like a very solid super-utility type whose bat will force its way into the lineup more often than not."
Hmm, could be a big league regular somewhere else, but is stuck in a super-utility role and has a great bat that will keep him in the lineup. Where have we heard that before? Sounds kind of like Luis Urias’ situation with the Padres when the Brewers jumped in to acquire him last year.
The difference between Neuse and Urias though, is that Neuse has power. In Triple-A in 2019, Neuse hit 27 bombs while hitting .317 at the plate. He only has 25 games of experience at the big league level, all in 2019, and it wasn’t stellar, but what he needs is a full opportunity to play everyday.
Adding Neuse to the roster would help solve a couple of problems for the Brewers. He would give the Crew a possible long-term solution at third base instead of a one-year stopgap fix, and he would upgrade the power potential of this offense.
Since he’s a blocked prospect and only holds super-utility value to the A’s, his acquisition cost might be lower than it otherwise normally would for a player of his caliber. As for how much lower, that’s tough to tell.
Although a move like this won’t save them much money, Oakland is going to be in a tight spot financially. But I doubt their budget would be tight enough where they would consider trading Chapman instead of Neuse. Chapman would cost a lot more in terms of prospects, but he’s unlikely to go anywhere which makes Neuse a better target.