The 2021 All Star Game was a very interesting one from a Trade Deadline perspective. There were a number of All-Stars in that game that are likely to be traded over the coming weeks. Which ones could end up as Brewers?
The Brewers have five 2021 All-Stars on their roster. Could they add a sixth? Or possibly a seventh or eighth? President of baseball operations David Stearns has been busy on the transaction front this year and perhaps he could swing a trade for yet another All Star.
Here are some 2021 All Stars that could find themselves wearing a Milwaukee Brewers uniform this month.
1. Eduardo Escobar, 3B, Arizona
There were reports Escobar was already being traded to the White Sox, but the deal fell through as more suitors jumped in. Escobar made the All-Star team for the stumbling Diamondbacks and, as a free agent at the end of the year, is a very likely trade candidate.
The Brewers could use some more corner infield help. With Travis Shaw on the IL and Keston Hiura struggling again at first base, an acquisition of Escobar would make a lot of sense for Milwaukee. He’s a short-term rental and wouldn’t cost too much to acquire.
This season, Escobar is hitting .254 with 20 home runs for Arizona. That would make him the leading power hitter on the Brewers by far.
Third base by itself isn’t a huge positional need with Luis Urias performing well, but the Brewers have always been open to acquiring multiple players who play the same position and move guys around. Urias can play elsewhere in the infield and so can Escobar, so why not grab an impact bat?
2. Joey Gallo, OF, Texas
If you want to add an impact bat to your lineup, there is no one that makes a bigger impact on the baseball than Joey Gallo.
Gallo has slugged 24 home runs this year, has a .923 OPS, and has walked a league-leading 72 times. He does strike out a bunch, but he brings good defense wherever he’s at and not only could help in the outfield, but probably could play some first base if needed. If Gallo comes to Milwaukee, that’s more likely where he’ll be needed.
Gallo has a year and a half of team control, and he’s the most impactful bat that’s likely to move on the market this year. This would cost a lot in terms of prospect value for the Brewers to acquire.
He won’t hit for an incredibly high average, and he doesn’t fit the typical profile the Brewers go after, but they need a bat who can hit a home run when needed most, they need a thumper in the middle of the lineup, and Gallo is that guy.
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta
Whoa. What? You can’t be serious. Freddie Freeman? The 2020 NL MVP? Not in a million years! Perhaps, but this is an interesting situation for Atlanta.
Freddie Freeman is a free agent at year’s end. They have been trying to work out an extension with him to no avail. Whether that’s because of money or lack of interest in returning or whatever, the point is he does not have an extension and will be a free agent.
Atlanta might end up losing Freeman in free agency. They might re-sign him. But with the situation their team is facing now, perhaps trading him is the best possible route. Let me explain.
The Braves just lost Ronald Acuna for the rest of the season to an ACL tear. They were already scuffling, sitting a game under .500 now and four games back in the division. It was a tough enough road to get to the postseason anyways with all the other injuries and issues they have had this year. One of the only things keeping them afloat has been Acuna. Without him, they’re probably going to sink.
Freeman, of course, is one of the other things keeping Atlanta afloat, with his .274/.381/.489 slash line and 19 home runs. But he won’t be able to save that team on his own.
If they continue to falter over the next few weeks, Atlanta will be forced to sell at the Trade Deadline, and their most valuable chip will most likely be Freeman. The Brewers can take on a rental in Freeman, someone who can absolutely have a positive impact on this club, and the price, albeit high, won’t be too high since Freeman is a rental.
This would solve the first base problem for 2021 and still give Hiura the space to try to win that job again in 2022. Obviously the Brewers could try to re-sign Freeman, but he’ll be very expensive. If you’re Atlanta, who has a great relationship with Freeman and wants to keep him, they can trade him for assets to help the team and then sign him back in free agency. Sure it’ll hurt to lose him for a few months, but they would have the chance to get him right back.
Adding Freeman to the heart of this Brewers lineup would turn the Brewers into very serious contenders to win the World Series.
Between Escobar, Gallo, and Freeman, the Brewers won’t add all three, but bringing in just one of them could seriously impact this lineup.