Brewers: 5 Controllable 2021 Trade Deadline Targets
By John Egan
Name a better duo, David Stearns and acquiring players with control and options. The Milwaukee Brewers will be buyers at this year’s trade deadline, and plan on them adding a few pieces before July 30th comes to a close.
But don’t just look for the Brewers to get any of the high-name rental targets. Stearns has done it before, but it is usually for a veteran bench bat like Curtis Granderson. And as much fun as it would be, don’t hold your breath for players like Kris Bryant, Trevor Story, or Max Scherzer.
It’s hard to predict any trades when it has to do with the Brewers. Who saw the Willy Adames trade coming? It seemed out-of-nowhere, but has elevated the team to the top of the NL Central. So if the Brewers will be adding pieces near the trade deadline, the focus will probably be players with a year or two of control or options.
Currently, the Brewers could use another power bat, proven corner position player and an arm or two. Here are a few possible controllable trade deadline targets for the Brewers.
1. RHP Kyle Gibson
Adding Kyle Gibson would give Milwaukee maybe the best rotation in baseball. Your normal five would suddenly be Brandon Woodruff/Corbin Burnes/Freddy Peralta/Gibson/Adrian Houser.
The 33-year-old has one more year left on his contract and would earn $7MM in 2022. That isn’t a bad amount if he continues to pitch well and you have players like Woodruff, Burnes and Peralta under affordable team control until 2024.
Gibson currently has a record of 6-1 and a 2.29 ERA over 17 games this season and earned himself a spot on this year’s All-Star team roster. It has been a complete turnaround from his 2020 season with the Texas Rangers. During his first year with the team, he had a record of 2-6 with a 5.35 ERA over 12 games.
The Texas Rangers’ price on Gibson might be too high for the Brewers. The Brewers would also need to figure out what to do with Brett Anderson and Eric Lauer. Both could be used for middle relief and Lauer still has options. Milwaukee has also done mostly a six-man rotation this year to help get extra rest for their starters. Anderson could be number six if healthy and Lauer could fill in or come in if a pitcher leaves early on a high pitch count.
The big downside besides having to give up higher prospect is that if Gibson declines again, you then have another expensive pitcher like Josh Lindblom on your roster that is not in your rotation.
It might cause some initial headaches, but adding a pitcher like Gibson would suddenly have a Milwaukee Brewers rotation with four All-Stars on it.