The Brewers were relatively active during this year’s trade deadline, but there were no major splashes made by David Stearns. Sure, they acquired an All-Star in Eduardo Escobar and he’s been an important piece already, but they didn’t give up a haul for him.
It’s always exciting hearing your team rumored to be in the mix for a high-profile player come July 31st and this year was no different.
Here’s three deals we wish would’ve happened for the Brewers at this year’s MLB Trade Deadline.
Target #1: Max Scherzer
The addition of the former La Crosse Logger would’ve cemented the Milwaukee Brewers as the best starting rotation in all of baseball. Max Scherzer has consistently been one of the best pitchers in baseball for the last decade or so and also has plenty of postseason experience.
The Dodgers gave up quite a bit to get Scherzer and Trea Turner, who came in a combination deal but the main prospect was catcher Keibert Ruiz. Ruiz was likely to be moved as Will Smith has established himself as a quality everyday big league backstop. Adding that package would’ve almost definitely cost Garrett Mitchell so take that as you will, but sometimes you have to give up a lot to bring in these types of playmakers that can single handedly win you games.
In 2021, Mad Max is sporting a 9-4 record with a 2.75 ERA and 157 strikeouts in 118.0 innings of work. In his first start with the Dodgers, he racked up 10 strikeouts in seven innings and got the win, only surrendering two earned runs. A rotation filled with Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta and Max Scherzer would be a nightmare for any lineup come October, but instead he solidifies an already elite pitching staff in Los Angeles.
Target #2: Kris Bryant
In what was probably the most unlikely of all these hypothetical trades, the acquisition of Kris Bryant would’ve brought some offense and defensive flexibility that the Brewers covet. Trading within the division is pretty rare and seeing a scenario where the Cubs help the Brewers out seemed out of the question…unless the Brewers paid a much higher price.
The return for the Cubs fan favorite wasn’t all that much at all, then again you should keep in mind he is only a rental and his salary was high at $19.5MM.
The Cubs didn’t even receive a top 100 prospect in their trade with the Giants, rather they got Alexander Canario who was graded a 50 grade by MLB.com due to weaknesses on defense and with plate discipline. They also added Caleb Kilian who scouts have deemed as a potential future fourth starter, but is only graded a 40 overall as of now. You have to think the Crew had the prospects to send away to get Bryant if that was all it took, but a deal was never struck.
Bryant has been great since joining San Francisco, hitting .323 in the month of August and hitting safely in six of eight games with the MLB wins-leading Giants. Obviously, had the Brewers added Bryant, they would’ve never received Eduardo Escobar from the D-Backs who looks like a key contributor for the October run.
Kris Bryant had been a thorn in the side of the Brewers for around seven years, so it would’ve been nice to be on the opposite side of the fence and be able to root for the guy. However, the Cubs were completely disinterested in sending a franchise cornerstone to their rival.
Target #3: Trevor Story
In what was one of the more bizarre occurrences from the deadline, Trevor Story is still a member of the Colorado Rockies. It was reported back on July 27th that the Brewers were interested in the star infielder, but a deal was never agreed upon.
Story has hit safely in every game he’s played in since the trade deadline passed, a stretch that sees him hitting .444 with two home runs and six runs batted in. He’s been a huge reason why the Rockies have started off the month of August with five wins in seven games. His OPS of 1.331 is on pace to pass any other month he’s had so far by a pretty high margin. Trevor Story is seeing the ball very well right now.
He was seen as one of the most likely candidates to be moved at the break due to his impending free agency status in the offseason and the fact that he’s a part of a non-competitive club. It’s been reported that the lack of a move left him “confused”.
Sure, he may not have been in the midst of a career year, but people around baseball know he’s a guy that can have a huge impact during a playoff run. Now, it appears Colorado will extend an offer to the star infielder at the year’s end, but if I had to guess, I wouldn’t think he will return to the team that drafted him in the 1st round back in 2011.
Nobody will ever know if any of these moves would’ve pushed the Brewers over the hump in the quest for a World Series title, but it’s fun to revisit potential moves that gained traction and seemed possible at one time.
Now, the Brewers have to look past these three potential additions and look at them as threats, as two of the three are on NL teams that look to be strong come October.