Brewers: Dissecting A Mariners Trade Proposal For Adrian Houser
It’s mid-December, and even though MLB has locked out the players, that hasn’t stopped people from making trade proposals for when the offseason movement can kick back up. One such proposal from our friends at fellow FanSided site Sodo Mojo, has one involving the Brewers and Mariners.
Specifically, their article made a trade proposal to acquire Brewers starter Adrian Houser. You can check out what they proposed and their reasoning for why it could work here.
Let’s take a look at what they proposed and if this is a deal the Brewers could possibly accept. After all, the Brewers and Mariners have come together on a number of trades in recent years.
This trade proposal sending Brewers starter Adrian Houser to Seattle includes the return of three players to Milwaukee.
Here’s the proposal the guys at Sodo Mojo made:
Mariners receive: Adrian Houser
Brewers receive: RHP Drew Steckenrider, OF Jake Fraley, RHP Taylor Dollard
At first glance, this return seems light for Adrian Houser. But at second glance… it’s still light.
Drew Steckenrider was a strong back of the bullpen option for the Mariners in 2021, earning 14 saves and posting a 2.00 ERA in 67.2 IP. He’s projected to earn just over $2MM in arbitration this year and has two years of team control remaining. With both Brad Boxberger and Hunter Strickland in free agency, Steckenrider would be a useful complement to Devin Williams and Josh Hader in the back end of the bullpen.
Jake Fraley is a 26 year old backup outfielder that isn’t really too exciting. Sodo Mojo even describes him as more of a Ben Gamel type of player, but can’t play centerfield too well and isn’t suited for right field. Tyrone Taylor is already on the Brewers roster and can play all three outfield positions. Fraley doesn’t fit well for the Brewers in this package.
Taylor Dollard was a 5th round pick in 2020 and is the prospect that the Sodo Mojo guys are framing as the key to this deal. He had a solid start to the season in Low-A, but struggled in his promotion to High-A. He has a starter’s build and could remain a starter going forward, but he’s not a guarantee to remain in that role and would at best be a back-end arm.
Overall, this is not going to be enough to pry Adrian Houser from the Brewers. The Sodo Mojo guys see Houser as a back-end rotation arm. While he is the No. 4 guy in the Brewers rotation, that’s more because the guys in the 1-3 spots are either aces or pretty darn close to being aces, depending on your definition of “ace”. Houser would probably be a No. 2 or No. 3 starter in most rotations.
Brewers president of baseball ops David Stearns is not likely to move Houser for such a package. If Fraley is replaced with someone who could be a solid, everyday starter in the lineup that provides an upgrade over what the Brewers currently have, then we’re getting somewhere.
Perhaps someone like Ty France. France has shown he can hit at the big league level and has some power to his game. He could solidify first base. Plus, he’s a right-handed option, which could pair well with Rowdy Tellez at first base. If the DH gets introduced to the NL next year, Keston Hiura could go there and the France/Tellez duo could handle first base.
Mitch Haniger also would’ve made some sense. But after the Brewers acquired Hunter Renfroe, right field is pretty well settled now, making acquiring Haniger unnecessary.
Outside of putting France in the deal over Fraley, the only other realistic place the Brewers could grab some more value out of in this deal is getting closer to the top of the Mariners farm system. Someone like Harry Ford, George Kirby, or Matt Brash would make for a good enough addition to this deal for the Brewers to consider it.
But one solid bullpen arm, a backup outfielder, and a pitching prospect that struggled in High-A will not be enough to pry Adrian Houser away from the Milwaukee Brewers in a trade.
These two teams have been partners before, and could be again.