Brewers #4 Move That Didn’t Work Out in 2021: Trading for John Curtiss
This move falls into the bad luck category, because by all rights, this seemed like a perfectly logical move for the Brewers at the time that it was made. Some things just can’t be predicted, though, such as injuries.
Heading into the July 30th trade deadline last season, Milwaukee was sitting atop the NL Central with a nice seven-game lead over the Reds. There weren’t a ton of weaknesses to shore up on their run to the playoffs, but the bullpen could’ve used a little bit of help.
Right-hander John Curtiss didn’t seem like your typical trade deadline candidate. He was just 28 years old, had multiple years of team control remaining, and was in the middle of a very good season in which he had a 2.48 ERA, 1.075 WHIP, and 40 strikeouts to just nine walks for the Marlins.
And yet, somehow Stearns was able to pry him away from Miami at the deadline for just Top 30 catching prospect Payton Henry. Everything seemed to be lining up in the Brewers’ favor on this move.
Curtiss struggled at first for Milwaukee, giving up five earned runs in just 2/3 of an inning in his debut. His next four outings were scoreless, though, and things seemed to be trending in the right direction.
But in his sixth appearance for the Brewers, Curtiss would be removed with elbow discomfort and end up finding out that he had a torn UCL which would require Tommy John surgery. Set to miss all of 2022 and with roster spots at a premium, Milwaukee non-tendered him this offseason.