Brewers president David Stearns has never been afraid to trade from his big league roster in the past in order to improve the team. If he chooses to do so again once the lockout ends, there are a few candidates that might make some sense to move.
Last year, Stearns dealt from his big league roster when he sent relievers Drew Rasmussen and J.P. Feyereisen to Tampa Bay for shortstop Willy Adames. He also sent Jackie Bradley Jr.back to Boston for Hunter Renfroe just minutes before MLB’s lockout began.
Stearns hasn’t been able to make any more moves with this roster since the lockout started, but once it comes to an end, the transaction freeze will lift and executives can make trades and free agent signings once more.
While it’s far from a guarantee Stearns will make another trade before Opening Day, you can certainly never count that out from him. If he does trade someone from his big league roster, there are a couple of trade chips that stand out. While Stearns isn’t necessarily looking to trade any of them, he would be willing to deal them for the right price if it pops up.
These five players are the biggest and most likely major league trade chips the Milwaukee Brewers have.
Brewers top trade chips #5: 1B Keston Hiura
Keston Hiura‘s trade value has never been lower than it is right now. He was a Top 10 pick in the 2017 draft, a hotshot prospect that rose quickly through the minor league system and hit extremely well at every stop. He made his MLB debut in 2019 and was successful.
Then he slumped a little in 2020, but still led the team in home runs. Then, he completely fell off in 2021 with a season-long slump. He looked nothing like the hitter that debuted in 2019, or raked at every level in the minors, or was worthy of a top 10 pick in the draft. He looked lost at the plate.
Because of his struggles, the first base position is a major question mark heading into 2022. Rowdy Tellez could handle the position, and Hiura could as well, if he gets back on track offensively. The Brewers may want to simply upgrade the position.
If the Brewers do acquire another outside addition, it would probably be best for Hiura to be traded to a different team. While Stearns isn’t looking to move Hiura, he is still a trade chip and he still has the talent that other teams have seen and they’re going to want to buy low on Hiura in the hopes they can be the ones to get him back on track.
Stearns will not simply give Hiura away for pennies on the dollar, not yet. With new hitting coaches Ozzie Timmons and Connor Dawson on staff, they’re going to want to see if they can get Hiura to right the ship. They’ve invested so much in Hiura. However, if another team gives Stearns an offer he can’t refuse that includes Hiura, a change may happen.