The All-Star Game marks the unofficial start of MLB’s trade season. Contenders will look to bolster their roster, and teams that are out of the playoffs will look for ways to set them up for future success. In the next three weeks, the Brewers should be in contact with the Oakland Athletics about acquiring outfielder Ramon Laureano.
After the Brewers parted ways with Lorenzo Cain, center field has been a weakness, especially with Tyrone Taylor still on the IL with a concussion the Brewers have been relying on career journeyman Jonathan Davis to carry the position.
Trade season is almost officially upon us, and the Brewers need to shore up their weak outfield. Ramon Laureano of the Oakland Athletics is a trade target that could make sense for the team.
Laureano is soon to be 28 years old, and is putting together a solid offensive season, slashing .241/.333/.404 with a 118 wRC+ to go with 7 home runs, a 39.1% Hard Hit Rate and 22.5% K Rate in 57 games for Oakland. His defense has taken a step back this season compared to previous seasons, but he still is a respectable outfielder, who could even benefit from a less spacious outfield at American Family Field.
Laureano would provide an offensive boost to the Brewers from center field, and he has three more years of team control remaining, meaning he would be able to be around for a while until Garrett Mitchell or Sal Frelick are ready to assume full time center field duties.
What would a trade for Laureano look like? Here is one possible idea.
Oakland Athletics receive: LHP Ethan Small and INF Tyler Black
Milwaukee Brewers receive: OF Ramon Laureano
Why this trade could work:
Milwaukee would receive an immediate upgrade in the outfield, who would be around for the 2023 season. Oakland would receive a promising infield prospect with a plus hit tool, who could be a second baseman, or at worst a solid utility player, and a Major League ready left-handed pitcher who could slot into their rotation or into their bullpen.
Why this trade wouldn’t work:
Throughout David Stearns’ tenure the Brewers have not parted with top prospects often. One of the rare exceptions was the Christian Yelich trade which saw the Brewers part with multiple top 10 prospects. At the time of Yelich’s trade, he was under team control through the 2021 season via multiple options.
This potential trade would see the Brewers part with two of their top-10 prospects per the newest MLB.com prospect list, and the Brewers would be parting with their 2021 second round pick, less than a year after selecting Black. When factoring in the trade that sent Alex Binelas to Boston, the Brewers would no longer have two of their top four picks from last year’s draft.
The extra season of Laureano would be a nice touch, especially as it would allow Garrett Mitchell additional time to develop, and give the Brewers a true center fielder instead of relying on Tyrone Taylor who profiles more as a corner outfielder.
Laureano’s bat would also provide a boost to an offense that is league average. His 118 wRC+ would be the highest among any batter on the Brewers with at least 150 plate appearances.
The decision on this trade would come down to if David Stearns and Matt Arnold would be willing to part with prospect depth to strengthen the team now and add more firepower to the lineup.
*All stats are entering play on Tuesday, July 12th