The 2022 MLB Trade Deadline has passed and the first place Milwaukee Brewers made three moves. Typically, that would inspire confidence for the rest of the season and high hopes for a World Series title.
Instead, fans and even players alike are left with a bitter taste in their mouths and there was a lot left to be desired from this Deadline.
Remember about a month ago, Brewers owner Mark Attanasio was being interviewed during a game. He said this about the hopes for trades at the Deadline.
A bat, some middle relief, or another starting pitcher. Instead Mark Attanasio says why not all three? Sounds like he’s ready to go all in and improve the club and push for a World Series. He’s ready to extend payroll and get what this team needs.
Remember in spring training when David Stearns told Mark Attanasio this was the most talented Brewers team he’s ever put together? Sounds like he’s confident this team can win a World Series and will want to make it even more talented at the Deadline.
But actions speak louder than words.
The Milwaukee Brewers trade deadline moves leave many with a feeling of disappointment and a lack of focus on winning a World Series.
The first sign things were not going well was right after the Brewers traded Josh Hader to the Padres for four players. Typically, teams don’t put out carefully crafted PR statements to fans to explain the trades they make. Yet the Brewers did for Hader.
They explained this is about long-term viability for staying competitive and winning a World Series while not compromising the expectation and desire to win today. Notice how it said “not compromising” instead of “improving”.
That’s where the issue takes place.
Yes, avoiding lengthy rebuilds is great. Staying competitive long-term is great. But that sounds more like an offseason move and a selling move rather than a Deadline deal mid-season by a first place team. The Brewers may not have compromised their expectation or desire to win today, but they likely compromised their ability to do so. They did not improve their ability to win a World Series with that trade.
No matter what the combination of Rogers and Lamet can provide in the bullpen, it likely won’t equate to what Hader can bring. The morale in the clubhouse seems low as well, if Devin Williams’ reaction is any indication. Low clubhouse morale can destroy even the most talented teams.
What could’ve salvaged this morale and energized this team again would’ve been another big move to help this team. The Brewers traded away an impact player and they should’ve added another one to replace him. They did not. They acquired two more relievers in Matt Bush and Trevor Rosenthal, the latter of which hasn’t pitched in two years and still isn’t healthy quite yet. But they did not get the bat they needed. They did not get an impact player to replace the one they lost.
The Deadline felt more like the Brewers were sellers than anything. They weren’t, though. But it’s hard to feel like they were much of buyers either.
For a first place team, that’s disappointing, for both players and fans. It doesn’t instill confidence in either that the front office is making the push necessary to win a World Series. If they aren’t trying to do what, what is this all for? More “bites at the apple” and hoping to get lucky? That sounds like a strategy for a gambler at a casino that can’t walk away from the slots machine and less like a good strategy for winning a World Series.
Yes, there is a luck factor to winning a World Series but luck also favors the prepared. The better team you have the more likely you are to have luck fall in your favor.
Attanasio said how about we address all our needs. Stearns said this is the most talented group he’s ever had. They both say they want to win a World Series for Milwaukee. But that’s not what their actions at the Trade Deadline said. The moves made do not seem to improve their chances to win a World Series in 2022. They don’t show a seriousness to make the push necessary to get there.
Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps we’re all wrong. Perhaps these moves will work out just fine and the Brewers do win the World Series this year. We have to give it some time to let these moves play out and see the new acquisitions perform on the field. They could be better than expected. The Brewers could still win the division and be in a good spot to win in October.
But we’re at the point where just making the playoffs isn’t enough. If they fall short in October again, fans will point to the Trade Deadline and how the Brewers didn’t do enough to improve the club. Frustration will grow.
There’s a bitter taste in the mouths of Brewers fans, and with good reason. The front office left a lot to be desired at this Trade Deadline. David Stearns has built up a lot of trust equity over the years, and he used a good chunk of it in the past few days. For him to build it back, these moves need to work out.