The MLB trade deadline has come and passed and the Milwaukee Brewers failed to add an impactful bat. While it is true that they can no longer trade with other teams, they can still add players if they are made available by their respective teams.
Recently, the Cleveland Guardians designated power hitting Franmil Reyes for assignment. Should the Milwaukee Brewers look to take a flyer on him?
Reyes has been in Cleveland since being involved in a three team trade at the 2019 deadline that sent him and Yasiel Puig to Cleveland, Trevor Bauer to the Reds, and Taylor Trammell to the Padres. At the time, Reyes had just cracked the major league level, but hit 16 home runs for the Padres in 87 games during the 2018 season and 37 long balls all together in 2019 between the Padres and Guardians.
During the shortened 2020 COVID season, Reyes slugged nine homers while hitting .275. Last year, he hit 30 home runs, drove in 85 batters, and finished with a 128 OPS+. Throughout his five year career, he has 101 home runs, a .793 OPS, and a 114 OPS+.
Unfortunately, 2022 has been a down year for Reyes. Overall his strikeout rate has jumped to 37.5% and his walk rate is an abysmal 5%. He is struggling to hit breaking pitches and that is evident by his .162 batting average against such pitches.
In terms of health, he has battled some hamstring issues which may be playing a factor. However, more concerningly there have been some questions regarding his ability to get into better shape in order to play the outfield, which essentially may limit him to DH duties only.
If the Brewers were to pursue him, it would strictly be hoping that a change of scenery could get his bat going. He also would likely need to be inserted as the designated hitter in order to play, which would mean more time in center field for Andrew McCutchen.
Contract wise, Reyes is due $4.55MM this year and has two more years of arbitration remaining. From a minor league option standpoint he does have two remaining. Although he has played in the big leagues over the past five seasons, he currently has 3.11 years of major league service time. This is important because at 5.0 years of service time a player can reject being demoted.
Reyes has the potential to be an impact bat and another opportunity like this may not arise post trade deadline. The Brewers need to add some thump in their lineup, and Reyes provides just that when he’s on.