Just when we thought the Brewers acquisition of Trevor Rosenthal at the 2022 Trade Deadline couldn’t get any dumber, it gets even dumber. There is no redemption here.
On Saturday, the Milwaukee Brewers announced that a new injury popped up with reliever Trevor Rosenthal on his rehab assignment as he attempted to come back from a previous injury that popped up after an injury he suffered before. He is now out for the rest of the season and will hit free agency this fall.
On August 2nd, the Brewers traded a top 20 prospect in outfielder Tristan Peters to the Giants in order to acquire Rosenthal, who won’t even throw one single pitch for Milwaukee. They also took on his entire salary.
David Stearns’ trade for Trevor Rosenthal will go down as perhaps the worst move he has ever made for the Brewers.
This could not have gone worse for the Brewers. As bad as the deal was on its face, acquiring a player who hadn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2020 due to several injures, a player they could’ve signed as a free agent a mere few weeks prior, a player who was to be a free agent at the end of the year, taking on his entire salary, and giving up a rising prospect who had good value in order to do so for what they were hoping for at best a month in a Brewers uniform, this makes the whole deal so much worse.
If he was acquired for a bag of balls, or cash considerations, or some random 17 year old Dominican Summer League player, no one would or should really care. They would’ve given up very little to get absolutely nothing, and that would be that. But to give up a valuable player in Peters, and pay Rosenthal’s entire remaining $4.5MM salary, and get absolutely nothing from him is completely unacceptable.
This isn’t even the Giants stealing the Brewers lunch money. This is David Stearns walking up to the Giants and just willingly handing over his lunch money unprompted. “Here’s 10 bucks, buy your own lunch Farhan Zaidi, I don’t want it. By the way I’ll also stuff myself in this locker, don’t trouble yourself with it.”
This trade is like the Brewers trading a fresh peanut butter and jelly sandwich for a 3 day old egg salad sandwich that has been sitting in the hot sun.
This trade is like the Brewers willingly going from a airplane window seat in first class to sitting in the middle seat in economy on Spirit Airlines between a crying baby and a dude sleeping and drooling on your shoulder.
The Brewers gave up Tristan Peters for absolutely nothing. They took $4.5MM and flushed it down the toilet. That whole trade was unnecessary and worthless. There are zero positives to this. Rosenthal has held a 40 man roster spot this entire time for whatever reason, but they couldn’t find room for Dinelson Lamet, a key piece of the Josh Hader trade.
There was way too much injury risk for a guy that hasn’t pitched in two years to give up anything of value, and Peters definitely had value. Even if Peters’ long term future wasn’t in Milwaukee or isn’t as a star player, he carries good value as a prospect and if they wanted to trade him, they could’ve traded him for someone who actually would pitch for the Brewers.
At the time of the trade, Milwaukee had already acquired Lamet, Taylor Rogers, and Matt Bush for the bullpen. They shipped out Lamet because they had a 40 man crunch that was partly caused by the final acquisition of Rosenthal. Lamet is healthy and pitching well for Colorado, and Rosenthal never was healthy. But what they both have in common is that they never threw a pitch for the Brewers.
Heading into that final day of the Trade Deadline, the Brewers had the bullpen covered, and they needed a bat. They couldn’t complete a trade for any of the hitters they wanted, because the prices were too high as Stearns claimed and they didn’t feel comfortable paying those prices. But somehow the front office felt comfortable paying an incredibly high price for a 4th reliever addition, and one who hasn’t pitched in two years due to injuries.
Shockingly enough, Rosenthal still won’t be able to pitch due to injuries.
The Brewers have made some bad trades before under David Stearns. The Jonathan Schoop deal and the Khris Davis trade come to mind. But at least in those trades, the players the Brewers acquired actually ended up playing for the Brewers.
In my mind, this is hands down the worst trade the organization has made in the David Stearns era. It doesn’t matter if Tristan Peters turns into an All Star, a major league backup, or flames out in the minors, he was traded away for the Brewers to flush $4.5MM down the toilet and get absolutely nothing else in return. He was given away.
The Brewers spent $4.5MM, gave away a good prospect, and for what? Legitimately, absolutely nothing.
When trades have gone awry before for Stearns, he’s usually come out and apologized afterward and recognized he made an error. He did that in the Schoop deal. He should do so again here.