At the time of this publication most MLB teams have played 50% of their regular season schedule. The All-Star break is just a few weeks away and the trade deadline just over one month out.
A lot can happen over the next month, but at this time the Milwaukee Brewers have positioned themselves to be buyers at the trade deadline. In the National League East, one team that will be selling is the Washington Nationals.
The Nats have a few interesting trade pieces to offer up with one of them being standout outfielder Lane Thomas. A recent publication from TWSN listed the Brewers as one of three teams likely to acquire him. The Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks were the other two teams named.
In this article we will take a further look as to why the Milwaukee Brewers should look to avoid targeting Lane Thomas in a trade.
Lane Thomas is currently having a career season. He has a 138 OPS+, a batting average a hair below .300, and a slugging percentage north of .500. Contract wise he is in the his first year of arbitration and he is not free agent eligible until 2026. At this point in his career his trade value is at an all time high.
If Milwaukee wanted to swing a trade with the Nationals to acquire Lane Thomas it would cost them some serious prospect capital. They have done a nice job of drafting experienced college players early on in their past handful of drafts and a deal for Lane Thomas could wipe that away.
Another thing to consider is in regards to all of the young controllable outfielders that the Brewers have being near MLB ready. Sure Lane Thomas comes with two and half years of control and bats from the right hand side, but up and coming players like Sal Frelick and Jackson Chourio will have six years of time with Milwaukee left and Garrett Mitchell and Joey Wiemer five years.
Lastly there is the fact that Lane Thomas has had some streaky years throughout his five year playing career. Sure he's had an OPS+ north of 100 in four of those, but his career batting average is .254 and career OPS .763. That is drastically different than his numbers in 2023 (.298 batting average and .859 OPS).
It will be interesting to see what the Nationals elect to do with Lane Thomas. If they think they are just a few pieces away from putting a playoff competing team on the field then they may elect to hold onto their ascending outfielder, but if that is not the case then he could find himself in a different uniform very soon.