Brewers trade candidate #3: Adrian Houser
The Brewers rotation took a step back in 2022, and a large part of that was because injuries plagued the group all season. Houser was one of those bit by the injury bug but even when healthy Houser had a down season. He finished with a 4.73 ERA in 102.2 IP.
Because his performance regressed, Houser was demoted to the bullpen at the end of the season, essentially cementing his place as the 6th starter on the depth chart heading into the offseason. Aaron Ashby has put himself firmly in the rotation and Houser is now in the swing role. But there's competition for that, too, with newly acquired Janson Junk set to compete for a rotation spot. Junk is also much cheaper than Houser, who is projected to earn $3.6MM in arbitration next season.
Houser could easily be a starting pitcher in another team's rotation, but the top 5 in Milwaukee are just too strong for Houser to earn a regular spot, which makes him a trade candidate. Houser would be worth more on the trade market as a starter than a reliever. By trading him now, the Brewers can still market him as a starting pitcher and thus receive a larger return. If he spends most of 2023 in the bullpen or in a swing role, his trade value will decrease.
That's all without mentioning that Houser has two years of team control left. They can get maximum return this winter, but if they wait until next offseason, he'll only have one year left and any trade return will be minimal.
However, the Brewers did say they wanted more pitching depth this offseason and trading away Houser would be removing some of that depth, unless they get big league ready pitching back in return for him.