Ahead of the 40 man roster deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft, the Milwaukee Brewers have made a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies.
According to Mark Feinsand, the Brewers traded two Top 30 prospects to acquire Phillies minor league infielder Oliver Dunn. Dunn will be added to the Crew's 40 man roster, which now stands at 37 players.
Dunn, 26, was Rule 5 eligible again this winter. The Phillies acquired him from the Yankees in last year's minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft. Philadelphia clearly didn't want to add him to their 40 man roster and the Brewers jumped at the chance to get Dunn, who would've been a hot commodity at the Rule 5 Draft in December.
In exchange for Dunn, the Brewers traded infielder Robert Moore and outfielder Hendry Mendez, who were ranked 15th and 27th on MLB Pipeline's Brewers Top 30 list respectively.
Who is Oliver Dunn and why did the Brewers trade for him?
At first glance, this is a very odd move by the Brewers. They sent two pretty good prospects, albeit who were coming off down seasons, in exchange for a 26 year old second baseman with just seven games at Triple-A who spent all of 2023 in Double-A. Despite his age and relative lack of prospect stock, Dunn has a ton of helium.
This year in Double-A, Dunn hit .271/.396/.506 with 27 doubles, 21 homers, 82 walks, and 16 stolen bases with a .902 OPS. He was an Eastern League All Star and went to the Arizona Fall League this year, where he was named the AFL Breakout Prospect of the Year.
In the AFL, Dunn hit .342/.455/.616 with 12 extra base hits (6 doubles, 4 triples, 2 homers), 12 stolen bases, and a 1.071 OPS.
The Brewers were clearly impressed with Dunn's performance this year and feel he's just about ready for the big leagues, placing him on their 40 man roster and paying a high price to get him. Giving up two Top 30 prospects signals the high value Milwaukee has placed on Dunn.
Dunn plays primarily second base, he didn't see any time at shortstop this year and only a few innings at third base. Defensively, if he's going to crack the Brewers roster, he'll get his playing time at second base. That position was occupied by Brice Turang last season, who was a light hitting option in the lineup, but could be a candidate to move to shortstop in the near future, especially with trade rumors surrounding Willy Adames.
Dunn will be in the mix for a major league roster spot as spring training gets rolling. The Brewers saw the big numbers he could put up across the board and pulled the trigger to get him.
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