Matt Arnold has been busy slinging trades in his first offseason as leader of baseball operations. Before Christmas, he has swung six trades. This has resulted in 11 new players joining the Brewers organization with nine players being on the 40-man roster.
Here we will take a look at all six of the Brewers trades made so far this offseason. We will rank them based on return packages and which players will be the most consequential next season.
Ranking Matt Arnold's first six trades in charge of the Brewers
6. Payton Henry rejoins the Brewers through a trade with the Marlins
Matt Arnold's first ever trade was bringing back catcher Payton Henry. In order to reacquire him the Brewers had to part ways with minor league outfielder Reminton Batista. Henry has two minor league options remaining and will likely serve as a depth piece behind William Contreras and Victor Caratini.
5. Javy Guerra acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays for PTBNL
The Brewers traded with the Rays at the tender deadline in order to acquire Guerra. He was designated for assignment by the Rays and is out of minor league options. Guerra is a hard throwing reliever who could carve out a role in the Brewers bullpen. He currently projects to earn one out of camp.
Guerra could also be an early DFA candidate. How he performs will dictate how long of a tenure he has with the Brew Crew.
4. Wisconsin native Owen Miller becomes a Brewer in deal with Guardians
Miller is a Mequon, WI native and played his high school baseball at Ozaukee. With the Guardians he played a super utility infield role with most of his time coming at first base. The Brewers are sending a PTBNL or cash to Cleveland for him.
Miller's an excellent defender no matter where he plays and will help provide infield depth for the Brewers. He additionally has minor league options remaining, which makes him more of an asset.
3. Pitchers Janson Junk, Elvis Peguero, and Adam Seminaris join the Brewers in exchange for Hunter Renfroe
Of the three pitchers acquired in this trade, Seminaris is the lone man not on the 40-man roster. Junk has the potential to earn a spot at the end of the starting rotation and Peguero will be competing among several other new relief pitchers for a spot in the bullpen. Neither pitcher is viewed to have a ton of upside, but they could cover a fair amount of innings in 2023.
2. Jesse Winker and Abraham Toro come to Milwaukee in a trade with Seattle.
Throughout Winker's career, he has been an offensive threat. In 2022 he struggled mightily, but was also dealing with some injuries. He will be looking to bounce back in Milwaukee in what is a contract year for him. Winker has the potential to be a middle of the order hitter and can be a big run producer.
Toro is a well accomplished minor league hitter, but has not found that same success in the major leagues. He won't be handed a starting gig with the Brewers, but should see quite a bit of time at both second base and third base. Hopefully he can figure out how to contribute offensively.
1. Matt Arnold fleeces the A's and Braves in trade for William Contreras, Joel Payamps, and Justin Yeager
Contreras is a young up and coming catcher who is known for his bat. He posted a 138 OPS+ last season, hit 20 home runs, and had a slugging percentage over .500. Not only is he a major upgrade at catcher, but he can be a focal point in the offense as well.
Payamps is a reliever who has a career 3.35 ERA over four seasons. He doesn't excel at striking batters out but he gets results. Given the turnover in the Brewers bullpen, he has a good shot at carving out a role in 2023. Yeager is not on the 40-man roster.
All the Brewers gave up to acquire these players is outfielder Esteury Ruiz, who was Milwaukee's fifth-best outfield prospect and didn't have a clear path to playing time in Milwaukee.
There is still a lot of offseason remaining. It is highly unlikely that Matt Arnold is done making trades. Keep an eye on what else he has in store. It's unlikely that he'll make one that can top the Contreras deal on these rankings, but anything can happen.