The Brewers have built up an enviable group of outfield prospects. They've already traded one of them away in Esteury Ruiz to get a massive upgrade at catcher. Now, they reportedly could trade another one.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Brewers might not be done moving outfielders and that it would not be a surprise to see Milwaukee move another young outfielder for pitching.
Could the Brewers continue to trade from their outfield prospect depth to acquire more pitching?
The Brewers pitching depth problem is not as bad as it was when the offseason began. Milwaukee has acquired a number of young pitchers in recent weeks, filling out their staff with several bullpen options although not as much for starting pitching depth. Janson Junk, acquired in the Hunter Renfroe trade, could compete for a starting spot but that's about it for rotation depth.
Yet the Brewers still boast one of the best rotations in baseball with a top four consisting of Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes followed by Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta, and Eric Lauer. They don't really *need* to acquire someone to fill a spot in that group. They could use some more depth behind them, but if the Brewers are going to be trading someone like Garrett Mitchell or Joey Wiemer as Rosenthal referred to in his article, you'd think they'd be getting someone bigger than that in return.
After all, Esteury Ruiz brought back All-Star catcher William Contreras. Both Mitchell and Wiemer are rated as better prospects and players than Ruiz, so the Brewers would have to be looking for a big return if they're going to move them.
Is there a big return out there that the Brewers could strongly consider moving one of these homegrown outfield prospects? The Miami Marlins are reportedly looking to move any of their starters like Pablo Lopez in exchange for some offensive help. Either Mitchell or Wiemer for Lopez would be a feasible starting point for a trade.
At the same time, why would the Brewers feel the need to do that? Their rotation is great already and Lopez would make it better, but at the same time their offense would get worse with the loss of either of those young outfielders. The Brewers have been hugging their prospects a lot lately and continue to add to their farm system in the trades they do make. They've cleared the deck for Wiemer in right field by trading Renfroe, so it would be odd to see them trade their clear right fielder of the future in Wiemer right away. Mitchell also impressed in his big league debut in 2022, which would also make it peculiar to see him potentially traded for pitching help so soon.
If the Brewers trade either Mitchell or Wiemer, they'd likely have to bring in a veteran outfielder from outside the organization to help fill the depth gap that would leave.
Rosenthal wrote that it would not surprise him to see this kind of move happen, but he didn't say anything about active talks or a general likelihood that this would happen. It doesn't mean it would surprise him if it doesn't happen. This could just be another hypothetical of Rosenthal guessing that this kind of move could happen looking at Milwaukee's depth in both areas.
For what it's worth, Rosenthal also noted that top prospects Jackson Chourio and Sal Frelick are not going to be available.
There's still a lot of time remaining in the offseason, and this is going to be a situation to monitor as the Brewers continue their search for more pitching depth and upgrading their roster.