Brewers Rumors: Crew In Contact With Diamondbacks About Outfielder Trade

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants
Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

It was a mostly quiet week for the Brewers at the Winter Meetings when it came to rumors. Generally they don't put their names out there as being in pursuit of free agent or trade targets, but there has been a rumor where the Brewers were specifically named as being in the market.

According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, at least 10 teams have been in contact with the Arizona Diamondbacks in trade talks for one of their outfielders. The Brewers were listed as one of those teams.

The Diamondbacks have an outfield logjam of their own and the three big trade candidates they have are Alek Thomas, Jake McCarthy, and Daulton Varsho.

The Milwaukee Brewers are rumored to be in contact with the DIamondbacks about a potential trade for one of their available outfielders.

The Brewers have been in this kind of situation before with their outfield. In 2018, they were chock full of young outfielders that were big league ready and looking to claim spots. They had Domingo Santana, Keon Broxton, Brett Phillips, and Lewis Brinson all set to earn playing time that year alongside veteran Ryan Braun. Instead, the Brewers shipped out Brinson for Christian Yelich and signed Lorenzo Cain. The three remaining outfielders were all traded away within the next 12 months.

That strategy of getting more established players like Yelich and Cain over the prospects worked out well for Milwaukee back then. Now they have another group of outfield prospects ready to take over, and they could be looking to make some outside additions once more.

However, it's important to remember that the way the Brewers front office usually operates is to be involved on pretty much everything and stay tuned to every single market. They leave no stone unturned and make calls even on players that don't make a lot of sense to acquire at the moment, but to see what the price is and get as much information as possible.

Because of that, it's entirely possible the report that the Brewers were among several teams to be "in contact" with Arizona was merely some due diligence and checking to see what the prices are and if anything could make sense. This report does not indicate that a deal is close or advancing further down the line.

Let's take a look at this group, because there could be something to this rumor. Which outfielder could the Brewers be calling Arizona about?

The most logical option would be Daulton Varsho. Varsho is a Wisconsin native and he would be a clear, established upgrade to this Brewers roster. He put up a 4.9 bWAR in 2022 with 27 homers, 16 stolen bases, and a 109 OPS+.

Varsho came up as a catcher but has been athletic enough to handle centerfield and has turned into a pretty strong defensive centerfielder. The Brewers are known to love elite athleticism and they've targeted it a lot lately in their player acquisitions. He's got four years of team control left, all of which are in arbitration as he qualified as a Super Two this winter. He's projected to earn $2.8MM in 2023.

McCarthy and Thomas are younger and less established, especially Thomas, who just made his MLB debut this year. McCarthy put up solid numbers in 2022 while Thomas had an underwhelming rookie season after being a highly rated prospect.

Arizona is reportedly looking for big league help in return that they can immediately plug in, specifically in the infield at third base, shortstop, or second base, and potentially at catcher as well. They would like a right handed hitter who can play one of those positions.

In terms of what the Brewers have to trade to fill those parameters, Luis Urias comes to mind as a right handed hitter that can play all three of those infield spots. Urias going in a trade for Varsho sounds like a solid starting point. Mike Brosseau also checks those same boxes but he may not be intriguing enough to convince the Diamondbacks to part with Varsho. Keston Hiura you could maybe try to stretch into him being a candidate to be talked about, but again that may not convince Arizona much.

Victor Caratini hits right handed, and also left handed, and he could be a catcher option for them. Carson Kelly hasn't played well and maybe Arizona could bet on Caratini to get back to his better performance in the first half.

It seems there could be a path to a potential trade here. It's unclear how advanced talks have gotten, but the Brewers reportedly have at least some interest in exploring a trade for an Arizona outfielder.

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