Brewers Rumors: Padres demands in trade talks with Brewers are obscene

San Diego is trying to pluck one of the Brewers top outfielders
Milwaukee Brewers v Miami Marlins
Milwaukee Brewers v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

According to a report from the Athletic, the San Diego Padres have reportedly had discussions about trying to trade for Milwaukee Brewers' outfield prospect Sal Frelick. The Padres are attempting to touch the untouchable. Yes, Sal Frelick at this point in time should be considered untouchable by the Milwaukee Brewers. Frelick's ceiling is truly that high.

Now the article does only say that outfielders that have come up in San Diego Padres trade discussions include Jarren Duran of the Boston Red Sox and Sal Frelick of the Milwaukee Brewers. The key words here being "Padres' trade discussions", so this could mean that the Padres haven't actually reached out to the Red Sox or the Brewers about actually attempting to acquire one of these two. Also, the author of the article does note that these two players being young and and controllable will make them very difficult to pluck from their current teams.

The Milwaukee Brewers do have a champagne problem with their big league outfield. Christian Yelich after a resurgent 2023 season, Garrett Mitchell is returning from injury, Joey Wiemer who filled in nearly all of 2023 for Mitchell, the aforementioned Frelick, and newly extended top prospect Jackson Chourio all vying for big league outfield playing time. If the Brewers did decide to trade one of their five outfielders, they could rely on Blake Perkins to provide the backup to the starters and fill in should someone get injured.

Even with all of these options, Sal Frelick should be viewed as one of the last players to consider trading.

If the San Diego Padres have actually called the Matt Arnold to gauge the Brewers willingness to listen to offers on Sal Frelick, my hopes would be that the phone would be hung up as soon as the name Sal leaves the mouth of Padres GM AJ Preller. If Arnold decided to listen to what Preller has to say instead of hanging up the phone laughing, my next hope is that Arnold would counter by offering Joey Wiemer to the Padres instead of Sal Frelick.

To compare Wiemer and Frelick is to prioritize some skills over others, Wiemer does possess more potential for power than Frelick. Wiemer produced 13 home runs in 367 at bats (3.5 home run percentage), Frelick hit three in 191 at bats, (1.6 home run percentage).

At the plate, Frelick is much different with his approach, his call up and debut last July showed his aptitude for putting the bat on the ball and going where the pitch takes him. Frelick is a high contact batter and the numbers back it up. Frelick in his 223 plate appearance had a zone contact percentage of 90.2. Frelick's chase percentage was a bit high at 29.0 percent but he still made contact with 75.9 percent of those pitches.

Wiemer on the other hand is a bit more of a free swinger, his zone contact percentage was just 74.9 percent last season, his chase percentage nearly identical to Frelick's at 29.1 percent but his chase contact percentage was far, far lower at 47.9 percent.

While Wiemer has the higher exit velocity at 112.8 miles per hour compared to Frelick's max of 106.2, Frelick is the better hitter of the two and has the better plate discipline leading to a higher on base percentage, .341 compared to .283.

Defensively, Wiemer and Frelick are both savants who despite 2023 being their first major league action, both have produced highlight reel material in the outfield, even colliding on a ball in the gap in the bottom of the 10th inning against the New York Yankees. Both Wiemer and Frelick can cover a ton of ground in the outfield, Wiemer had a large enough sample size to rank in the 93rd percentile for outfield range.

Both players also have cannons for arms, Wiemer showed his off on several throws that resulted in outs on the base paths last season, Wiemer is in the 81st percentile for arm strength and Frelick actually ranking even higher in the 87th percentile, according to their baseball savant statistics.

The telltale factor in deciding which player presents more value to the Milwaukee Brewers future can be seen in WAR, Joey Wiemer finished with a 0.9 WAR in 132 games and Sal Frelick finished with a 1.2 WAR in just 57.

So if the San Diego Padres are going to be calling the Milwaukee Brewers asking about Sal Frelick, Matt Arnold should say something along the lines of "the Italian is untouchable" and if the Padres are desperately seeking a young center fielder, offer them Joey Wiemer. The only way Sal Frelick should be traded to the Padres is if the return is so lopsided that it results in the Padres actually setting their future further back than helping their 2024 team.