Brewers GM Matt Arnold has completed a trade with his mentor and the Crew's former GM David Stearns, now of the New York Mets on Wednesday. The trade sent rotation staple Adrian Houser and outfielder Tyrone Taylor the Mets for a pitching prospect.
The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal was first to report the trade.
Houser, 30, was entering his final year of arbitration and was projected to earn $5.6MM while Taylor, 29, is in his first year of arbitration and was projected to earn $1.7MM. In return, the Brewers received Double-A pitcher Coleman Crow, 23, who underwent Tommy John surgery during the summer and will miss the entirety of the 2024 season.
Why did the Brewers trade Adrian Houser and Tyrone Taylor to the Mets for Coleman Crow?
Houser has been an important piece of the rotation in recent years, but he's struggled since a strong 2021 season, where he posted a 3.22 ERA. Houser posted ERAs over 4.00 in the last two seasons though and has dealt with some injuries that limited him to just 102 IP and 111 IP.
Taylor has been a backup outfielder for Milwaukee, earning short stints as a regular starter, but filling the role of a right-handed power hitter off the bench, coming up with clutch hits from time to time. With the glut of outfielders the Brewers now have, Taylor was out of minor league options and out of a job.
In return, the Brewers get Coleman Crow, a right handed pitcher that had a stellar 1.88 ERA in four starts in 2023. He showed an increase in induced vertical break (IVB) on his fastball, a metric the Brewers pay close attention to in pitchers. However, he did undergo Tommy John surgery and will not pitch in 2024. He may be close to the big leagues once he returns to the mound, but the earliest that will be is 2025.
This move sheds some payroll for the Brewers, but not a lot. Most eyes were on Corbin Burnes being traded from this rotation, but instead Houser gets sent to New York, when he was going to make only a third of what Burnes is projected to. Matt Arnold has sent out 2024 contributors for one minor leaguer who won't contribute this next season.
Wade Miley is now firmly established as the No. 3 starter behind Corbin Burnes (for now) and Freddy Peralta. That leaves Colin Rea and Joe Ross as the current No. 4 and 5 starters.
The Brewers already needed more rotation depth and they just sent away another piece of their rotation without getting someone in return who can help it in 2024. That leaves yet another hole on the roster the Brewers will need to bring in an external addition to fill before spring training.
Some payroll is cleared, but it's not the payroll most were expecting. While the Brewers still say they intend to compete in 2024, this trade makes it a little more difficult to do so, unless it's clearing the way for another addition they have lined up.