The Milwaukee Brewers are positioned as contenders in the 2023 season. While the same was the case last year and the team effectively sold at the Trade Deadline, the Brewers have learned their lesson and shouldn't be doing the same thing again.
Milwaukee's likely to at least be in position to contend for a playoff spot when the August 1st Trade Deadline rolls around. While the Trade Deadline is months away, it's not too early to begin looking at potential trade targets to track.
There's already a clear class of teams that will be sellers when the Deadline gets here, which means we can begin to look at those rosters for potential midseason additions.
The way the Brewers have been playing to start the year, it's hard to find an obvious weak spot at the moment. The infield is loaded with quality option, catcher is solidified, the outfield is going young and there's plenty of internal options to go to. Garrett Mitchell's injury is a hit to that depth, but the presence of Blake Perkins and Sal Frelick should prevent the outfield from becoming a need to be addressed at the deadline.
Here are 10 potential Brewers trade targets to track throughout the 2023 season.
Potential Brewers trade target #1: LHP Tanner Scott - Marlins
There is a seemingly obvious hole on this roster though, and it's in the bullpen. There's only one left hander out there in Hoby Milner. The Brewers have grown used to having multiple lefties in the bullpen in recent years and they simply don't have that this year. When the Deadline comes up, fortifying the bullpen with a left handed option will be important.
Sure, they could bank on Justin Wilson returning from injury and playing well, but it wouldn't hurt to grab another lefty. Tanner Scott of the Marlins is one that could intrigue Milwaukee. He averages 95-96 MPH on his fastball, which he pairs with a slider.
The 28 year old Scott has struggled with walks at times but gets ground balls at a nearly 50% clip over his career and has a 12.0 K/9.
Also, Scott has another year of team control before free agency. He's earning $2.825MM this year in arbitration.
Tanner Scott is a potential trade target for Brewers fans to track this season.
Potential Brewers trade target #2: LHP AJ Puk - Marlins
Continuing with the Marlins and LHP themes, AJ Puk is another potential trade target for Brewers fans to track. The former 6th overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft wasn't able to gain traction as a starting pitcher in the big leagues, but a trade to Miami and a move to the bullpen may have been just what he needed.
So far in 2023, Puk is 3 for 3 in save opportunities as the Marlins closer with a 1.13 ERA. He throws hard, averaging 96 MPH on his sinker and has a pair of secondary pitches in a changeup and a slider.
Granted, the closer's role in Milwaukee is occupied by Devin Williams. The Brewers wouldn't be acquiring Puk to close if they make a deal, but the 8th inning job does seem up for grabs. If Puk proves capable over the season to be able to handle high leverage relief, Milwaukee could eye him to be a lefty 8th inning guy to be the bridge to Devin Williams and shore up a currently shaky position.
Puk will have 3.5 years of team control left. He's in his last year before arbitration and will reach free agency after the 2026 season. The price to acquire Puk may be higher because of this, but he could be an impact lefty reliever on this club.