As the MLB Trade Deadline approaches, Milwaukee Brewers fans eagerly discuss the team's plans. Will they be buyers, sellers, or a mix of both? Which players should they let go, and who should they bring to strengthen the team?
While the exact strategy remains unknown, the Brewers are likely to position themselves as buyers. Moreover, reliable sources have confirmed that former Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes is not up for trade. Armed with this information, we set out to make a priority list for the Brewers.
Everything on this list is of some importance, but some elements require more attention than others. In this article, we delve into the Brewers' more pressing needs, looking at which positions should take priority as they look to improve the roster for a successful playoff push.
1. First Priority: First Base/Designated Hitter
The top priority for the Milwaukee Brewers at the trade deadline is addressing the first base and designated hitter (DH) positions. Combining DH with first base makes sense because they could potentially be filled by the same player, but first base takes precedence due to its significance. Currently, the everyday first baseman, Rowdy Tellez, has been struggling with a .213/.285/.388 slash line and hasn't hit a home run since May 22nd, almost two months ago. Now, he's out for an extended period of time with an injury.
In my previous article on Tellez, I highlighted how advanced numbers indicate his performance would be even worse without the shift being disallowed. The team's only other option at first base, Owen Miller, showed promise with an impressive month of May at the plate, but his performance has fallen down to earth as of late, and first base is not his primary position, leading to some defensive miscues. To strengthen their roster, the Brewers must focus on finding a reliable solution for the first base position.
2. Second Priority: Infielder (Third and/or Second Base)
The infield, excluding shortstop, has been a revolving door for the Brewers, making it challenging to address the entire infield in one go. However, finding stability for at least one more position and using a platoon system amongst internal players for the other spot would be a smart approach. Third base and second base have seen various players come and go. Brian Anderson has been the primary third baseman, but his performance has been inconsistent at the dish, with a .229/.317/.373 slash line and nine home runs and now he's on the IL.
On the other hand, second base is currently shared between Brice Turang and Andruw Monasterio, both intriguing young talents, but possibly not the best fit if the Brewers aim to stay competitive with the division's main rivals, like the Reds. To stay strong in the race, addressing the infield situation, particularly third and/or second base, should be a significant consideration for the Brewers at the trade deadline.
3. Third Priority: Outfielder
The third priority on our list is an outfielder, ranking below the first two in terms of importance. While Christian Yelich is having a standout season at the plate and Joey Wiemer brings great defensive value, right field has been a revolving door for the Brewers. Currently, Tyrone Taylor, Blake Perkins, and Raimel Tapia are all sharing time in that position. Although Taylor and Tapia have some experience in right field, their performances at the plate have been less than stellar.
Meanwhile, Perkins, being a rookie, has a slash line of .216/.296/.318, which might not be ideal for high-stakes playoff or crucial regular-season games. Since two of the three outfield spots are filled, the third spot could be effectively platooned, making it less urgent to address. However, an upgrade in right field would be a welcomed luxury for the Brewers to strengthen their outfield depth.
4. Final Priority: Bullpen Help
The final and least pressing priority is bullpen help. The Brewers' bullpen has been performing well, with reliable options for high-leverage situations like All-Star Closer Devin Williams and Joel Payamps, who had an impressive first half. However, having depth in the bullpen is always valuable. Fortunately, the trade market for relievers looks promising this deadline. While it might not be a necessity, passing up on bolstering the bullpen would be a missed opportunity. This topic has been a subject of extensive discussion among fans, seen more as a luxury than a crucial need.
It's worth noting that the imminent return of Brandon Woodruff could potentially improve the bullpen situation. Either Colin Rea or Adrian Houser may transition to the bullpen, with Rea being the more likely candidate, especially considering Houser's solid performance in the first half. This addition to the bullpen would further enhance its effectiveness, making it even more of an optional but beneficial upgrade for the Brewers.
As the MLB Trade Deadline approaches, the Milwaukee Brewers find themselves with a list of priorities to address. The pressing need for stability at first base and designated hitter takes the top spot, followed closely by shoring up the infield positions at third and second base.
While an outfield upgrade would be a welcomed luxury, it falls behind the other priorities. Lastly, the bullpen, though already performing well, offers an opportunity for added depth and potential improvement.
Only time will tell how these priorities unfold, but one thing is certain, the anticipation and excitement surrounding the Brewers' trade deadline moves will keep fans on the edge of their seats until the very last minute.