Pass or pursue: Deciding which Brewers trade deadline targets are worth going after

Not all trade candidates should be pursued

Chicago Cubs v Chicago White Sox
Chicago Cubs v Chicago White Sox / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

The Milwaukee Brewers have positioned themselves as strong contenders in the NL Central this season, and as the trade deadline approaches, they are looking to bolster their roster for a deep playoff run.

With their sights set on securing a division title or potentially earning a Wild Card spot, the Brewers are actively exploring trade options to address their needs. Let us look at a few options the Brewers should pursue and the ones they should pass on as time winds down.

Pass: Brad Keller, Royals

One area where the Brewers could use some reinforcement is their starting rotation. While they have quality frontline starters in Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta, adding depth to the rotation would provide insurance for the stretch run.

One potential target is Brad Keller from the Kansas City Royals. Keller is a young pitcher who will be a free agent at the end of the season, making him an affordable option for the Brewers. With his expected return from the IL, Keller could provide the Brewers with a reliable arm for the remainder of the season.

The most significant reason it is a pass on Keller, outside of being injured, is his career inning/walks/strikeout ratio. It breaks down to 4 innings/3 strikeouts/1.75 BB. That is not a line the Brewers want in a postseason situation. 

Pursue: Paul Blackburn, Athletics

Another option for the Brewers to consider is Paul Blackburn from the Oakland Athletics. Blackburn, an All-Star last season, has proven to be a solid back-of-the-rotation starter. With a controllable contract through the 2025 season, Blackburn would provide the Brewers with stability and depth in their pitching staff. The A's, motivated to deal due to a potential raise in Blackburn's salary during the offseason, could be willing to make a trade.

The A’s are in desperate need of everything. They are the worst team in the MLB. They need pieces to Pluto get her a team worthy of competing before they move to Vegas. Blackburn and his 56 strikeouts is worth exploring.

Pursue: Tim Anderson, White Sox

Tim Anderson's performance this season has been underwhelming, with a significantly low batting average and poor offensive output. However, Anderson has shown his potential as a consistent hitter. A change of scenery to a contender like the Brewers might be the spark he needs to jump-start his season. With a club option for next year, Anderson could be an attractive trade target for the Brewers if they believe in his ability to bounce back.

Pursuing this trade would be great for the Brewers, and veteran leadership of a bonafide superstar would be great for the young stars emerging on the Brewers roster. Second Anderson is coming alive in the past month. He is Hitting .292 in July with 35 total bases. 

Pass: Adam Duvall, Red Sox

If the Brewers are looking for another power-hitting outfielder, Adam Duvall could be a prime target. With an impressive season for the Red Sox, Duvall brings both offensive production and valuable playoff experience. While the Brewers have some needs in the outfield, Duvall's overall performance in 2023 suggests he could make a significant impact in the Milwaukee lineup.

Passing on Duvall, at 34 years old and only nine HR in 153 at-bats, is not enough power to counter his abysmal BA against lefties. He is an older Rowdy Tellez without the likeability. The addition of Mark Canha also negates the need for Duvall now.

Pursue: Keynan Middleton, White Sox

To fortify their bullpen, the Brewers could consider Keynan Middleton from the Chicago White Sox. Middleton has been impressive this season, showcasing his late-inning capabilities and providing solid numbers in key relief appearances. With his affordable salary, Middleton would fit seamlessly into the Brewers' payroll while adding depth and stability to their bullpen.

His .239 BA against and 47 strikeouts in 36 innings pitched would be a nice boost to the Brewers bullpen. Acquiring him in the Anderson trade would be easy.

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