The 2023 MLB Trade Deadline has come and gone. There was a flurry of deals on the final day and the Milwaukee Brewers made several trades before time expired. How did they do?
Let's start by recapping the trades the Brewers made in the run up to the Deadline.
- Acquired 1B Carlos Santana from the Pirates for minor league SS Jhonny Severino
- Acquired OF Mark Canha from the Mets for minor league SP Justin Jarvis
- Acquired LHP Andrew Chafin from the Diamondbacks for RHP Peter Strzelecki
- Traded INF Luis Urias to the Red Sox for minor league RHP Bradley Blaylock
The Brewers made four trades involving the 40 man roster. Milwaukee also made a minor league trade with the Rays but since it was two non-40 man roster players, it didn't fall under the Trade Deadline rules.
Did the Brewers achieve their goals and address their needs at the Trade Deadline?
Coming into the Trade Deadline, Brewers GM Matt Arnold stated that he was looking to "add responsibly", which is one way of saying that he won't be making any risky moves. They're going to hold on to most of their top prospects and they won't sacrifice defense but they're going to add quality players to the team in order to improve it.
Frankly, the Deadline acquisitions ended up exactly like Arnold said. They made some responsible, albeit less exciting moves for some solid players that represent improvements to the club without jeopardizing the future. Carlos Santana is an upgrade at first base, even if he's not as good as he once was and Mark Canha improves Milwaukee's outfield situation that's been atrocious in right field this year.
First base and right field were Milwaukee's biggest positional needs and they addressed both of them. So, they did well to upgrade their roster with established veterans.
The injury to Justin Wilson opened a need for another left handed reliever and the Brewers addressed that by adding Andrew Chafin. They gave up Peter Strzelecki, who struggled in the majors this year and has years of control but Chafin is more of a proven commodity in the bullpen.
The Luis Urias trade, completed at the last minute, may seem like a "sell" move but the Brewers didn't trade Urias because they were in buy and sell mode at the Deadline. Urias has struggled to gain a footing the last couple of years as injuries and underperformance have led the Brewers to sour on him a bit. He was likely to be non-tendered this winter, leading the Brewers to get something for him now while they can.
Urias wasn't called back up when Brian Anderson went on the IL and that was the first sign that maybe he wasn't long for Milwaukee. His departure clears a 40 man roster spot that will likely be used for Brandon Woodruff when he returns from the IL.
Overall, did the Brewers do well at the Trade Deadline?
This wasn't a flashy Trade Deadline for the Brewers, but you don't always need flashy. The Brewers improved in two key areas of the lineup at first base and right field. That lengthens the lineup and makes it much stronger heading into the playoff push. The prospects they gave up to do it aren't likely to be ones they're going to miss much, either.
It was a seller's market this year with few teams selling and a lot of teams trying to buy. Some of the prices were extremely high and that made navigation of the buying waters difficult.
The track record of acquiring relievers hasn't exactly been good for the Brewers in recent years, but perhaps Andrew Chafin will buck the trend. Swapping out an underperforming Peter Strzelecki for him was a solid move as well.
The Brewers did what they said they were going to do, and that was add to this team responsibly. They won't make any big Deadline winners lists or anything like that, but they won't make any Deadline losers lists either. They made some incremental improvements to the lineup and the bullpen and that's really what the market was offering. Impact bats did not get moved across the league.
While some may want more flash and shock and awe, this is a solid Trade Deadline for the Milwaukee Brewers that strengthened their roster for a playoff push.