For years, the Brewers haven't been able to find stability at the corner infield positions. Heading into this offseason, first base and third base are Milwaukee's two largest positional needs.
The Brewers need to add some power into the lineup. Their leading home run hitter in 2023 was shortstop Willy Adames with just 24 homers. Corner infield spots are traditionally power hitting positions. One power hitting corner infielder could be available on the trade market.
According to Jon Morosi, the Tampa Bay Rays are willing to listen on third baseman Isaac Paredes and he's a name to watch at the Winter Meetings. Morosi named the Mariners and Blue Jays as having interest, among other teams, and even though the Brewers weren't named, it's highly likely they're among those other teams with interest.
Paredes had an excellent year for Tampa Bay, a frequent trade partner of the Brewers, hitting .250/.352/.488 with 31 homers, an .840 OPS, and a 131 OPS+ while manning the hot corner.
While not an outstanding defender at third base, he's certainly passable and won't be a liability at the position.
Paredes is arbitration-eligible this winter for the first time and is projected to earn $3.2MM. As a Super-Two player, Paredes comes with four more years of team control, through the 2027 season. That kind of long-term control is extremely valuable to a team like the Brewers and he can finally bring some long-term stability to a position that has lacked it for a long time.
The Rays always seem to be swimming in position players and when guys reach arbitration, there's someone from the farm system ready to come up and take over and Tampa Bay doesn't miss a beat. Paredes took over an everyday job two years ago and now that he's reached arbitration, they're willing to listen on moving him.
Granted, this doesn't mean the Rays are shopping Paredes and that he's a guarantee to be traded. They'll listen as they always do, and the prospect price for a player with four seasons of team control remaining that just received some down-ballot MVP votes coming off a career-best year is going to be fairly high. The Brewers have the prospect quality and depth to make this kind of trade, no doubt, but it remains to be seen if they're willing to part with the depth necessary to acquire Paredes.
Given the fact the Brewers were willing to give up two prospects apiece for Oliver Dunn, a minor leaguer with no MLB experience, and Jake Bauers, who in four seasons has yet to show he can hit MLB pitching, they should have no problem parting with the prospects necessary to land an actual impact bat like Paredes.
As the Winter Meetings continue, things could move quickly on the trade front for Paredes and the Brewers should get themselves involved in those talks.