Outfield has been a position of depth for the Milwaukee Brewers for a few years now, especially lately as a youth wave has made their way to the majors. Because of that, the trade rumors and proposals that have swirled around the team have predicted them dealing from that depth.
Recently, that exact scenario played out when the Brewers traded one of their outfielders, Tyrone Taylor, along with pitcher Adrian Houser to the Mets. Their return was minor league pitcher Coleman Crow, who won't pitch to start the 2024 season as he continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery.
The trade of Taylor was not a surprise. After five seasons in Milwaukee, he was never able to secure one of those starting outfield spots for himself and with no minor league options remaining, an eventual trade seemed inevitable. That doesn't mean he will be the only outfielder to go, though.
The Brewers still have plenty of needs to address on the roster and also still have plenty of outfield depth with which to do it as they currently carry seven outfielders on the 40-man roster. And if we're talking a trade to address holes on the major league roster, it'll take someone higher up on the outfield totem pole than Taylor to get a deal done.
So, which young Brewers outfielder would be most likely to be traded next in a deal this offseason?
Now it should go without saying, but let's get one thing straight: Jackson Chourio is obviously off the table. He was just signed to an unprecedented eight-year deal and is the face of the future for the franchise. He's not going anywhere.
Also, since we're talking the team's young outfielders, that means we're not referring to Christian Yelich (unfortunately, 32 isn't considered young in baseball years). His likelihood of moving is extremely low anyway on account of his full no-trade clause.
Two main names come to mind, the first being 24-year-old Joey Wiemer. Drafted in the fourth round of the shortened 2020 draft as a bit of a project, he stormed through the minors and then made his debut early in 2023. He had his moments, including some towering homers, but finished the season batting .204 with a .645 OPS in 132 games.
The other is Garrett Mitchell, the team's 20th overall pick from that same draft. Mitchell debuted the year before and has hit a more impressive .278 with a .795 OPS, but that has come in just 47 games as he missed nearly all of 2023 after a freak shoulder injury diving into third base.
While both provide excellent outfield defense, they have different offensive profiles. Mitchell does possess some power but hasn't translated it to games often, instead relying on other extra-base hits, overall on-base skills, and speed. Wiemer, on the other hand, is a classic masher and run producer when at his best.
Part of the question comes down to which player another team would want to target. Would they want the one who could be a table setter atop the lineup or the one who could grow to become a middle of the lineup threat? Of course one could ask the same question of the Brewers in terms of which player they would want to retain.
But there is a reason that Mitchell was a first round talent when he was drafted, which is why he's probably the one Milwaukee would want to keep. GM Matt Arnold has generally made out well in trades in his short tenure so far (see last offseason's Contreras deal), so it wouldn't be surprising if he were to find a way to swing a deal centered around Wiemer if his goal is to retain Mitchell.
All the Brewers' young outfielders are exciting in their own rights and fans may not want to see any of them leave. But trades are a part of the business and if a big one happens this offseason, there's a good chance it's one of these guys who goes.