Recent Trades Could Provide Deadline Insights

The Brewers have reportedly received interest in many of their players, but as of this writing this article they have only moved Aramis Ramirez for some salary relief and a Double-A reliever. The trade deadline grows agonizingly closer by the hour, and while that doesn’t make it more or less likely they don’t move many players, it makes it easier to worry about. And since I am preoccupied with what will happen at the deadline — as are many Brewers supporters — I thought it would be informative to look at recent trades the Brewers have orchestrated to determine if they can provide any insight into what we can expect leading up to Friday’s non-waiver deadline.

About a month ago, fellow BP Milwaukee writer Andrew Salzman took a rather in-depth look at the moves Doug Melvin has made in his tenure with the Brewers when they were sellers at the deadline. It’s quite informative and well-written, and you should read it if you haven’t.

I’m going to narrow my focus to not only more recent trades but also include ones from the winter. I also will look at trades that might not or cannot be defined as “seller” moves. This list will not be an exhaustive one, as trades for guys like Burke Badenhop won’t be useful to us in this discussion.

Dec 2010: Brewers acquire RHP Shaum Marcum for 3B Brett Lawrie
Dec 2010: Brewers acquire RHP Zack Greinke and SS Yuniesky Betancourt (shudder) for OF Lorenzo Cain, SS Alcides Escobar, RHP Jeremy Jeffress, and RHP Jake Odorizzi

Jul 2011: Brewers acquire RHP Francisco Rodriguez for LHP Danny Ray Herrera and RHP Adrian Rosario
Jul 2011: Brewers acquire OF Jerry Hairston Jr. for OF Erik Komatsu

Jul 2012: Brewers trade RHP Zack Greinke for SS Jean Segura, RHP Johnny Hellweg, and RHP Ariel Pena
Jul 2012: Brewers trade C George Kottaras for RHP Fautino De Los Santos

Jul 2013: Brewers trade RHP Francisco Rodriguez for 3B Nicky Delmonico
Aug 2013: Brewers trade RHP John Axford for RHP Michael Blazek

Dec 2013: Brewers trade OF Nori Aoki for LHP Will Smith
Jul 2014: Brewers acquire OF Gerardo Parra for LHP Anthony Banda and OF Mitch Haniger
Aug 2014: Brewers acquire RHP Jonathan Broxton for RHP Barrett Astin and RHP Kevin Schakelford

Nov 2014: Brewers acquire 1B Adam Lind for RHP Marco Estrada
Jan 2015: Brewers trade RHP Yovani Gallardo for SS Luis Sardinas, RHP Corey Knebel, and RHP Marcos Diplan
Jul 2015: Brewers trade 3B Aramis Ramirez for RHP Yhonathan Barrios

(NOTE: Just to make it a bit easier to view, the bolded transactions represent those that took place around the non-waiver trade deadline.)

Regardless of buying or selling, the Brewers haven’t done much at the deadline in recent years. As shown above, the only major trade that took place around the deadline was the Greinke trade to Los Angeles. While that trade was a significant trade for the organization, it’s important to note Greinke was poised to be a free agent at the end of the season.

The Brewers theoretically could have moved Corey Hart and perhaps Aramis Ramirez during the 2012 trade deadline, but chose to hold those assets. Part of the reasoning, at least publicly, was that each player had years of team control remaining. Hart was under contract through the next year and Ramirez through the 2015 season.

Another interesting thing to note is the other big moves were made mostly in December (or in the case of the Gallardo trade shortly thereafter). Here, we do see players with team control being moved. Nori Aoki and Yovani Gallardo both had one year left on their contracts when they were traded. Of course, it’s notable that the Brewers also had players ready to take over for them, with Khris Davis taking over for Aoki and Jimmy Nelson for Gallardo.

The Brewers recent history suggests they won’t make any big moves at the deadline. It also suggests the players moved will likely be in their final season of team control or, in the case of John Axford, performing poorly.

The Brewers moved Aramis Ramirez already. Gerardo Parra and Neal Cotts will almost surely go, since they are free agents to be. If they can move Kyle Lohse and Jonathan Broxton I’m sure they will, but neither has produced well enough or is cheap enough to make that a likely scenario. They’re a pair of veterans who could easily be moved in August after they pass through waivers.

Mike Fiers and Jean Segura have reportedly received a lot of interest from contending and non-contending teams. Both players are under team control for a long time. Fiers has four years remaining and Segura has three. Little in the Brewers’ historical trades suggest either will be on the move. Though, it should be noted that the two do have replacements in line. Taylor Jungmann and Tyler Cravy for Fiers, in the immediate future, with Jorge Lopez and Ty Wagner in a year. For Segura there is Luis Sardinas right now with top-prospect Orlando Arcia in the near future.

The real questions surround Adam Lind and Carlos Gomez. Each can be controlled through next season. The Brewers moved Gallardo and Aoki when they just had one year of control remaining. Those moves were made in the winter, but if the Brewers are going to be open to moving them in the offseason, one could argue that they should be open to moving them now.

Gallardo and Aoki had clear replacement options waiting in the minors. Adam Lind has some immediate replacements — Jason Rogers, Matt Clark, Shane Peterson — but they aren’t very promising. I think the Brewers brass could sell the casual audience on Rogers taking over, as he’s currently hitting .341/.454/.625 in Triple-A. Rogers now does remind me of Khris Davis when he was giving a full-time spot on the roster, but I’m higher on Rogers than most.

Carlos Gomez technically has replacements too: Logan Schafer now, Kyle Wren and Tyrone Taylor in the near future. However, it would be impossible to sell anyone on Schafer. He’s not a new name and hit .207/.282/.317 during his time in Milwaukee and his hitting .259/.292/.347 in Triple-A. Wren and especially Taylor are a ways off.

Based on their recent history, it’s hard to see the Brewers moving more than Gerardo Parra and Neal Cotts at the trade deadline. While I do believe there is some recent precedent for moving players with a year of control left, I’m not convinced the Brewers will give up on next season, which is essentially what they’d be doing if they traded Adam Lind and Carlos Gomez. Of the two, I think Lind has the better chance of being moved.

This all assumes the Brewers follow recent trends. Things can and do change, especially in relation to the team’s competitive window and their willingness to rebuild. With this trade market being light on bats, though, it’s possible the Brewers get some trade offers too good to turn down. Short of that, the hope for those players being moved probably lies in the offseason.

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3 comments on “Recent Trades Could Provide Deadline Insights”


Jul 2015: Brewers trade RHP Yovani Gallardo for RHP Yhonathan Barrios

J.P. Breen

Thanks for the catch, Benn. It’s been edited.

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