Folks, apparently it was Brewers week over at Beyond the Box Score. If you’re not already reading them regularly (you should be), now’s the time to start. We’re rolling out the barrel today with a bunch of help from SB Nation’s sabermetrics blog, so if silly things like math and numbers get you all twisted, it might be a good time to take the week off.
As Kevin Ruprecht (@KevinRuprecht) explains, in Domingo Santana and Khris Davis, the Brewers have basically the same player offensively: a high-strikeout bopper who is a virtual lock for a quarter-century home runs as long as he gets enough at-bats to qualify. But he will also provide far more than his fair share of whiffs. While Santana projects as a better defensive player, he’ll need to cut down on his 37.6 percent Major League career strikeout rate in order to match Davis’ production. Neither is capable of being the long-term answer in center field, which means Milwaukee is faced with a three-headed decision: (1) relegate one of their best prospects to the bench; (2) trade Davis now at the height of his value; or (3) move Santana (which Stearns has already done once) before he has a chance to prove himself and hand the left field job to Davis until the younglings are ready to take over.
Indeed, he does. While it comes as absolutely no surprise to Brewers’ fans, Austin Yamada explains why Smith is one of the best — and most underrated — young relievers in baseball right now. While it’s certainly nice for the Brewers to have a youthful, cheap and controllable ace reliever in the fold, Smith’s true value to the franchise at this point of the rebuilding process may ultimately lie in his trade value. With K-Rod gone, the southpaw is likely to get the first crack at the closer role and if he can prove effective, he could bring Milwaukee back a tidy little ransom from a contender looking for left-handed relief help.
The Brewers have already acquired one former Houston first baseman, and while Chris Carter is still under team control for three years, only the most optimistic members of Carter’s family believe he’s the Brewers long-term answer at first. However, there’s a chance that Milwaukee’s long-term first baseman was an Astro all along, as Houston appears ready to make Jon Singleton available. Nicolas Stellini (@StelliniTweets) says that A.J. Reed is knocking on the door for Houston, and Singleton’s days as a starter will be numbered once the Astros have Kris Bryant’d Reed by keeping him in Triple-A until the Super 2 deadline has past. If the Astros do decide to move on from Singleton, David Stearns (who had a hand in drafting him in 2009) would almost certainly have some interest.