Report: Brewers linked to Joe Smith

Another day goes by and the non-waiver trade deadline is quickly approaching. The Brewers have once again been linked to another relief pitcher. This time it’s Joe Smith of the Toronto Blue Jays. According to the report by Ken Rosenthal, the Brewers had previously shown interest in Smith last winter, but he ultimately signed a one-year deal with the Blue Jays.

Smith just recently came off the disabled list a few days ago after having shoulder inflammation. His numbers haven’t been good since the All-Star break, but this could be because of the shoulder issues. Overall, Smith owns a 3-0 record, with a 3.58 ERA, and a 1.16 WHIP. In 32 2/3 innings this season. He has punched out 49 batters while only walking eight. Smith,33, is in his 11th season in the big leagues and has been a serviceable reliever. He has a distinct side-arm delivery, which can be tough for hitters to pick up.

He is yet another bullpen option David Stearns and the Brewers could pull the trigger on by the non-waiver trade deadline. The trade deadline is July 31st at 3 p.m. CST.

Report: Brewers linked to another bullpen arm

The Brewers once again are reported to have interest in another relief pitcher. This time it’s Mets closer Addison Reed according to Marc Carig, a Mets writer for Newsday. The Brewers have now been linked to half a dozen different pitchers, most being relief pitchers. Many of the reports are continuing to say that the Brewers are showing interest, but not aggressively pursuing. David Stearns and his team are keeping their options open and looking at every possible move.

Unlike many of the pitchers the Brewers have been linked to, Reed has an expiring contract at the end of the season. David Stearns has been adamant that the team is looking for players whose contracts that they can control in the future. Reed, 28, doesn’t fit this mold, but he could be a cheaper option when it comes to giving up prospects. The Brewers could potentially re-sign Reed, since they do have the lowest salary cap in baseball.

Reed is 1-2 this season with an ERA of 2.35 and a WHIP of 1.02 with 47 strikeouts in 46 innings. He has converted 16 of his 18 save opportunities.

Report: Brewers showing interest in former Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander

According to Bleacher Report, the Brewers are now showing interest in another Detroit Tigers pitcher, Justin Verlander. Earlier this July, the Brewers were reported to have interest in Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sonny Gray. This may have changed since the Houston Astros are now being named as the team aggressively trying to acquire Gray. Verlander is the second Tigers pitcher the Brewers have been reported to have an interest in. Tigers closer Justin Wilson was the other pitcher the Brewers were rumored to be interested in earlier today.

Verlander would be under contract until after the 2019 season, one thing the Brewers organization is looking for. He is due a substantial amount of money over the rest of his career, 67 million over the next two plus seasons. Verlander, 34, is struggling this season after posting a great season last year, where he arguably should have won the Cy Young Award. He is 5-7 with an ERA of 4.54 and a WHIP of 1.47. In 117 innings this season, he has struck out 111 and walked 55 batters.

The Detroit Tigers will be looking to acquire a haul of prospects for the  six -time All-Star. The Brewers may have to give up more than the want to to acquire an aging pitcher, who hasn’t had consistent success since 2013. Brewers fans will have to wait and see what moves David Stearns and the Brewers organization make by the non-waiver trade deadline.

Report: Brewers interested in Tigers closer

The Brewers are one of three teams that have been showing interest in Detroit Tigers closer Justin Wilson, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network. The Tigers are starting to move into a “rebuilding mode” after trading veteran J.D. Martinez earlier this week. Justin Verlander as well as Wilson are other veterans the team may be parting ways with before the non-waiver trade deadline.

Wilson, 29, is in his sixth season at the major league level. He has been a reliable reliever in his career, and has recently been named a closer for the first time this season. Wilson owns a 3-4 record with a 2.75 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. In the his 36 innings of work, he has struck out 50 batters and converted 10 of 12 save opportunities.

David Stearns and the Brewers are looking to trade for valuable pitchers who would be under club control over the next few seasons. Wilson’s contract would seem to fit with what the Brewers are looking for. He would be under contract through next season if the Brewers decided to pull the trigger on a trade. Wilson is now one of three solid relief pitchers whose names have been linked to the Brewers in the last few days.

Looking ahead to the rest of July

The Milwaukee Brewers entered the All-Star Break with a 50-41 record, good enough for first place with a 5.5 game lead in the National League Central. The Brewers are on of the biggest surprises in Major League Baseball this season. They were expected to be an average team at the very best in the midst of a rebuild.  It appears that the rebuild may be further along than many people expected, which has brought excitement back to baseball fans in Wisconsin.

David Stearns is on record saying that the Brewers are expecting to be buyers at this year’s deadline. The Brewers have already been linked to pitchers such as Sonny Gray, Jose Quintana, and others. The Brewers farm system is extremely deep in the outfield and up the middle in the infield. The organization could easily unload some of those prospects, while gaining pieces to make a postseason run without selling the farm.

The non-waiver trade deadline ends this year on Tuesday, July 31st at 3 p.m. CST.

The rest of July

The Brewers start a weekend series at home with the Philadelphia Phillies after the All-Star Break on Friday, July 14th. The three pitching match-ups have already been announced. On Friday, the Brewers will go with Zach Davies (10-4) against Nick Pivetta (2-4). The Saturday game will feature Jimmy Nelson (8-4) for Milwaukee versus Aaron Nola (6-6). The series will come to an end Sunday when Matt Garza (4-4) faces Jeremy Hellickson(5-5). The Brewers should look to continue their July success as the Phillies are the worst team in baseball.

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

The team will then hit the road for a three series road trip from July 17th through July 27th. The road trip begins with a four game series in Pittsburgh against the Pirates. The second of the three series will be a three game series, once again against the Phillies. They will conclude their trip away from Miller Park with a three game series against the Washington Nationals. The Brewers will then return home to end July for a three game series with the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs are currently in second place behind the Brewers in the National League Central.

The rest of July has the Brewers scheduled to play four out of five series against teams with a record below .500. The All-Star break should allow for players like Junior Guerra and Ryan Braun to once again become healthy. Chase Anderson is also expected to come off the disabled list sometime during late July or early August.  Whether Milwaukee decides to make moves or not, they should still be hanging around the top of National League Central.

Brewers end Phillies series with 6-3 loss

PHILADELPHIA — The Milwaukee Brewers were unable to keep momentum from a win the night before, falling 6-3 in the series finale to the Philadelphia Phillies Sunday afternoon. The Brewers had just ended a season-long six-game losing streak, but came out flat in Sunday’s loss. Junior Guerra tossed four innings, allowing five earned runs on five […]

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Brewers moves: Sogard in, Broxton out

Second baseman Eric Sogard is back and centerfielder Keon Broxton is out. Those were the transactions announced Saturday by Milwaukee, which is in the midst of a season-worst six-game losing streak. Sogard had been on the disabled list with an ankle injury since early July. Before that, the 31-year-old had been one of the pleasant […]

0 comments

Report: Brewers interested in Detroit 2B Ian Kinsler

Milwaukee may be in a bit of a free fall, but the team is apparently still looking to make moves to help its chances to win the NL Central and get back to the playoffs for the first time in six years. The latest evidence comes from ESPN’s Buster Olney, who tweeted Saturday morning that […]

0 comments

Brewers losing streak reaches six games

Make it six straight losses for the Milwaukee Brewers. Manager Craig Counsell’s team couldn’t figure out Philadelphia starter Aaron Nola in a 6-1 loss on Friday night. The righty went seven innings, giving up just one run on five hits while striking out nine to earn his seventh win of the year. It continued a […]

0 comments

Report: Brewers linked to another bullpen arm

The Brewers once again are reported to have interest in another relief pitcher. This time it’s Mets closer Addison Reed according to Marc Carig, a Mets writer for Newsday. The Brewers have now been linked to half a dozen different pitchers, most being relief pitchers. Many of the reports are continuing to say that the […]

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Sonny Gray or Jose Quintana?

According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the Brewers are preparing to buy at the Trade Deadline and have begun to look into starting pitchers Sonny Gray, Jose Quintana, and others. Well Brewers fans, David Stearns has officially change his mind. The Brewers general manager originally said that the team would be sticking to the plan and continuing its rebuild until this mornings report. So who should it be? Sonny Gray? Jose Quintana? Someone else? I have seen other sources saying one of the “other” pitchers could be Toronto’s J.A. Happ.

If you look at both Gray and Quintana’s numbers, there isn’t a lot of difference between the two. Both have had good numbers on bad baseball teams their whole career. Their career ERAs both sit around 3.50, they both strikeout about the same number of batters per season, and play in the American League, which means they deal with the designated hitter.

If I’m David Stearns and got to chose which of these two I wanted, I’d be on team Quintana.  Jose Quintana, 28, is a year older than Sonny Gray,  but at the same time is six years younger than J.A. Happ. He has also been a more consistent pitcher in his career than Gray has. Quintana is in his sixth season in the big leagues and has logged over 200 innings four times in his career and is on pace to do so again this season. In comparison, Gray has only thrown over 200 innings twice in his career. Quintana has also never had a major injury in his career, while Gray has been plagued by injuries since 2015. Gray is also a smaller pitcher as he goes 5’10” and 190 pounds and smaller pitchers have had durability issues like Tim Lincecum.

Both guys would be under team control for the next two seasons. Gray is eligible for arbitration after this season for the next couple of years and should be due to make more money than his current 3.5 million dollar contract. Quintana’s contract would leave the Brewers on the hook for 8.8 million next year, and a club option for 2019 and 2020 for 10.5 million. The difference in the two salaries shouldn’t really matter as the Brewers have the lowest payroll in the MLB.

To me, Gray is the boom or bust move here. Both guys are number two starters on a pitching staff when healthy. Gray also has been dealing with nagging injuries the past couple years, but has the ceiling to be an ace in my opinion. When Gray’s been good, he’s been good, but he has been injury prone. I don’t want the Brewers to be buyers this deadline and trade away prospects for an injury prone pitcher. Quintana is the clear cut choice for me in this situation because you know what you’re getting. The Brewers would be getting a solid starting pitcher who is durable and would be a great compliment to Chase Anderson and Jimmy Nelson. Quintana has quietly finished in the top-10 in AL Cy Young voting multiple times in his career.

Report: Brewers linked to Joe Smith

Another day goes by and the non-waiver trade deadline is quickly approaching. The Brewers have once again been linked to another relief pitcher. This time it’s Joe Smith of the Toronto Blue Jays. According to the report by Ken Rosenthal, the Brewers had previously shown interest in Smith last winter, but he ultimately signed a […]

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Brewers end Phillies series with 6-3 loss

PHILADELPHIA — The Milwaukee Brewers were unable to keep momentum from a win the night before, falling 6-3 in the series finale to the Philadelphia Phillies Sunday afternoon. The Brewers had just ended a season-long six-game losing streak, but came out flat in Sunday’s loss. Junior Guerra tossed four innings, allowing five earned runs on five […]

0 comments

Brewers moves: Sogard in, Broxton out

Second baseman Eric Sogard is back and centerfielder Keon Broxton is out. Those were the transactions announced Saturday by Milwaukee, which is in the midst of a season-worst six-game losing streak. Sogard had been on the disabled list with an ankle injury since early July. Before that, the 31-year-old had been one of the pleasant […]

0 comments

Report: Brewers interested in Detroit 2B Ian Kinsler

Milwaukee may be in a bit of a free fall, but the team is apparently still looking to make moves to help its chances to win the NL Central and get back to the playoffs for the first time in six years. The latest evidence comes from ESPN’s Buster Olney, who tweeted Saturday morning that […]

0 comments

Brewers losing streak reaches six games

Make it six straight losses for the Milwaukee Brewers. Manager Craig Counsell’s team couldn’t figure out Philadelphia starter Aaron Nola in a 6-1 loss on Friday night. The righty went seven innings, giving up just one run on five hits while striking out nine to earn his seventh win of the year. It continued a […]

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In David Stearns the Brewers should trust

The All-Star break is quickly approaching and the Milwaukee Brewers currently sit atop the National League Central standings. This has led to two different camps of Brewers fans. One camp wants the Brewers to stay patient and stick to the rebuild, while the other wants the Brewers to go for it and win now. Whether you’re in the rebuild or win now camp, every Brewers fan should believe in David Stearns.

Stearns has been nothing but brilliant as the Brewers general manager since being hired in September of 2015. You can count on one hand the “bad” moves he has made. On the other hand, you would need more than a few hands to count all the “good” moves (pun intended). Arguably, Stearns hasn’t lost one trade he has made in his short tenure with the Brewers. Whether Stearns and the Brewers decide to buy or sell at the deadline, the team should be in a good place as Stearns should continue to make the best possible moves.

Personally, I think the Brewers should continue to make small waiver wire moves to improve the current team, but shouldn’t abandon the rebuild.  Stearns has been adamant lately saying that he won’t abandon the teams rebuild.  Brewers owner Mark Attanasio has made statements recently giving his blessing to Stearns if he wanted to “go for it” this season. Attanasio has never been shy about trying to build a winner since buying the Brewers.

Trade History

Here is a list of the trades that David Stearns has made since being named the Brewers GM.

Notable Trades in 2015

Traded Francisco Rodriguez  to the Detroit Tigers for Javier Betancourt and Manny Pina  to the Brewers to complete the trade. Betancourt is currently in Double-A while Pina is contributing in the major leagues.

(AP Photo/Tom Lynn)

Traded Cy Sneed to the Houston Astros for Jonathan Villar. Sneed has spent the last two seasons in Double-A and hasn’t had an ERA better than 4.00, while Villar had a breakout season last year, but has struggled so far this season.

Traded Adam Lind to the Seattle Mariners  for Carlos Herrera, Daniel Missaki  and Freddy Peralta. Lind is no longer with the Mariners while Herrera and Missaki are no longer in the Brewers organization. Freddy Peralta is currently the 19th rated prospect in the Brewers system and is currently in Double-A.

Traded Jason Rogers to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Trey Supak and Keon Broxton. Rogers is currently in Triple-A for the Pirates. Supak is top-30 ranked prospect in the Brewers farm system and Broxton is starting at the major league level.

2016

Traded Jean Segura and Tyler Wagner to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Isan Diaz , Chase Anderson, Aaron Hill, and cash. Jean Segura is no longer with Arizaon and Wagner is still in Triple-A with the ERA over 7.00. Chase Anderson has really come into his own for the Brewers and has been a bright spot on the pitching staff. Hill was later used in a future trade with the Boston Red Sox. Isan Diaz is currently the the Brewers fifth rated prospect and having a good offensive season. 

Traded Khris Davis  to the Oakland Athletics for Bubba Derby  and Jacob Nottingham. Davis has went on to hit over 40 homeruns last season for the A’s and is on pace to do so again this season. Jacob Nottingham is currently rated 14th in the Brewers farm system and gave the Brewers a coveted catching prospect. Derby has been up and down between Double and Triple-A, but has had an ERA sub three with the Crew.

Traded Jeremy Jeffress and Jonathan Lucry to the Texas Rangers for Luis Ortiz and Lewis Brinson and Ryan Cordell. Jeremy Jeffress has struggled this season not only on the field, but off the field as well. After staying sober and making a name for himself with Milwaukee he was cited with a DUI in Texas. Lucroy has also struggled and has been rumored to be on the trading block this deadline. Luis Ortiz is currently  ranked fourth best prospect for the Brewers and is having a decent season in Double-A. Lewis Brinson is the Brewers top prospect and has already had some big league experience this season. Ryan Cordell the 16th best propect for the Crew and is currently in Triple-A and on the Brewers 40 man roster.  

Traded Will Smith to the San Francisco Giants for Phil Bickford  and Andrew Susac. Will Smith has yet to pitch for the Giants as he’s been on the DL all season. Bickford also hasn’t pitched this season for multiple reasons, but is the Brewers 12th ranked prospect. Susac has provided depth to the Brewers catching situation.

Traded Tyler Thornburg to the Boston Red Sox for Mauricio Dubon, Josh Pennington, Yeison Coca and Travis Shaw. Thornburg has yet to pitch for the Boston this season due to injury. Dubon is a Brewers top prospect and playing in the All-Star Futures game, Pennington and Coca are currently top-30 prospects for the Brewers and the Mayor of Ding Dong City (Shaw) is raking for the Crew.

Traded Martin Maldonado to the Los Angeles Angels for Jett Bandy. Maldonado and Bandy have both been back-up catchers for both of their respective teams mostly all season.

Notable Claims/Signings

Junior Guerra

Hernan Perez

Chris Carter

Eric Thames

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Carlos Torres

Paolo Espino

Eric Sogard

Neftali Feliz

Jesus Aguilar

Brewers end Phillies series with 6-3 loss

PHILADELPHIA — The Milwaukee Brewers were unable to keep momentum from a win the night before, falling 6-3 in the series finale to the Philadelphia Phillies Sunday afternoon. The Brewers had just ended a season-long six-game losing streak, but came out flat in Sunday’s loss. Junior Guerra tossed four innings, allowing five earned runs on five […]

0 comments

Brewers moves: Sogard in, Broxton out

Second baseman Eric Sogard is back and centerfielder Keon Broxton is out. Those were the transactions announced Saturday by Milwaukee, which is in the midst of a season-worst six-game losing streak. Sogard had been on the disabled list with an ankle injury since early July. Before that, the 31-year-old had been one of the pleasant […]

0 comments

Report: Brewers interested in Detroit 2B Ian Kinsler

Milwaukee may be in a bit of a free fall, but the team is apparently still looking to make moves to help its chances to win the NL Central and get back to the playoffs for the first time in six years. The latest evidence comes from ESPN’s Buster Olney, who tweeted Saturday morning that […]

0 comments

Brewers losing streak reaches six games

Make it six straight losses for the Milwaukee Brewers. Manager Craig Counsell’s team couldn’t figure out Philadelphia starter Aaron Nola in a 6-1 loss on Friday night. The righty went seven innings, giving up just one run on five hits while striking out nine to earn his seventh win of the year. It continued a […]

0 comments

Report: Brewers linked to another bullpen arm

The Brewers once again are reported to have interest in another relief pitcher. This time it’s Mets closer Addison Reed according to Marc Carig, a Mets writer for Newsday. The Brewers have now been linked to half a dozen different pitchers, most being relief pitchers. Many of the reports are continuing to say that the […]

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Brewers claim All-Star catcher off waivers

David Stearns is back at it in the Brewers front office scouring the waiver wire. He claimed yet another player off of waivers yesterday, while the Brewers finished up their series with the Atlanta Braves with a 7-0 win. Catcher Stephen Vogt was the player claimed off of waivers from the Oakland Athletics. Vogt, 32, was an AL All-Star for the A’s in 2015 and 2016, but has seen his production fall so far this season. He was batting .217 with four home runs and 20 runs batted in this season before being designated for assignment by the Athletics.

Milwaukee Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado, left, tags out Oakland Athletics' Stephen Vogt in a seventh-inning rundown during a baseball game Tuesday, June 21, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Why I like this move

I absolutely love this move by the Brewers front office! Jett Bandy has been struggling since May and has seen his batting average drop over one hundred points since then. Bandy also had one option left on his contract, so the Brewers could demote him to Triple-A Colorado Springs without having to place him on waivers. This move now allows them have four major league caliber catchers within the organization in Manny Pina, Andrew Susac, Bandy, and now Stephen Vogt.

Vogt also carries a team friendly deal, as he is making just under three million dollars a year. The Brewers will also have three more years of control of Vogt as he is under contract until 2020. The amount and length of his contract are perfect for the Brewers. He’s a cheap contract in the prime of his career until the end of his deal. Vogt has been  thought of as a good offensive and defensive catcher throughout his career in the major leagues.

A change in scenery could be just what the doctor ordered for Vogt. He’s been with Oakland for the past five seasons and hasn’t been to the postseason since 2013. He will also bring more veteran leadership to a young Brewers team. Vogt was previously teammates with Eric Sogard. Sogard has had nothing but good things to say about Vogt since the news of his acquisition. The change in scenery should allow for Vogt to get his offense back on track, as Miller park is by far a more hitter friendly park than is the Oakland Coliseum.

Overall, this was a cheap move that could really benefit the Brewers ball club in every aspect of the game. Vogt should help the Brewers offensively and defensively as well as bring another veteran voice to the team. Once again, Stearns has shown that he can make a low-risk move with high ceiling potential.

Brewers moves: Sogard in, Broxton out

Second baseman Eric Sogard is back and centerfielder Keon Broxton is out. Those were the transactions announced Saturday by Milwaukee, which is in the midst of a season-worst six-game losing streak. Sogard had been on the disabled list with an ankle injury since early July. Before that, the 31-year-old had been one of the pleasant […]

0 comments

Report: Brewers interested in Detroit 2B Ian Kinsler

Milwaukee may be in a bit of a free fall, but the team is apparently still looking to make moves to help its chances to win the NL Central and get back to the playoffs for the first time in six years. The latest evidence comes from ESPN’s Buster Olney, who tweeted Saturday morning that […]

0 comments

Brewers losing streak reaches six games

Make it six straight losses for the Milwaukee Brewers. Manager Craig Counsell’s team couldn’t figure out Philadelphia starter Aaron Nola in a 6-1 loss on Friday night. The righty went seven innings, giving up just one run on five hits while striking out nine to earn his seventh win of the year. It continued a […]

0 comments

Report: Brewers linked to another bullpen arm

The Brewers once again are reported to have interest in another relief pitcher. This time it’s Mets closer Addison Reed according to Marc Carig, a Mets writer for Newsday. The Brewers have now been linked to half a dozen different pitchers, most being relief pitchers. Many of the reports are continuing to say that the […]

0 comments

Brewers lose again, lead in NL Central down to one game

PITTSBURGH | In a span of a week, the Brewers have seen their lead in the NL Central go from 5 1/2 games to just one over the Cubs. Chicago has won six straight. Milwaukee has lost 5 in a row after a 4-2 loss in Pittsburgh Thursday afternoon. Brewers pitcher Jimmy Nelson didn’t have […]

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The Brewers need to continue to search for bullpen pieces

The Milwaukee Brewers have reportedly signed relief pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen to a minor league deal after he was released by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Wilhelmsen was previously drafted by the Brewers but injuries and drug issues derailed his time with the organization. He did have some solid seasons with the Seattle Mariners, where he saved 53 games between 2012-2013.  The Diamondbacks are paying most of his contract for the remaining of his season with the Brewers. If he doesn’t work out, it wont really affect the Brewers payroll. This isn’t a big-time move, but it’s the type of move the Brewers need to continue to make.

The organization’s rebuild is obviously ahead of schedule. The Brewers shouldn’t be going “all-in” on this season just because they are contending in the National League Central. They shouldn’t be selling off big name prospects in order to land a solid pitcher. Being a “buyer” at the deadline to try to make a playoff push could compromise the farm system. It’s a top-rated farm system that  David Stearns  has worked hard to bolster the past two seasons. That doesn’t mean that Stearns shouldn’t continue to make moves or small-time deals to try to improve the current team. He should continue to search free agency as well as the waiver wire to try to find serviceable arms for the Brewers bullpen.

Recent Moves

Former Brewers general manager Doug Melvin as well as Stearns have already shown that they can find players to help the team win. Lots of players currently on the Brewers roster have been waiver wire, minor league, or small signing deals. Some of the players who have been claimed off of waivers by the Brewers in the past few years are, Hernan Perez, Junior Guerra, Jesus Aguilar, Nick Franklin, and Oliver Drake. Other small signings that have occurred the last couple years are Eric Sogard, Jared Hughes, and Paolo Espino. Obviously not all of the moves the Brewers have made have worked out, but the majority has.

(AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Neftali Feliz definitely didn’t work out for the Brewers and was designated for assignment and ultimately released by the team. The team has also gotten rid of Rob Scahill, Jhan Marinez, and Tommy Milone, all of who weren’t able to get the job done this season.  If I was in the Brewers front office I would definitely be designating a few more relievers for assignment (DFA).

Proposed Moves

The first guy I’d have to start with is Wily Peralta. At the beginning of the season, I was all for giving him as many opportunities as possible. I was just hoping he could get back to his 2014 form.  After watching the Pirates game on Monday night, I’ve seen enough. He needs to go. Another reliever that needs to be DFA’d would be Oliver Drake. He was a veteran given another chance to potentially make the team, but in my opinion hasn’t done enough to deserve a spot in the bullpen. I may be in the minority on this one, but I’d be willing to give Carlos Torres a little more leash after the success he showed last season. The Brewers should continue to give veteran pitchers like Wilhelmsen, who have had success at the major league level a chance.

 

The absolute worst case scenario would be that the Brewers never end up finding any guys that can really come in and anchor down the bullpen, but that would leave them back to square one.  The Brewers already have the lowest payroll in baseball, so the addition of minimal salaries shouldn’t greatly affect it or their willingness to sign players. And we all know how bad Brewers owner Mark Anttanasio wants to win. I think he would be for whatever move may help the Brewers contend now and in the future. Going after more low-risk relief pitchers  would be the best way for the organization to go about trying to win now as well as keep the farm system in tact and not derail the future.

Brewers moves: Sogard in, Broxton out

Second baseman Eric Sogard is back and centerfielder Keon Broxton is out. Those were the transactions announced Saturday by Milwaukee, which is in the midst of a season-worst six-game losing streak. Sogard had been on the disabled list with an ankle injury since early July. Before that, the 31-year-old had been one of the pleasant […]

0 comments

Report: Brewers interested in Detroit 2B Ian Kinsler

Milwaukee may be in a bit of a free fall, but the team is apparently still looking to make moves to help its chances to win the NL Central and get back to the playoffs for the first time in six years. The latest evidence comes from ESPN’s Buster Olney, who tweeted Saturday morning that […]

0 comments

Brewers losing streak reaches six games

Make it six straight losses for the Milwaukee Brewers. Manager Craig Counsell’s team couldn’t figure out Philadelphia starter Aaron Nola in a 6-1 loss on Friday night. The righty went seven innings, giving up just one run on five hits while striking out nine to earn his seventh win of the year. It continued a […]

0 comments

Why Brewer Bullpen Woes are “OK”

The Brewers took a 5-0 lead into the top of the ninth inning last night at Miller Park. It was a game in which manager Craig Counsell was hoping not to have to use his closer Corey Knebel or his setup man Jacob Barnes. Of course the first four Giant batters reached base against reliever Carlos Torres and Counsell was left with no choice but to bring in his closer to finish out the game. Barnes and Knebel have been used quite a bit  already this year for the Brewers. They won’t be able to sustain this type of heavy use without consequences to the bullpen or their individual performance.

Why it’s OK

If the Brewer offense continues to hit and score runs at this pace, the Brewers will  be in these situations where they will be relying on their bullpen to close out games. Fans should expect to see more collapses because this team isn’t built to win now. The Brewers bullpen is a mix of young power arms and a number of veteran pitchers trying to extend their careers.

Either way, this is not a bullpen that is meant to help the Brewers compete and contend for a playoff position this year. This is a squad which is set up to get the Brewers through the season and potentially help them land more prospects in deals with teams looking to add a veteran arm for a postseason run. Neftali Feliz, Oliver Drake, and Rob Scahill weren’t added to the roster this season to get the Brewers over the hump, but with the hope that they pitched well enough so Milwaukee can  flip them for prospects by the trade deadline.

The Astros

The Brewers are in the midst of a rebuild despite the fact that some fans believe they should be trying to win now. Even general manager David Stearns isn’t falling into this  win now trap. Stearns has said all the right things about how he is going to stick to his plan and that’s why the Brewers are somewhat competitive now. The Brewers rebuild to a point resembles what the Houston Astros rebuild looked like. This makes sense since Stearns was an assistant GM with the Astros during that time.

The Astros strategy was to unload all their talent AKA Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, and Hunter Pence to name a few players and to acquire as many prospects as possible. They also started cutting payroll to an extremely low amount, which enabled them to “tank” and obtain top draft picks. The next piece to the Houston rebuild was to grow as much pitching as possible from the minor leagues.  The Astros acquired the rest of the arms that were needed by way of trades or free agency. This strategy has worked out pretty well for the Astros, as they have become a competitive playoff team and the best team in baseball this season with a record of 42-17.

Brewers Rebuild

Back to the Brewers. They have traded most of their valuable pieces outside of Ryan Braun and have picked inside the top-ten in the draft the last two seasons. They have also cut down their payroll to just under 64 million dollars this season, which ranks dead last in Major League Baseball for team salary. Matt Garza and Ryan Braun account for over 53% of the team’s payroll this season. With Garza’s contract over at the end of the season and Braun potentially being a piece in trade talks, the payroll could be significantly lower next season. The last thing a team who isn’t considered a “contender” needs is to spend its money on a good bullpen.

It doesn’t make sense for a team that doesn’t see itself as a playoff contender to spend money on a bullpen that isn’t going to be relied on  because the logic behind it is that there isn’t going to be a large number of games that they are going to be needed in. So why spend the money? Going out and building a good bullpen should be the last thing a contender should go out and do. It’s also easier to build a good bullpen once you have other pieces. Once you have a good product on the field you can go out and sign a high profile reliever, take a risk on a solid reliever or two coming off an injury or an abnormal year. Teams also aren’t  afraid to pull up young arms from the minor league system because the future is already here.

Looking to the Future

The Brewers and especially Brewer fans need to stay patient and believe in the process that David Stearns has laid out and stood by these past couple years. Milwaukee has a ton of high ceiling prospects as well as some good young talent at the Major League level. The team has been really competitive the first 10 weeks of the season and fans shouldn’t be deterred by the lack of success by the bullpen. Brewer fans should take the good with the bad this season and just embrace this team for what it is… A young exciting team to watch in the midst of a rebuild.

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)