Recap: Brewers July trades

Brewers  general manager David Stearns remained active all the way up to the deadline and ended up pulling off three trades in July. The Brewers made one trade today before the non-waiver trade deadline, which passed at 3 p.m. CST. Stearns acquired talent without mortgaging the organization’s farm system. He made trades with lower-rated prospects or from a position of depth within the minor leagues.

 

Trade Recaps

July 13th

The Brewers acquired left-handed relief pitcher Tyler Webb for Triple-A first basemen Garrett Cooper. Tyler Webb is currently in Triple-A Colorado Springs after posting a 0-0 record with a 9.00 ERA and a 3.15 WHIP in two appearances with the Brewers in Mid-July. He threw two innings and gave up two runs, including a grand slam to the first batter he faced as a Brewer.

July 26th

The Brewers acquired right-handed pitcher Anthony Swarzak for their 17th ranked outfield prospect Ryan Cordell. Cordell was playing at Triple-A Colorado Springs, but Stearns and the Brewers felt like he was expendable due to the crowded outfield in the Brewers farm system. Swarzak has pitched two innings so far for the Brewers and has allowed one hit, a home run versus the Chicago Cubs. He has also struck out two batters.

July 31st

The Brewers acquired right-handed pitcher Jeremy Jeffress for Double-A relief pitcher Tayler Scott. Jeffress played three seasons for the Brewers from 2014-16 and was a valuable set-up man and closer. He was ultimately traded in the Jonathan Lucroy deal in which the Brewers acquired Lewis Brinson, Luis Ortiz, and Ryan Cordell last summer. Jeffress has struggled with the Rangers, posting a 1-2 record with a 5.31 ERA. He has struggled with drug and alcohol issues in the past, and didn’t want to leave Milwaukee last season because of the good support-system he had there. The Brewers hope he can return to his old form.

David Stearns acquired the talent he could without hurting the organization’s future all the way up to the non-waiver trade deadline, but don’t expect the Brewers to be quiet in August. Stearns expects to be busy looking for quality deals in the month of August during the waiver trade deadline that expires at the end of the month.

Brewers reacquire pitcher Jeremy Jeffress from Rangers

MILWAUKEE | The Milwaukee Brewers have reacquired right-handed pitcher Jeremy Jeffress from the Texas Rangers in exchange for
right-handed pitcher Tayler Scott. To make room for Jeffress on the 40-man roster, outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis was designated for assignment.
The announcement was made by General Manager David Stearns.
Jeffress, 29, returns for his third stint with Milwaukee (also 2010 and 2014-16). He was traded by Milwaukee to Texas last August 1 as part
of a five-player deal (Lucroy trade). He was originally selected by the Brewers in the first round (16th overall) of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.
Jeffress is 13-6 with a 3.31 ERA and 28 saves in 249 career relief appearances with Milwaukee (2010, 2014-16), Kansas City (2011-12),
Toronto (2013-14) and Texas (2016-17), including 1-2 with a 5.31 ERA in 39 appearances this season. He has gone 9-3 with a 2.38 ERA and 27
saves in 158 games as a Brewer. He served as the closer in 2016 prior to being traded to Texas, converting 27 of 28 save opportunities.
Scott, 25, signed with Milwaukee as a free agent on July 4, 2016. He went 4-6 with a 2.34 ERA and 2 saves in 42 relief appearances at
Double-A Biloxi this season.

Gomez, Lucroy get 6-4 win over former team

ARLINGTON, Tex. — The bats of Texas Rangers outfielder Carlos Gomez and catcher Jonathan Lucroy helped defeat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-4 Tuesday night.

Gomez had a three-run home run in the third inning and Lucroy provided the go-ahead run with a two-RBI double against their former team. Their efforts secured the win and also the No. 1 seed in the American League as they look for home-field advantage in the postseason.

“I haven’t been here all year, but the short time I have been here the fans have been great, so I think they deserve it,” Lucroy said. “I think it gives us a distinct advantage. Anytime you play a playoff series at home, that’s going to be an advantage for any team. The first step was clinching, the second step is obviously getting home-field advantage.”

Brewers pitcher Jimmy Nelson bore the brunt of Texas’ offense, getting tagged for five earned runs over 5 1/3 innings. He’s now 8-16 on the year with a 4.62 ERA.

Milwaukee’s bats put them in a position to win early, jumping out to a 3-0 lead thanks to Chris Carter and Manny Piña home runs. Again, it was the inability to string hits together that cost Milwaukee the win. They held a 10-7 advantage in terms of hits in the game.

Brewers trade Jonathan Lucroy, Jeremy Jeffress to Texas

Jonathan Lucroy’s pinch hitting appearance in Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh, one that saw him get a standing ovation from fans at Miller Park, proved to be his final act as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.

After vetoing a trade late Sunday morning that would have sent him to Cleveland, the veteran catcher was shipped off to the Texas Rangers just before the 3 p.m. trade deadline on Monday. And he wasn’t alone. Closer Jeremy Jeffress was also part of the deal, bringing his second stint with the club to an end.

In return, the Brewers were able to beef up their farm system by adding a pair of top 75 prospects. Outfielder Lewis Brinson is rated No. 21 in MLB.com’s mid-season rankings, while the other player acquired, right-handed pitcher Luis Ortiz, is rated No. 63. Add in Phil Bickford, who the Brewers received in exchange for trading Will Smith earlier in the day to San Francisco, and Milwaukee now has eight players rated in the top 76 of the rankings.

“While it is extremely difficult to part with players the caliber of Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress, we are excited to add more young and talented players to the organization as we continue to build toward future winning seasons in Milwaukee,” first-year general manager David Stearns said in a statement.

The moving of Lucroy is the end of an era for a guy that has known only Milwaukee. The Brewers took in him the third round of the 2007 draft, and since coming to the majors in 2010, he’s hit 79 home runs and has 387 RBI’s.

“Thank you Brewers fans for everything! Nothing but love and respect from our family,” Lucroy tweeted. “You will always have a special place in our hearts!”

Veteran Martin Maldonado will take over Lucroy’s every day catching duties.

Jonathan Lucroy nixes trade to Cleveland

Turns out Jonathan Lucroy won’t be going to Cleveland after all.

As first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Brewers catcher exercised the limited no-trade clause in his contract, vetoing the move that would have sent him to the Indians in exchange for four minor league prospects. Cleveland was one of eight teams that Lucroy had on his no-trade list.

Jeff Passan with Yahoo Sports tweeted that Lucroy wanted the Indians to “rip up [the] 2017 club option to get him to waive [his] no-trade clause.” Had they done that, it would have made Lucroy a free agent after this season, and Cleveland apparently wasn’t willing to give up the prospects they did and potentially get just two months out of him.

David Stearns, Milwaukee’s first-year general manager, told reporters Sunday morning that there was no way to rework the trade with Cleveland and the team will move on.

The Indians were said to be among numerous teams interested in the 30-year-old Lucroy, who’s batting .300 with 50 RBI’s and 13 home runs this year. The suitors for Lucroy, the lone Milwaukee all-star this season, included the New York Mets, Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers.

This is the second year in a row that a trade involving the Brewers was thought to be a done deal only to come apart at the end. Last year, Milwaukee was getting ready to ship centerfielder Carlos Gomez to the Mets for a pair of players, but at the last minute Sandy Alderson, New York’s general manager, called it off over financial issues. Gomez was eventually traded to Houston.

The trade deadline is Monday afternoon, and it’s unclear if the Brewers can or want to put together a deal with another team before then.

“If something compels us to make a move between now and 3 p.m. tomorrow, we’ll do so,” Stearns told reporters.

Lucroy is out of the lineup for a second-straight day as the Brewers go for a three-game sweep of the Pirates on Sunday afternoon.

Report: Brewers send Jonathan Lucroy to the Indians

After what seemed like years of discussing Jonathan Lucroy, and whether the Milwaukee Brewers would trade the catcher, the team has reportedly pulled the trigger, sending the 30-year-old to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for multiple prospects.

Lucroy was one of the most sought-after players on the trade market and reportedly had multiple teams vying for his services on top of Cleveland, including the New York Mets and Texas Rangers. Batting .300 with 50 RBI’s and 13 home runs, Lucroy’s arrival in Northeast Ohio should help the Indians overcome the loss of veteran Yan Gomes, who went down with an injured shoulder in early July.

On the Brewers end, they managed to grab four prospects out of Cleveland’s farm system. That includes catcher Francisco Mejia, shortstop Yu-Cheng Chang and outfielder Greg Allen. According to MLB.com, all three rank among the top 25 players in the organization, with the headliner being Mejia.

The 20-year-old is ranked sixth on the list and is currently in the midst of a 42-game hitting streak with Cleveland’s single A affiliate. Over the streak, the switch-hitting Mejia is batting .385 with eight home runs and 37 RBI’s.

This is the second year in a row that Milwaukee has moved one of their better players in order to invest in the future. A season ago, it was centerfielder Carlos Gomez and pitcher Mike Fiers being sent to the Houston Astros in exchange for prospects that were ranked similarly to Milwaukee’s haul in this deal.

With talks intensifying earlier on Saturday, Lucroy was held out of Milwaukee’s 5-3 win over Pittsburgh as a precaution.

Francisco Liriano fans 13 Brewers in a 5-3 Pirates win

The Milwaukee Brewers had no answer for Francisco Liriano on Thursday night as the lefty piled up 13 strikeouts in a 5-3 win for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

After struggling to a 1-6 record over his last nine starts, Liriano was nearly perfect against Milwaukee. He made it 6 2/3 innings, giving up just one run in his first six innings before the Brewers were able to score a pair in the seventh, including one that was charged to the veteran. Every Milwaukee starter had at least one strikeout and four of them went down two times. It was a season-high total for Liriano, who improved to 6-9 on the year.

Milwaukee didn’t get the same effort from their starter. Matt Garza got dinged up for five runs over five innings of work to fall to 1-4. He gave up a three-run home run in the first inning to Matt Joyce, and the Pirates tacked on a run in the third and fourth innings. The 32-year-old’s ERA now sits at a career-high 5.94.

Jonathan Villar managed to hit his seventh home run of the year, while Hernan Perez and Scooter Gennett each added RBI’s for Milwaukee.

The game marked the end of a six-game road trip, one that the Brewers managed just a 2-4 record on. They’ll head back to Milwaukee to open a 10-game homestand starting with the Chicago Cubs on Friday night.

Note:

Catcher Jonathan Lucroy, the subject of numerous trade rumors, was not in the lineup for the Brewers on Thursday. Manager Craig Counsell said there was nothing to read into regarding the veteran, and that he was just given a day off for rest. Lucroy did go 0-1 as a pinch-hitter for Milwaukee in the later stages of the game.

Jonathan Lucroy powers the Brewers past Pittsburgh

Jonathan Lucroy may be playing his final games for Milwaukee, but that uncertainty didn’t impact his performance in the Brewers’ 9-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.

The veteran catcher drove in three runs over his last two at-bats, the first a single that scored Jonathan Villar and Hernan Perez in the sixth inning, and then a sacrifice-fly in the eighth to give the Brewers their final margin of victory.

Chris Carter and Scooter Gennett each added a pair of RBI’s for Milwaukee to help snap a two-game losing streak. Ryan Braun chalked up two hits and scored three times.

The offense, which produced 12 hits and nine walks, allowed Milwaukee overcome another short outing by Chase Anderson. He made it just four innings, giving up three runs on six hits. He hasn’t made it more than five innings in his last six starts. And though he snapped a four-game losing streak, Anderson still hasn’t won a game since June 8 and stands at 4-10 on the year.

Milwaukee will go for the series win tonight, with first pitch at 6:10 p.m.

Trade rumors pick up speed

With the August 1 trade deadline approaching, the rumors around Lucroy continue to grow. ESPN reported yesterday that the Brewers were in talks with the Cleveland Indians about Lucroy in the wake of losing starter Yan Gomes to a shoulder injury.

Lucroy is batting .305 with 12 home runs and 48 RBI’s and is among the better players available on the trade market.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the Indians are also interested in getting some relief help, and the Brewers duo of Jeremy Jeffress and Will Smith could be intriguing for them.

Reds beat Brewers on passed ball

CINCINNATI — Milwaukee Brewers starter Zach Davies returned to throw seven scoreless innings, but a pitch from Will Smith that got past Jonathan Lucroy allowed Cincinnati Reds speedster Billy Hamilton to score from third base for a 1-0 walk-off win.

After being called up from Triple A Colorado Springs where he spent the All-Star break, Davies lasted seven innings, striking out five Reds batters. But Dan Straily was equally dominant, striking out four in his seven innings of shutout baseball. When it came down to the bullpen though, that’s when Milwaukee faltered.

Will Smith entered the game in the ninth inning with two outs and Billy Hamilton on first base. After walking his first batter and Hamilton stealing third, Smith faced Jay Bruce. The game-deciding pitch was low and got away from catcher Jonathan Lucroy with enough time for the speedy center fielder to seal the game with a 1-0 victory.

Lucroy pinned the loss on himself as Milwaukee regroups with an off-day on Monday before heading to Pittsburgh to begin a series with the Pirates Tuesday night at 6:05.

Lucroy singles in only plate appearance of All-Star Game

SAN DIEGO — Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy singled in his only at-bat in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at Petco Park.

Lucroy entered the game in the seventh inning, representing the National League All-Stars and already trailing 4-2 to the American League. With nobody on base, Lucroy ripped a single off New York Yankees reliever Andrew Miller to give him a perfect 3-for-3 performance in All-Star Game at-bats. Lucroy went 2-for-2 in 2014’s Midsummer Classic.

San Francisco Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto took the loss for the National League, allowing five hits and three earned runs over his one and 2/3 innings of work. The American League was paced by Kansas City Royals first baseman Erik Hosmer, who went 2-for-3 with a two-run home run in the second inning. The AL would win the 87th All-Star Game 4-2, taking the contest for the third straight year.