The New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers have swapped the underutilized Tyler Webb and Garrett Cooper.
As the All-Star Break comes to a close, the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers have struck a deal that will exchange players who seemingly lacked a role at their current organization, as Matt Snyder of CBS Sports reports. The Yankees sent left-handed reliever Tyler Webb to the Brewers, with Triple-A first baseman Garrett Cooper comprising the return.
Although the trade does not involve top-tier players by any measure, it is still noteworthy for what it accomplished. Both Webb and Cooper lacked clear-cut paths to major-league success with their old teams. Now, both teams are a little bit stronger, and the players look to gain larger roles.
For the New York Yankees, this transaction should work to shore-up their first base situation. With Greg Bird still injured, Garrett Cooper could make an immediate impact at that position. He would likely serve as the right-handed half of a platoon with Ji-Man Choi, per Snyder’s analysis.
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It certainly seems that the 26-year-old is up to the task. After splitting last season between Double and Triple-A, the first baseman has absolutely raked this season with the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate. Cooper owns a .366 batting average alongside a .652 slugging percentage, all while limiting strikeouts to a healthy 15 percent of plate appearances. One possible area for concern is that his 17 home runs are much elevated from past performances, suggesting that he could be in-store for some regression.
As for the Milwaukee Brewers, the addition of Tyler Webb will bring a much-needed lefty into their bullpen. Prior to the trade, the team only had one lefty in their ‘pen, Josh Hader. Although Hader has pitched masterfully in limited work this season and likely has a bright future ahead, he has traditionally pitched from the starting rotation in the minor leagues.
Webb has not played well this season, although he has only made seven appearances thus far. Given his past success in the minor leagues, it is highly probable that he will improve with his new team. The lefty does not exactly come armed with a rocket launcher, but he has shown an ability to work with a low-90s fastball and an above-average changeup. He even has a decent curveball to mix things up a bit, as Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs wrote.
Regardless of the caliber of either player, both teams managed to turn fairly useless assets into much-needed relief. It is unlikely that either the Yankees or the Brewers have stumbled onto a future All-Star, but that was never their intention. Both teams had holes, and now they each have one fewer.