With Jimmy Nelson out for most of the 2018 season and Matt Garza gone, the Milwaukee Brewers need Starting Pitching and have the prospects to get it.
The Milwaukee Brewers have a good problem on their hands. They have too many quality prospects and not nearly enough room for them all.
The Crew also are relatively young and well set up at most of their positions on the MLB roster. With this in mind, the Brewers should be aggressive in moving these prospects for top-line pitching this offseason.
There have been reports about the Brewers being in on the top free agents Lance Lynn and Jake Arrieta. These guys could help the rotation out, but they won’t come cheap and will undoubtedly require multi-year deals.
So, to get some top line pitching the Brewers should start thinning their outfield prospects out. With Lewis Brinson, Brett Phillips, Monte Harrison, Trent Clark, Tristen Lutz, and Corey Ray all in the system, the Brewers can absolutely afford to move a few of these guys.
Phillips was the only one who had major league success last season, but Harrison had himself an excellent fall league campaign that followed a 20/20 season between two minor league levels.
Corey Ray’s and Trent Clark’s value has probably never been lower, but that doesn’t mean they still aren’t valuable trade chips. They were once top prospects who have time to bounce back.
David Stearns and company need to sit down and seriously discuss what level pitcher they are looking for on the roster. A guy like Chris Archer will undoubtedly cost them at least Harrison, and probably Brinson.
Trading a blue-chip prospect like Lewis Brinson would be very hard to swallow, but if he’s in the right deal, the Brewers should pull the trigger. Brett Phillips has a bright future, and he platooned with Keon Broxton is a solid center field combo.
With Domingo Santana being so young, the Brewers don’t have a big need for MLB outfield help. Sure, Ryan Braun is getting older, but the Brewers should probably have their eye on one of these guys to replace him.
Behind outfield talent, the Milwaukee Brewers also have an abundance of middle infield talent. We saw Isan Diaz explode in Single-A after he was brought over in the Jean Segura trade with Arizona. He was the organizational player of the year in 2016, before hitting a slump in 2017.
The Milwaukee Brewers also have the big hitting 2017 first round pick Keston Hiura in their system. Keston tore up the rookie league before being promoted to Single-A Appleton, where he also hit the cover off the ball. Keston has had problems with his elbow which hurt his draft stock, but that looks to be behind him.
Last but not least is the former Red Sox prospect Mauricio Dubon. He was brought over in the infamous Tyler Thornburg trade. Dubon was excellent at AA Biloxi, before getting a promotion to Colorado Springs. He’s probably a season or so out from the Major League level, as he is only 22 years old. Dubon is seen as a utility man, but his primary position is second or short.
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So as can be seen, the Brew Crew have a plethora of young talent, with not many open positions.
The goal of the Minor Leagues is to supplement and help the MLB roster. There’s no way all these kids can come up and contribute as Brewers.
Stearns has been bullish on moving Lew Brinson, which is completely understandable. Brinson is a super talent and should have a high price tag.
However, with Phillip’s solid 2017 MLB stint, Brinson becomes more expendable.
The second Hiura was drafted Diaz became expendable. With Arcia at short for the next ten years (hopefully), the Brewers have no need there.
WIth an average to below average platoon of Sogard and Villar at second, there will be help needed in the future. Dubon could be the guy, but Hiura should be the long-term top dog there.
So, before David Stearns reaches out and signs one of the top free agents, he needs to take a long look at his minor league talent. Lewis Brinson and Isan Diaz might be a good start to get the Milwaukee Brewers ace for the next number of years.