Grading NL Central front offices at midway point of 2024 MLB season

Tampa Bay Rays v Pittsburgh Pirates
Tampa Bay Rays v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin Berl/GettyImages
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Milwaukee Brewers: Matt Arnold, senior vice president and general manager. Grade: C

When the Brewers traded their pitching ace, Corbin Burnes, to Baltimore over the winter, it looked like an early surrender. Not so fast. Considering that Arnold’s goal in that deal was long-term gain, the fact that the trade to date has only cost Milwaukee -0.5 WAA short-term makes it arguably something close to a win already.

Arnold’s front office has made 36 personnel moves to date – one of the highest totals in MLB – of which 15 have been positive, 17 negative and four neutral. Two stand out.

The Baltimore deal cost them Burnes and his +1.4 WAA, but brought back third baseman Joey Ortiz,  a .269 hitter with an.869 OPS and a +1.5 WAA. The inclusion of reliever D.L. Hall, -0.6, drags down the net short-term difference, but as noted above, this deal was not done for short-term improvement.

The other noteworthy addition was reliever Bryan Hudson, obtained from the Dodgers in a sleeper of a January deal that cost Milwaukee a minor leaguer. Hudson is 4-0 with a 0.86 ERA in 27 appearances, and that’s good for +1.5 WAA.

Milwaukee’s two most notable additions have both produced negligible short-term value. Free agent signee Rhys Hoskins has been a disappointment, sporting a .222 average and .726 OPS while sharing time at first base. Mark that down for -0.7 WAA.

Meanwhile, rookie phenom Jackson Chourio is gaining on average following a rocky start. Chourio is hitting .230 with a .637 OPS, good for -0.2 WAA.

Score: +0.9. Grade: C.