Reflections on the Brewers at the Trade Deadline
- Updated: July 31, 2009
The Milwaukee Brewers are in a precarious situation. A team that was built from the inside with three-fourths of an infield (Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, J.J. Hardy), a pair of slugging corner outfielders (Ryan Braun, Corey Hart) and an ace in the making (Yovani Gallardo), is now being looked at as thin when it comes to minor league prospects. With Dave Bush on the DL, Jeff Suppan suffering an oblique injury that threatens his next start and the rest of the staff being either inconsistent or inexperienced at best, the Brewers need help and may not have the tools to get something done.
Here’s what reporter Jay Jaffe had to say about the Brewers at the trade deadline:
“One reason the Brewers might be standing pat is that their prospects are generating very little interest. Shortstop Alcides Escobar is seen as untouchable, and while sources indicate that there might be some interest in dealing for Mat Gamel, not only does Milwaukee not really have a place for him, his defensive limitations have him pegged by scouts as an AL-only type of player. Beyond that, the system has taken a bit of a step backwards, and they simply don’t have the chips on the table to pull off a big deal.” – Jay Jaffe
That is not what Brewers fans want to hear. Especially the two dopes I sat behind at a Brewers-Cubs game a couple of months ago that made sure to high five after every Brewer accomplishment and exclaim condescendingly, “How did we get that guy? Oh yeah, drafted him!” Fantastic.
Well here it is, your “drafted” team, dropping two in a row to the Nationals, at home. I think they forgot to include pitching in that scouting process, and it’s starting to show.
Last season the Brewers grabbed CC Sabathia, the prize of the deadline. It payed off immensely. CC single handedly carried their team into the playoffs. What they gave up was Zach Jackson and minor leaguers Matt LaPorta, Michael Brantley and Rob Bryson. Not bad. LaPorta is hitting well in Columbus but his defense remains questionable at best. Brantley is well liked by scouts, who think he could be a “Kenny Lofton-type producer.” Jackson, now at Columbus, was hit hard in three appearances this season. All-in-all it looks like it served Milwaukee’s purposes well.
Now they are left with Alcides Escobar and Matt Gamel as their top two prospects, and it seems they are untouchable. Without the willingness to deal the “big chips” the Brewers won’t be able to pull off a deal good enough to save this season.
So what can they do?
They are now two games below .500 and they trail the division leading Cardinals by 4.5 games. They can at best only split this 4 game series with the Nationals, and they are about to head out on the road for 9 games, 6 of those out west (3 with LA). The schedule in August looks to be pretty soft, so maybe there is some time to make it up there. But…you know the phrase, “if you can’t spot the sucker at the table…”. Well, the more you look at the schedule and proclaim, “it gets easier in ____”, the more you start to forget that others are looking at their schedule and saying the same when they see your team coming. It was thought by many that this team would be an 80-85 win club. Each day it’s looking more and more likely that they will finish right around that number.