Should the Milwaukee Brewers Clean House or Go for Broke?
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Now, a year later, both pitchers could soon be wearing different uniforms.
Owner Mark Attanasio and GM Doug Melvin must decide on the direction of their team before the fast-approaching trade deadline.
Trade rumors have been swirling around a number of Brewers. Melvin has fielded calls from teams interested in players from Greinke to K-Rod.
Brewers nation seems to be split on what the next move should be.
Does Milwaukee play out the season with the team they have now and hope for a drastic turnaround, or do they clean house and retool for next year?
Why They Should Clean House
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If Milwaukee decides to trade their stars and look toward the future, the return would be phenomenal.
The Brewers will be looking for a young phenom shortstop. Since the departure of J.J. Hardy and Alcides Escobar, the shortstop position has been in flux. Yuniesky Betancourt filled the role in 2011, but after newly-signed Alex Gonzalez went down, Milwaukee's shortstop play has been subpar.
They would most likely acquire said stud in a trade involving Zack Greinke. A highly touted pitcher, Greinke will, without question, bring in the more gifted athletes.
Francisco Rodriguez has been a name that's been thrown around in trade rumors.
The Brewers would love to dump his salary on another team. I even suggested that the return of K-Rod to the New York Mets, who desperately need help in the bullpen, might be ideal.
By cleaning house and trading their stars, Milwaukee will receive a great deal in return. Attanasio and Melvin are not looking to rebuild, just retool. Fans will not take kindly to more rebuilding years.
If they start the trade game, they will look for major league-ready prospects or young proven players. It will also free up money which will be used to sign high profile free agents in the offseason.
The Milwaukee Brewers will look to contend for a trip to the World Series in 2013 with the new team they have built.
However, there will be a risk in trading the likes of Greinke and Marcum. Milwaukee will have to be ready to face the consequences.
Why They Shouldn't Clean House
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The Milwaukee Brewers have a terrific fan base. Bias aside, I can attest to this.
Even though the 2012 season has not gone as planned, Brewers supporters have been piling into Miller Park. That will change if Milwaukee decides to start dealing.
If they trade Greinke and Marcum, their rotation might look something like this.
1. Yovani Gallardo RHP
2. Randy Wolf LHP
3. Marco Estrada RHP
4. Michael Fiers RHP
5. Tyler Thornburg RHP
That looks like more of a minor league pitching rotation than anything else. Even Randy Wolf could be moved if teams are looking for a veteran left-handed hurler.
Attendance will significantly dwindle if the players they've come to know and love are moved. Fans will hate to see Greinke and Marcum leave. In their eyes, Milwaukee should have done more to re-sign the two consistent starters.
Not only will attendance be a pathetic sight, but the Brewers will have an even tougher time putting together wins. Free agents, who already turn a cold shoulder to Milwaukee, will completely shut them out of discussion if they don't believe they're capable of winning.
Whatever Milwaukee chooses to do, there will be consequences. But if this season is truly lost, trading away players and receiving a greater return seems to be the smart move.