Milwaukee Brewers Trade Rumors: Latest Updates, News and Reaction
The Milwaukee Brewers have controlled the National League Central throughout the first half of the 2014 MLB season, and they can now use the trade deadline to make sure that they hold on to their lead in the division.
Milwaukee made a big splash in the offseason by signing Matt Garza. With him in the rotation, the Brewers' pitching has been steady all season. With solid all-around pitching, the team has managed to build a nice 6.5-game cushion in the division.
As good as the pitching has been, the offense may be even better. The team's offense ranks among the leaders in runs, home runs and average.
It's tough to find a hole on the team right now. However, the Brewers failed to acquire a first baseman in the offseason, and that position continues to be a big weakness. If the team is able to procure one at the deadline, it may be enough to help the ballclub win the NL Central.
Make sure to keep checking back here to see what rumors the Brewers are involved in or what deals the team makes as the MLB trade deadline approaches.
July 31: Acquired Gerardo Parra from the Arizona Diamondbacks
The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired outfielder Gerardo Parra from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for OF Mitch Haniger and left-handed pitcher Anthony Banda.
Parra is hitting .259 with six home runs, 18 doubles and three triples this season. Those numbers are down from the .268 average and 43 doubles that he posted last season.
The veteran is more known for his glove, as he won the Gold Glove in 2011 and 2013.
Parra will still be relatively affordable in 2015, even if he gets a substantial raise from his $4.85 million salary, as he is eligible for arbitration for the third time after this season.
The Brewers have Carlos Gomez and Ryan Braun in the outfield already. With the addition of Parra, they don't have any holes out there.
Potential Trade Target: LHP David Price, Tampa Bay Rays
The Milwaukee Brewers weren't expected to make a huge trade at this year's deadline, but they are interested in the biggest name out there.
Price is in an interesting scenario. The Rays are suddenly surging, which means they may not be sellers. As of July 28, the Rays were 7.5 games back in the American League East and 4.5 games back in the AL Wild Card race.
If the Brewers really want Price, they will have a big chance to make the Rays sellers. Milwaukee travels to Tampa Bay this week for a three-game series leading up to the trade deadline. If the Brewers can sweep the Rays, it would likely make Tampa Bay more willing to explore a trade involving Price.
Price is 11-7 with a 3.08 ERA and a 1.039 WHIP this season. The southpaw has struck out 183 batters in 163.2 innings through his first 22 starts in 2014. He made the All-Star team for the fourth time in five seasons.
The 2012 AL Cy Young award winner is under club control through the 2015 season and will likely be out of Tampa Bay's price range after that.
Anyone who has followed baseball in recent seasons knows that the Brewers can pull off big deals. They acquired C.C. Sabathia during the 2008 season, and that move was a big reason as to why they made the playoffs that season. Milwaukee also acquired Zack Greinke in 2010.
The Brewers may be a long shot to land the ace, especially considering the Rays aren't in a position to be sellers. However, if Tampa Bay decides to sell, expect Price to be a hot name.
July 18: Brewers Don't Feel Pressure to Make Trade
Despite a recent slump, the Milwaukee Brewers were able to enter the All-Star break in first place in the National League Central. While some may believe that the team now must make a move to enhance its playoff chances, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin doesn't believe that a trade is 100 percent necessary.
“If you can add, you add,” Melvin said via MLB.com's Adam McCalvy, “but I like our team. We had one bad stretch, and that came near the end of the [first half]."
Melvin admitted that the NL Central, with four teams above .500, is the toughest division in baseball. However, he isn't going to make a trade just for the sake of making one.
Look at the Trade Deadline, and it’s no different than the offseason. There’s a lot of acquisitions you can make in the offseason, and all it does is make you look better on paper. It doesn’t make you necessarily a better ballclub. You still have to play well as a team.
We’re out there, we’re going to have our ears open, and we’re open to anything that can improve our club. But we still have to play well as a team, and not to think that one acquisition makes a difference. Not many times does that acquisition make the difference without the team still continuing to play well.
Brewers May Look for Bench and Bullpen Help
The Milwaukee Brewers don't need a ton of help at the trade deadline, but they could be in the market for some depth, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Todd Rosiak.
Update: July 18 at 5 p.m. ET
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin is hesitant to make a deal to improve the bullpen, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Between the injuries the team has in the bullpen and the possibility that relievers are rarely used, he isn't sure that a trade is necessary.
If we can get [Jim Henderson and Tyler Thornburg] back, they’ll be a boost to our bullpen. But we don’t have a timetable. Jim is closer than Tyler at this point.
That’s the way I look at the Trade Deadline. You can go out and acquire a relief pitcher, and he may pitch eight innings for the month.
--End of Update--
Just look at the team on paper. The rotation is filled with veteran arms. Although it hasn't been extremely consistent as of late, it is still good enough to keep the team in contention all season. The starting lineup has a good combination of average and power throughout the order.
When looking at the team, the bench and the bullpen are about the only areas that the team should be looking to address.
Two offseason acquisitions, southpaws Will Smith and Zach Duke, have been better than expected. However, outside of closer Francisco Rodriguez, the team's right-handed relievers have not been reliable.
Although the results at first base haven't been great, Rosiak suggests that the team is willing to go with Mark Reynolds (13 home runs) and Lyle Overbay (three home runs) until at least September.
Bullpen and bench help likely won't require the Brewers to spend a lot of money or give up much in return. Acquiring a role player or reliever wouldn't be the flashiest of moves, but it could be enough to lead the team to the postseason.