Time for Milwaukee Brewers To Part With The Present, Look to The Future

Curt HoggCorrespondent IIJuly 9, 2010

CINCINNATI - MAY 18:  Prince Fielder #28 of the Milwaukee Brewers is pictured after striking out during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on May 18, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

A sweep at the hands of the San Francisco Giants says it all.

Surrendering 24 runs over the final two games against a subpar offense shows the pitching is weak and inconsistent without Yovani Gallardo on the hill.

Costly errors in blowing leads and ties in the each of the first two games is something a good team doesn't do.

Stranding the bases loaded and leaving runners on seemingly every inning squanders precious opportunities.

A manager that doesn't seem to care very much after the worst series in recent history won't help the team improve.

Not much is going well for the Brewers this season. Attendance is down, Fielder and Braun aren't having as good of seasons, Trevor Hoffman imploded in April and May, and the team is losing.

At 37-49 and 11.5 games back of the NL Central-leading Reds, the Brewers don't appear to be in any position to make the playoffs this year.

What does that mean?

It's time to do what Cleveland did to us in 2008—sell a prized player to a contender in return for prized prospects.

With Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks, and Prince Fielder all having their names circulating around the rumor mill, the options are there. Of course, they are all good players, Hart and Fielder being two-time All Stars, but with each of their contracts set to expire within the next year, is it logical that the team will be able to sign all three of them to contracts, especially with Fielder demanding a great deal of money?

I'm not saying it's time to part with the young core of players that came up through the system together. Braun and Gallardo are still under long contracts, but it does mean that the organization will have to part ways with what was "the future".

The possible pitching prospects in exchange for Fielder and Hart at this trade deadline are intriguing, and the question is whether or not the Brewers want to keep the players for 2011. Madison Bumgarner may be in General Manager Doug Melvin's dreams, especially after tossing eight shutout innings against the Crew on Tuesday.

The idea of trading away fan favorite Fielder is a tough one to swallow.

On one hand, you receive top-notch pitching prospects, but on the other, frankly, is the thought of losing Fielder's 40 homers and 100+ RBI.

The process may not be the equivalent to rebuilding, but it is still reshaping the franchise.

By 2012, we may go to Miller Park seeing Mat Gamel at first, Lorenzo Cain in right, and Brett Lawrie at second. Who knows what the roster will be?

The Brewers have a set of seven or eight players that should stick around for a while. That list consists of Braun, Gallardo, Jonathan Lucroy, Alcides Escobar, Casey McGehee, John Axford, and Zach Braddock.

Prince, Corey, Rickie, and others such as Carlos Gomez, Dave Bush, and Chris Narveson are questions in the big puzzle that is the Brewers' future.

The definite need for the team is written in neon on the brick walls of Miller Park. Starting pitching has been the team's major demise since CC Sabathia went to New York and Ben Sheets was not resigned and went to Oakland this year.

In one offseason, the Brewers went from having one of the best starting rotations in the National League (CC, Sheets, Yovani, Bush, and Suppan) to having one of the worst.

The team's 2009 first-round pick in the MLB Draft Eric Arnett of Indiana University has struggled mightily in the minors.

The team used this summer's first pick on high schooler Dylan Covey. Covey will take some time to develop in the minors before he is big league ready.

As for Ken Macha, his stint with the club should be over after he completes this season. I don't think he should be fired like Ned Yost was late in the season.

The Milwaukee Brewers have confused us over the last two seasons. Fans had high expectations, just to see the team ERA be even higher. This offseason may be a busy one for Melvin and team owner Mark Attanasio with multiple players being sought after. If the front office can do a good job, the core of the team is good enough to take Milwaukee back to the playoffs.

Until then, we can just wait and see.


To read more by Curt Hogg, click here .