Possible Brewers Trade Deadline Partners: American League | Disciples of Uecker

Disciples of Uecker

We'd like to go to the Playoffs, that would be cool.

With the seven-to-four, 10-inning loss to the lowly Astros on Thursday, the Brewers fell to 29-42, 17 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for first place in the NL Central and 13 games out of the second wild card slot.  With every loss, it’s becoming ever more unlikely that the Brewers can get on the sort of run that would allow them to contend for a playoff slot this year. News also came out on Thursday that All-Star slugger Ryan Braun is probably going to need more than just the normal 15 days on the disabled list to rest his ailing right hand, which only makes the hill the club has to climb that much steeper. With all that in mind, it’s probably worth talking about the sorts of trades the Brewers can make to help them going forward.

Trying to project trades is a very tricky thing for a number of reasons. It’s difficult to know exactly what a given team’s top priorities are, almost impossible to know what kind of value they might place on a given player and then what they would be willing to give up to get that value back. It’s also hard for us to know just who the Brewers might or might not be willing to trade at this point. We can guess that players on one year deals like Francisco Rodriguez and Michael Gonzalez are likely to be traded, but it gets harder when talking about players with multiple years left like Aramis Ramirez, Nori Aoki and Kyle Lohse.

So what we’re going to look at here is every team that is currently over .500 in the American League, along with a couple more who are close, assess what their biggest needs are, which Brewers might fit for them, and the state of the team’s young talent pool that they could use to acquire what they need. This is meant to be something of a rough sketch of the possibilities that are out there, not an exhaustive list of potential trades that can be made.


Largest Needs: third base, corner outfield, rotation

Possible Brewers Players That Fit: Aramis Ramirez, Nori Aoki, Kyle Lohse, Yovani Gallardo

Baseball America Preseason Farm Rank: 6th

Outlook: After a disastrous 2012, the Sox have reshaped their roster and are currently leading the AL East. Their biggest need at this point appears to be offense at the third base position. They could also probably use some help in the corner OF slots unless they are 100% sold on Daniel Nava and Mike Carp going forward. Their bullpen is strong, but their rotation is a bit of a question mark as they have a lot riding on John Lackey and Ryan Dempster in their 3/4 slots. They have a deep and talented farm system to work with, and their biggest need also figures to be a need for the rival Yankees, which is never a bad thing for a team looking to trade with them.


Largest Needs: rotation, second base, bullpen

Possible Brewers Fits: Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse, Rickie Weeks, K-Rod, John Axford, Michael Gonzalez

BA Rank: 17th

Outlook: The Orioles of 2013 seem quite a bit more legitimate than the Orioles of 2012, and there are reports out there that they’re looking to potentially make a splash on the trade market to acquire starting pitching. Of any team out there, this might be the team that could best make a play for Gallardo, as long as they’re willing to give up one of their highly touted young stud pitchers in return.  They also have a gaping hole at second base that would seem to suggest at least the possibility of a reunion of former double play partners Rickie Weeks and JJ Hardy. Like most teams, they could probably use a relief arm or two, though the need is far from glaring.


Largest Needs: power corner bat, corner OF, rotation

Possible Brewer Fits: Aramis Ramirez, Corey Hart, Nori Aoki, Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse

BA Rank: 11th

Outlook: The once mighty Yankee offense has gotten old in a hurry and they desperately need to add some pop. Ramirez is a particularly good fit here with both Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Youkilis on the shelf for a while. The Yanks could play him at third against right-handers and DH him against some lefties to give his ailing knee a rest. If Corey Hart is able to come back healthy and perform, it’s not hard to see the Yankees also interested in him to play some sort of a role. The Yankees also are shaky in the rotation after their top two and could be legitimate players for any starters the Brewers put on the market. They have young talent that could fit the Brewers in a number of ways.


Largest Needs: bullpen

Possible Brewer Fits: K-Rod, John Axford, Michael Gonzalez

BA Rank: 4th

Outlook: I almost didn’t even mention anything here, because they just don’t generally trade for rentals or pick up much in the way of salary at the deadline. Their rotation hasn’t been it’s usual self this year, but they’ll fill that internally or on the cheap like they always do. Their bullpen isn’t as good this year as it has often been in the past, and they could probably use some cheap relief help.


Largest Needs: rotation, second base

Possible Brewer Fits: Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse, Rickie Weeks

BA Rank: 12th

Outlook: After a rotten start, they’ve gotten really hot of late and have to be mentioned here because they did make aggressive moves in the off season and could easily be back in the thick of the race six weeks from now. Their main issue this year has been starting pitching, and while some internal options seem primed to rebound in the second half, a boost from outside could help. They are absolutely loaded with high upside arms in their farm system, though most a quite a ways away. If they wanted to unload, they could easily put together a package for Gallardo that would be very hard to turn down.


Largest Needs: bullpen

Possible Brewer Fits: K-Rod, John Axford, Michael Gonzalez

BA Rank: 27th

Outlook: This one is so obvious that it almost speaks for itself, but the Tigers need some late-inning help and the Brewers can certainly offer a number of options should the Tigers come calling.


Largest Needs: rotation, bullpen

Possible Brewer Fits: Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse, K-Rod, John Axford, Michael Gonzalez

BA Rank: 24th

Outlook: Cleveland is a tough one, because by the time the deadline rolls around they could very easily be buried in the race and they seem to be playing for more than this year anyway. That being said, they have shown a willingness to take on multiple years of players and so we can’t just write them off for guys like Gallardo and Lohse, if they’re willing to pay the price both in prospects and in dollars.


Largest Needs: Power bats, corner OF

Possible Brewer Fits: Aramis Ramirez, Nori Aoki

BA Rank: 18th

Outlook: This is another tough one, because they made the moves in the off season but haven’t been all that good this year. If they can get on a run, the Brewers could offer them upgrades at third base and right field, and they certainly have players they can trade.


Largest Needs: second base

Possible Brewer Fits: Rickie Weeks

BA Rank: 25th

Outlook: There really isn’t much here. They have a deep and talented roster and little financial flexibility, so the chances of a move here is pretty slim. I only bring up Weeks because he is such an Oakland-type player and they do have something of a need at second, but his salary is almost certainly going to be unworkable for them.


Largest Need: OF

Possible Brewer Fits: Nori Aoki

BA Rank: 3rd

Outlook: The Rangers are a really well-run team and thus don’t have a lot of needs. I suppose there is an outside shot they may want someone for their rotation, but they are second in the AL in starter WAR and don’t seem particularly likely to unload for a guy like Gallardo. Aoki could fill a need for them in the outfield, though, and give them another guy to get on base at the top of their lineup.


Largest Needs: Rotation, bullpen

Possible Brewer Fits: Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse, K-Rod, John Axford, Michael Gonzalez

BA Rank: 30th

Outlook: Call it wishful thinking, or trying to go to the well once too often, but dealing with the Angels has been quite profitable for the Brewers (and others) in recent years and it would be a shame to ignore a possibility here, no matter how remote. The Angels don’t have much in the system, but that doesn’t mean that there is no potential to take advantage of them here. Even the worst farm systems often have hidden gems if you look hard enough.

Check back early next week when we’ll go over potential trade partners in the National League.

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