This week the format is going to be a little different than usual. We’re looking at the Brewers’ potential trade pieces. We’ll try to put a number on the likelihood that they’re moved before the postseason eligibility deadline at the end of August and give our reasoning. Then the other person is going to come in and play a little “higher or lower” with the number and explain why they think the other person is an idiot. Ready for fun?
Ryan: OK, this is my five-star, AAA, diamond-rock-solid-lock to be moved. The Brewers signed him for only $2 million and have been trying to get that Proven Closer® label back on him over the last month or so. Basically, the only way he isn’t moved by the end of August is if he gets hurt, so I’ll go 95%.
Steve: Agreed. KRod has a nickname, closer face and he’s relatively cheap. Trade talk always swirls around starting pitcher, but it’s closers that move before the deadline. Bullpens are tough to build long-term, so waiting for the hot arm at the deadline is the way to go and the Brewers have one of those guys. 100%
Steve: Does John Axford qualify as a Proven Closer? He’s had rough patches, but overall Axford has been solid out of the pen. Also, 2013 is much better than the disaster that was 2012. He’s in his first year of arbitration, so a team acquiring Axford has the option to keep for a couple seasons beyond 2013. The Brewers would be smart to deal him while he’s hot. 65%
Ryan: A lot of it will probably come down to how much (if any) they want to trim the payroll down for 2014, as the lowest he can make if offered arbitration is around four million dollars. Since we really don’t know what they want to do there and even though they probably should move him for whatever asset he can bring back, I’ll say it’s just barely better than even money. 55%
Ryan: This is another guy I think is extremely likely to move before all is said and done, though maybe he’s more likely to go through waivers in August than most. He’s making a little over $2 million this year, and if a team really wants to wait and save a few bucks, perhaps they give up just a little more? Whatever the return, it’s going to be pretty insignificant. I’ll say 80%, just because there is a smallish chance no one really wants him period.
Steve: LOOGY on a non-competitive team. At least 80%, so I’ll go Price Is Right and say 81%.
Steve: Gorzelanny is a lefty that isn’t saddled with the LOOGY tag. He can make spot starts and soak up innings. It’s not a bad idea to enter the postseason with a versatile lefty available, so there should be some interest. The acquiring team should have some interest in Gorzelanny beyond 2013 since he is owed $2.8MM in 2014. That could scare away teams with an eye on the postseason. 55%
Ryan: I really don’t think that too many teams that are contending for the postseason are going to worry too much about $2.8 million for 2014, honestly. The bigger issue is that he’s been starting with a little bit of success lately, and perhaps the Brewers would like to pump his value as a potential starter and move him at a later date? I’ll say 40%, with that number dropping a lot if they deal a starter.
Ryan: This number is going to be a lot lower than it should be, because it’s been reported that the Brewers have told teams that they’re not going to move him. Given the high turnover rate of closers and the fact that Henderson is already 30 years old, there is very little chance of building a successful bullpen around Henderson in a few years anyway. They might as well see what teams are willing to give up, but they’re saying they’re not, so 20%.
Steve: There hasn’t been any whispers surrounding Henderson, and I think the bullpen of 2012 scared Doug Melvin and Co. from running out a crew that could implode. Henderson is cheap and they probably think he could be dealt in another season if it came to that. I’d trade him while he has value, but I think your 20% is right on.
Steve: This is the first guy on the list that may sting a little for the Brewers’ fan base. Aoki went from an unknown quantity to fan favorite when he took over the lead off spot from Rickie Weeks in 2012. He’s not the prototypical corner bat and probably a better fit for a team with above average pop up the middle that just needs a guy to get on base and play solid defense. I guess they could take a chance by moving him to centerfield too (though I wouldn’t recommend it). He has an option for 2014. He should move 100%, but it’s safer to say 50% for a team that can’t utter the word “rebuild.”
Ryan: Perhaps no player on the roster is a clearer litmus test for what they think of their chances for 2014. If they think they can win, they’ll hold on to him and maybe even extend him. If they’re being more realistic (yeah, I said it) then they’ll deal him. I’ll go 40% trade and 20% that they extend him past 2014 before next year starts.
Ryan: This is a really tough one for me, because I do love me some Rickie, but there are some pretty clear indicators that they would like to move him. Yes, his salary and the 2015 vesting option make him less than the ideal piece to move and they probably get little but salary relief back, but that may be something they really want. I’ll go 49.999% because my heart would break if I say 50/50.
Steve: Scooter Gennett wasn’t very good in his short stay on the major league roster. The club believes in him though, and they want to give him a shot. The only way to do that is to move Rickie Weeks. A trade deadline deal may be 50/50. When we get to the off-season, that number will jump to the 70% range. (Yes, I cheated.)
Steve: I want to be a wiseass and say “0.0% because he’s hurt.” That probably ignores that if he gets back on the field in early August, he could move on waivers. Ramirez is owed something like $26MM for the rest of his contract. That’s the kind of guy that could move across waivers to a team with deep pockets and big hole in their lineup. It’s still unlikely, but not impossible. 5%
Ryan: Yup, I could totally see the Dodgers making that sort of move if they stay hot, but it’s going to still require a lot to go right over the next few weeks. I’ll be a little more generous and say 10% but that might just be wishful thinking.
UPDATE: It should be noted that since this was written, this came out. Doesn’t change much, but it’s worth noting.
Ryan: Like Aoki, what the team does with Lohse over the next 6 weeks will say a lot about how they view their chances for next year. Given the wishy-washy comments of the owner on the subject, it’s hard to say for sure one way or another how committed they are to winning in 2014. Still, I’ll stand with this ownership and management group’s “never give up” history and say it’s a 1 in 3 shot, so 33%.
Steve: Trading Lohse is going to make Mark Attanasio look like a chump. He’s the only guy that believed signing Lohse elevated this roster’s ability to compete. I have a tough time believing that he’ll sign off on a trade when it was only a 3-year deal to begin with. I’m putting this at 20% and if he gets traded, they’ll get more talent back than is sensible.
Steve: Are the Brewers rebuilding? We’ll get that answer if Yovani Gallardo gets moved by the trade deadline. Things looks like they were coming together on June, and then went back other toilet in July. It’s been a stressful year for Gallardo. He pitched in the World Baseball Classic, he got nailed for a DUI, and now his name keeps getting thrown around in trade talks. The Brewers can’t sell low on Gallardo, so they should hang up on any team trying to get him for a discount because of a poor 2013 to date. He’s under team control for two more seasons and he’s under 30. 10%
Ryan: Hard to argue with much of anything there, though I do think the effect that his poor season has had on his trade value is sometimes overstated. It’s not helping, but other teams have longer memories than most of us give them credit for. Still, hard to see anyone coming in with a Luca Brasi-type offer, and that is what it should take to move him with those 2 extra years of control. 15%