The Milwaukee Brewers are surprisingly in the midst of a playoff race.
As a team that was not expected to contend, they have some very big decisions to make in the coming week.
Does the team go all-in and mortgage their future for players that could lead them to the promised land? Or does the team stand pat and possibly fall out of contention while facing the ire of their fan base? A very tough call for a team that is barely holding on to their lead in the N.L. Central (tied with the Cubs).
The Brewers are 3-7 in their last 10 games and have allowed both the Cubs and Pirates to sneak back into the race. That has already happened, but there is still time for the team to win the division and go deep into the playoffs.
They need help though. The Padres are going nowhere this season and A.J. Preller is surely waiting in the background to sell off his assets for more minor league reinforcements. The Padres are built for the future. More prospects are needed to assure a successful future.
A deal makes sense for both teams.
Who the Brewers would covet
With Hand being reportedly linked to 15 different teams, it really is not breaking news that the Brewers are one of them. To what degree is their interest, is anybody’s guess. They have the prospects to get a deal done, but with the team fading fast, do they want to gamble their future for a piece of today’s pie? Corey Knebel has come out of nowhere to be a dominant force at the closer position for the Brewers. Teaming Brad Hand with him could be devastating for opposing teams.
The Brewers only have one left-handed pitcher in the pen at the moment. Josh Hader has filled the role for them, but the rookie is still a work in progress (more on him later). The Brewers could definitely use bullpen help and the Padres just happen to have some really decent pitchers who could be attained. With plenty of team control, Brad Hand is hardly a rental. The Brewers need to make a deal. Their ownership group hasn’t been shy in the past in dealing prospects for pitchers. Both C.C. Sabathia and Zack Greinke were acquired by the team in deadline deals. Brad Hand makes sense, but will they pay the price?
Injured and rehabbing, Jankowski could find his name in some trade rumors. The speedy center fielder injured his foot early in the year and lost his footing on a starting job. Franchy Cordero has since leap-frogged him in terms of a left-handed compliment to center fielder Manuel Margot. Cordero is still in the minors working on his plate discipline, but he has shown the ability to play the position defensively. Cordero has also shown a plus bat at times, something that is still a question mark when you speak about Jankowski.
Jankowski would provide an excellent left-handed compliment to Keon Broxton, who was recently demoted. Broxton looks to return soon, but until then the team is going with rookie Brett Phillips and Hernan Perez at the position. Not an ideal combination for the Brewers. Jankowski’s injury issue has dampened his trade value. So it is a long shot that he is dealt at this point. If a team recognizes his abilities and pays the price, he could be attained, as the youth in the system is about to come up. The Brewers might have interest, but his injury is a huge factor.
Like all teams competing for a playoff spot, the Milwaukee Brewers are searching for some pitching options in the rotation. The team has no true ace at this point. They will not find one in San Diego, but they could find an innings eater that is very useful down the stretch. Zach Davies, Jimmy Nelson, and Matt Garza are far from dominating pitchers, though Nelson has had a great year and could be close to that label. Behind them, Brent Suter and Junior Guerra fill out the rotation.
Chacin makes sense for the team as they try to fill their bullpen. The Padres are fully prepared to move him, as well as Clayton Richard, and there will certainly be suitors. Veteran major league pitchers are important for contending teams. The Padres will have no problem getting some decent prospects in return for their veteran hurlers. The Brewers will kick the tires on this trio.
In recent days, the Brewers have been linked to Ian Kinsler from the Detroit Tigers. He would stabilize their lineup certainly, but is solely a second baseman. Solarte could provide the team with a lot of versatility on the field and the switch hitter also brings a plus bat to the lineup. Eric Sogard and Jonathan Villar have been manning the position this year and done an admirable job. Sogard is currently hurt though, and has had injury issues in his past.
Speaking of injury, Solarte is just barely beginning baseball activities. He has taken batting practice left-handed, but has had issues swinging fully from the right-handed batters box. The team will remain cautious, as rib injuries are no joke. Solarte has trade value, but it is minimal currently as his health is a big concern. Teams will perhaps show some interest, but as this point the Padres will not accept pennies on the dollar for the heart of the team. Solarte should stay, but an August trade could happen if he clears waivers and shows he is healthy.
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