Nine trades in four plus months of work for slingin’ GM David Stearns.
Not a single one has been bad or even questionable for that matter, all the while he has hit home runs on trades involving big time players. This trade is no different from the others.
Khris Davis, the incumbent starting left fielder for the Brewers on Opening Day, was traded to Oakland for catcher Jacob Nottingham and right-hander Bubba Derby.
Trading Davis may mean trading away more wins in the 2016 season, but this trade brought back much needed prospects, further improving the farm system. It also opens up left field for Domingo Santana, who played center field last year, as his future spot was always going to be in one of the corners. Santana was an odds-on favorite to start Opening Day in center field, but he will now most likely slide into left field while Rymer Liriano, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, or another minor-league signing takes the reigns in center field.
Nottingham is a 6-foot-3, 230-pound tank. The catcher, who turned down an offer to play linebacker at the University of Arizona, is one of the premiere catching prospects. Last year in single A, when he was still in the Astros organization, Nottingham hit for a .931 OPS. His quick bat and power give the Brewers a clear catcher of the future (he is only 20 years old), clearing the way for a blockbuster Jonathan Lucroy trade that every Brewer fan has been waiting for. Whether that trade will happen in Spring Training or before the trade deadline is still to be seen.
Bowdien “Bubba” Derby, the other minor leaguer in the trade, is also a 20-year old prospect. The right-handed pitcher has a small frame at 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds, but did make All-Conference for three straight years while playing at San Diego State. While his fastball is nothing to write home about, Derby has crafted himself into an impact pitcher. In 2015 rookie ball, Derby went 1-1 with an ERA of 1.21 while striking out 47 over 37 innings pitched. His stuff won’t blow you away, but if he develops, he will be able to have an impact out of the bullpen or as a low-end starter.
While the Athletics are banking on Davis being consistent, like he was in the second half of last year hitting home runs at a breakneck speed, his OBP was only .323. Davis is also a liability in the outfield with a below average throwing arm. Despite that, the Athletics saw clear value in him as a power hitter.
Sure, it hurts trading away Davis’ potential 30 plus home runs, but the Brewers are not making trades to win in 2016, they are making trades that will better their chances of contending for a World Series sometime in 2018 and beyond.
Brewers Trade Grade: A-
*all stats from baseball-reference.com
Photo courtesy of Yahoo! Sports.