Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and Chris Carter are all performing very well, above their potential some would say, and all are hot commodities on the trading block.
Braun’s .364/.434/.586 line makes him one of the best hitters in the majors right now. That, combined with seven home runs and 28 RBIs, makes him the best overall player on the Brewers this season, but it also makes him the most tradable player.
I’ll be honest, it’s absolutely painful to think about Braun wearing any jersey that doesn’t say Brewers on it. Despite the PED scandal, this is the Braun that carried us to two postseason runs. But this team is not going to the playoffs and probably won’t for the the next few years. At best, Braun will be 34 going on 35 the next time the Brewers are in the hunt.
So while he is great to watch, arguably the most fun hitter to watch this season, he should be traded now, rather than later.
Lucroy has a .311/.373/.496 line making him an elite hitting catcher, shaking off the doubts that his injury riddled 2015 season had brought on. Lucroy is also getting his power back, as he has homered in three straight games, making him an even hotter commodity. Considering his player friendly contract, with a team option for the 2017 season, teams might be chomping at the bit to have him on the roster as a catcher, first baseman or even as a potential DH in the American league.
Carter has been one of the more surprising offensive players so far. Coming into the year, everyone knew that he would be putting up the power numbers, but even after a small slump, his contact hitting is way above what everyone was expecting. With a .256/.320/.592 line, 11 home runs, and 28 RBIs, Carter, is a prime trade candidate. He won’t yield incredible returns, but he should be able to net a solid prospect or two.
Trading now, rather than closer to the deadline, could be tough, as conventional wisdom points to waiting until the deadline. But this is not a conventional season. The Cubs, the cursed Cubs, are the best team in the majors with a pitching staff that could shutout a lineup made up entirely of All-Stars. Hitters, especially power hitters like Braun and Carter, are a prize for any team that hopes to compete in October this season.
The Brewers could wait until closer to the trade deadline. But, playing the waiting game may not be the way to play it when any of these three guys could go into huge slumps. Sure, teams will get competitive with offers closer the trade deadline, but the value of Milwaukee’s 3-4-5 hitters could decrease mightily.
MLB’s trade deadline is August 1, but the Brewers should get into trade mode as early as possible.
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