With trade season beginning to open up and the Brewers already making moves, it could be a major month of July for the Crew in terms of personnel turnover.
As previously mentioned, the Brewers are already underway with trades with the recent deal that sent utility infielder Aaron Hill to the Boston Red Sox. In return, the Brewers got middle infield depth in their minor league system with Wendell Rijo and a promising hurler in starting pitcher Aaron Wilkerson. This trade should be a model moving forward for the Brewers as they navigate the trade market.
Moving forward, what will the Brewers target?
Pitching, Pitching and more pitching.
If future trades don’t involve getting a pitcher back, it wasn’t a great trade for the Brewers. Wilkerson, although already 27, has been dominant all year in the minors, with stats similar to Josh Hader, making the Hill trade a great move.
Speaking of Hader, who just pitched in the MLB Futures game after dominating in AA Biloxi to start the year, he was never the headliner of the Carlos Gomez trade. Instead, he was the last guy mentioned.
Looking to the Texas Rangers, one of the teams constantly involved in Lucroy rumors, many top prospects jump out. Joey Gallo, their number one prospect who is also one of the top prospects in all of baseball due to his amazing power, would be stellar return in a deal. Considering the Rangers are hesitant to move Gallo, we will look further down the prospect rankings, with a few pitchers who stand out as possible targets.
Lefty Brett Martin, the tenth overall prospect for the Rangers, is one of them. Only 21 and built around his 6-foot-4 frame, Martin has shown the ability to strike batters out, striking out 48 over 43 innings of work so far this season at the A level.
Another low-level pitching prospect the Brewers could possibly get on the back end of a trade with the Rangers would be Pedro Payano. Ranked as the #27 prospect in the Rangers organization, Payano has shown promise as a starter. At the A level, Payano has gone 3-3, posted a 2.08 ERA over 73.2 innings and struck out 82 while only walking 29.
The Houston Astros also have lower-level pitching targets that should be on the Brewers radar. Righty Akeem Bostick, Houston’s #28 prospect, is 21 years old and still adding velocity to his fastball. While his ERA is not great, sitting at 4.05, working at the advanced A affiliate in Lancaster, which sits over 2,000 feet above sea level, does no favors to pitchers.
Brendan McCurry, Houston’s #21 prospect, has been brilliant so far this season in the minors. Overall, McCurry has a 6:1 strikeout to walk ratio and has posted a 1.89 ERA over 52.1 innings pitched.
If the Brewers are going to trade Lucroy, Ryan Braun, Chris Carter, Jeremy Jeffress, Will Smith or any combination of the five, they are going to get back a top tier, or mid-level prospect in return to headline the deal. But the back end of those deals, the players mentioned last, could prove valuable. Through these players and prospects, the Brewers could add quality pitching, something a team can never get enough of.