13 days to trade away high value players and get high value prospects in return for a Brewers team in the midst of a rebuild.
Surprisingly, only one trade has happened at the major league level for the Brewers (Aaron Hill to Boston) so far this season after an off season that saw new general manager David Stearns make trades at a blistering pace, sending away the likes of Khris Davis, Francisco Rodriguez and Jean Segura while bringing in highly touted prospects.
But so far this season, Slingin’ Stearns hasn’t pulled the trigger on trading top players like Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy, Jeremy Jeffress and Will Smith. All is quiet on the transaction report, but that doesn’t mean all is quiet in the rumor mill. Last week, Jonathan Lucroy to the Texas Rangers was rumored to be in the talks, but talks broke down as the asking price was “too high” for Texas to pull the trigger.
Then, also last week, Jeremy Jeffress was almost dealt to the Miami Marlins, but again the talks broke down as the asking price was again “too high” for the Marlins.
There is no reason, however, that the Brewers should be selling off their players for a value below what they are seeking.
More recently, Will Smith was connected to the Rangers and the New York Mets. With Smith coming off of a knee injury, he has only gotten 17 innings of work this season. But in those 17 innings, we have seen the same Smith we have seen for the past two seasons; a dominant reliever. He has only given up four earned runs and has already struck out 15 while holding batters to a .175 average.
Over the 2014 and 2015 seasons, Smith held a 3.20 ERA over a total of 129 innings. He also managed to strike out 177 while only walking 55. In his three seasons thus far with the Brewers, Smith has been able to improve and become one of the most dominant relievers in the majors.
So if the Brewers do pull the trigger on a Smith trade, there should be no reason to sell low, especially when looking to the ages of some of the players that the Brewers could trade.
Smith is only 27 and Jeffress is only 28. Like Smith, Jeffress has been a dominant reliever this year and been one of the best closers in the NL, converting on 23 of his 24 save opportunities.
Now, as we all know, there are only two things certain in this world, Death and Taxes (and the Chicago Cubs finding a way to not win a World Series). But one of the most uncertain things is being able to find good pitching, and the Brewers know this especially well.
After years of seeing the likes of David Riske take the mound in late innings situations (always a risk involved there) and seeing Jeff Suppan be the worst contract in Wisconsin sports history, the Brewers organization and fans should know all too well how rough it is when you have bad pitching. So when you find good pitching, you should hold on to it until your deal, the right deal, comes your way.
There should be no such thing as “too high of an asking price” when it comes to pitching, and the Brewers shouldn’t give it up for just anything.
All stats from MLB.com. Photo courtesy of USA Today.