Monday, July 13, 2015

Most Popular Article of the Week: Milwaukee Brewers Potential Trade Partners

The New York Yankees are still atop the American League East despite essentially black holes at second base and right field while the bullpen that was showcased as a plus has been anything but. I’ve said it in every one of these posts and I’ll say it again here, the American League East Division will be decided by the July 31st trading deadline. While the last two teams we covered, the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago White Sox, are unsure of whether they will sell or not but one thing for sure is the Milwaukee Brewers will sell this summer, could the Yankees take advantage?

Milwaukee has stated that they would like to build around, not sell off, pieces like starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson, catcher Jonathan LuCroy and shortstop Jean Segura but the team would be willing to sell on about anyone else. The list of available players for trade is highlighted by center fielder Carlos Gomez and closer Francisco Rodriguez while Aramis Ramirez and others will likely be shipped off before seasons end. The only two players that would really fill a need for New York would be second baseman Scooter Gennett, who the team would like to hold onto if they could, and very expensive outfielder Ryan Braun. Gennett is hitting .240 and has posted a .279 OBP this season with four home runs and 16 RBI. Gennett would not come cheap and is likely out of the Yankees budget as far as prospects go. Young middle infielders with upside, good defense and pop are hard to come by these days making Gennett unlikely to even be traded, let alone to the Yankees.

Braun is intriguing to some, not so much to others. He has had issues with his thumb for the last few seasons and has seen a steep decline in his numbers as well. Braun was also involved in the Biogenesis scandal that cost Alex Rodriguez his 2014 season while he also comes attached to a hefty salary with all these questions marks making his acquisition questionable. What is not questionable is his on the field performance which is evident by his .273 average, .339 OBP, 15 home runs and 55 RBI. Braun would give the Yankees another middle of the order bat that hits from the right side and an enormous upgrade over Carlos Beltran. If the Yankees take on the whole salary they could also pay less in terms of prospects, but would they?

Honestly New York would not make the trade for Braun. The team has aspirations of getting under the luxury tax threshold either in 2017 or 2018 and Braun’s contract that runs through the 2021 season (his age 32-37 seasons) for $111 million doesn’t exactly fit into that plan. If Braun was able to replicate his numbers he posted earlier in his career he’d still be a bargain for $20 million or less annually and could replace the production left behind when Mark Teixeira and A-Rod’s contract expires but I just can’t see the Yankees doing it. It makes too much sense to do it now when they can wait until he’s broken down and 35 or 36 years old and get him in a “salary dump” type trade. Silly Yankees.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)