After falling short in their spirited attempt to land Manny Machado, the Brewers appear to be very active on several fronts in the trade market. Succeeding in any of those rumored endeavors would certainly impact the Cubs, behind whom the Brewers have fallen in the standings thanks at least in small part to Machado and the Dodgers.
And now we’ve got word that starting pitcher Brent Suter has been diagnosed with a torn UCL and will almost certainly need Tommy John surgery. That means he’s out for the rest of this season and at least a majority of next year as well, which gives the Brewers that much more impetus to add pieces that will be around for a while.
As Ken Rosenthal has reported over the last day or so, the Brewers “continue to cast a wide net in search for upgrades.” That followed a tweet in which he speculated that they were the team asking the Twins about packaging both Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar. Rosenthal also mentions the Brewers’ interest in Chris Archer and says that some teams are seeking an Orioles starter to bundle with Britton.
Heard two interesting things today that give insight into how creatively teams think at deadline. One club – I’m guessing #Brewers – asked #Twins about getting BOTH Dozier and Escobar. Likewise, some teams are asking #Orioles about getting Bundy or Gausman along with Britton.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 22, 2018
#Brewers continue to cast wide net in search for upgrades, sources tell me and @ByRobertMurray. They are among the teams pursuing #Orioles’ Britton and also considering #Rays’ Archer. Had extensive discussions with #Orioles on Machado; know which prospects O’s like.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 23, 2018
More specifically, those O’s starters are Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman, both of whom Rosenthal says the Rockies have been scouting. And since he said “some teams,” we can reasonably assume that the Brewers might be one of them. The Cubs could be in that mix as well, since both pitchers fit their pedigree of having club control (Bundy through 2021, Gausman through 2020) and sort of underachieving from a performance standpoint.
That could be the kind of “opportunistic” move Theo Epstein talked about when he described the Cubs’ strategy for the deadline. Or it could just be a bunch of hooey, since Lord knows there’s a lot of stuff just flying around this time of year. For what it’s worth, Rosenthal also mentioned that teams are often reluctant to bundle players because they “generally do better separating trade assets than combining them.”
But back to the Brewers, who almost come out of this looking like a drunken gambler who’s on tilt and jumping from table to table while both his money and mind depart him. GM David Stearns is too smart for that, but it still feels as though they’re really reaching on some of these things and that they’re getting a little desperate now that the Cubs are finally playing like the Cubs.
Regardless of the move(s) the Brewers consummate, any improvement will make it that much more difficult for the Cubs. If they’re able to get a little more thunder in the lineup while also bolstering the rotation and/or bullpen, well, that could be big.
Neither Gausman nor Bundy really jumps off the page, what with their respective 4.33 and 4.57 ERAs, but both are young and relatively cheap. And Cubs fans have a little familiarity with what can happen when you remove a promising pitcher from that organizational sarlacc in Baltimore.
Though it wouldn’t affect the Cubs until the postseason, LOL at the Rockies wanting to trade for Britton after spending big on Brian Shaw (6.98 ERA), Jake McGee (5.97 ERA), and Wade Davis (actually good) this winter. But they have pretty much determined that they’re going to bullpen their way to victory, so perhaps adding Britton and a hard-throwing starter like Gausman and telling him to go balls-to-the-wall for four innings would work.
Wow, I got so busy with that other stuff that I forgot all about the Brewers asking about Archer. As much as I’d love to watch the folks who’ve been clamoring for the Cubs to get him back for the last few years just go completely apes— online, I just can’t see the Rays doing the deal. Nor am I convinced that Archer is enough to put the Brewers over the top.
In any case, the Brewers are definitely active and appear to be very intent on making some actual moves, not just talking about them.