The NL Central has been filled with surprises this season, from the Cardinals’ surprising failure to get off the bottom early within the season to Cincinnati’s latest torrid stretch catapulting them into competition. The one crew seemingly resistant to the division’s upheaval, not less than thus far, is the Brewers.
Coming into play in the present day, the Brewers sport a 44-39 file that leaves them tied with the Reds for the division lead in a comparatively weak NL Central division. The membership is presently two video games right into a ten recreation stretch in opposition to division rivals forward of the All Star break; after splitting its first two video games in Pittsburgh, they’ll play the Pirates in a sequence finale in the present day earlier than returning to Milwaukee to face the Cubs in a 4 recreation set. They’ll then end up the primary half with three video games in opposition to the Reds. With so many video games in opposition to their prime division rivals, the membership may take a a lot firmer maintain of the division lead or slip within the standings considerably previous to the All Star break.
Regardless of that lingering uncertainty, the membership’s entrance workplace appears to have its course largely set with lower than a month to go till MLB’s commerce deadline on August 1. MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy mentioned the membership’s plans with GM Matt Arnold yesterday, and the GM was fairly candid about his deliberate method as we enter commerce season.
“Look, we wish to be aggressive right here in 2023,” Arnold mentioned. “We might be opportunistic to attempt to enhance this crew the place we will, responsibly, I feel we now have a number of good gamers right here.”
Arnold went on to level to right-hander Brandon Woodruff, left-handers Aaron Ashby and Justin Wilson, and outfielder Tyrone Taylor as probably impactful “additions” the crew may gain advantage from within the second half, and when prompted to elaborate on what he meant by behaving “responsibly” mentioned the significance of balancing the farm system’s long run outlook and the quick worth of pushing in to win now.
These feedback from Arnold definitely appear to point that the Brewers are unlikely to make a significant splash by shopping for on the prime of the commerce market this month. Such a measured method to the deadline is pretty typical of Milwaukee lately. The membership’s largest deadline acquisition in latest reminiscence was rental infielder Eduardo Escobar throughout his All Star 2021 marketing campaign. Different latest deadline additions have been smaller, such because the additions of Jordan Lyles and Drew Pomeranz in 2019 or the membership’s acquisition of Matt Bush final season.
After all, probably the most impactful deal by Milwaukee on the commerce deadline lately occurred final season, when the membership shipped nearer Josh Hader to the Padres for a four-player bundle. That deal has had some positives to it, because the membership managed to ship outfielder Esteury Ruiz out in a 3 crew deal that introduced again catcher William Contreras this previous offseason and left-handed prospect Robert Gasser is pitching pretty properly on the Triple-A degree. Nonetheless, the deal is usually checked out as having sunk the membership’s probabilities final season because the Brewers completed the season simply 29-31 following the commerce and missed the playoffs for the primary time since 2017.
Arnold prompt a equally stunning sell-side deal isn’t within the playing cards this 12 months. When requested if he would contemplate shifting a participant similar to ace right-hander Corbin Burnes or All Star shortstop Willy Adames, Arnold firmly shut the chance down, saying, “We’re not trying to transfer any of these guys. They’re enormous elements of our crew proper now… I imply, I’m positive we’ll get cellphone calls on these guys, as a result of they’re excellent. However that’s not one thing we’re contemplating.”
It’s hardly a shock that the membership is disinclined to maneuver both Burnes or Adames, contemplating neither of the pair has performed as much as their typical requirements this season. Following a 3 12 months stretch that noticed Burnes put up a 2.62 ERA and a couple of.40 FIP in 428 2/3 innings of labor, the 28-year-old righty has put up a fairly pedestrian 4.00 ERA in 17 begins this season, solely 6% higher than league common by measure of ERA+. In the meantime, Adames is within the midst of the worst offensive season of his profession. His .203/.290/.373 slash line, good for a properly under common wRC+ of simply 81, could be a profession worst in all 4 aforementioned stats if maintained over the remainder of the season.