- The Brewers and Dodgers are likely to revisit talks centering on outfielders Ryan Braun and Yasiel Puig in the offseason, a Dodgers source told Cafardo. Los Angeles placed Puig on revocable waivers in August, and the Brewers won the claim. The teams then discussed him and Braun, but a deal didn’t come to fruition.
- The recent work of Wily Peralta may have him back in the Brewers’ 2017 rotation plans, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy writes. He’ll earn a modest raise on his $2.8MM arbitration salary, but that now looks again to be quite a reasonable price tag. Despite a brutal start, Peralta has turned in a 3.35 ERA over his last six outings.
The Brewers announced on Monday that they have acquired minor league third baseman/outfielder Ryan Cordell from the Rangers as the player to be named later in the Jonathan Lucroy/Jeremy Jeffress deadline blockbuster. In total, then, the Brewers will acquire outfielder Lewis Brinson, right-hander Luis Ortiz and Cordell for the pair of Lucroy and Jeffress.
The 24-year-old Cordell is rated as the Rangers’ No. 6 prospect, per MLB.com’s Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo. Baseball America rated him as the team’s No. 9 prospect in their own midseason update (Brinson and Ortiz were ranked second and third, respectively, on that same list). Cordell has played exclusively in the outfield this season (seeing time at all three positions) but also has 300+ innings of experience at third base and saw some time at shortstop last season as well. He’s spent the entire year with Texas’ Double-A affiliate and batted .264/.319/.484 with 19 homers, 22 doubles, five triples and 12 stolen bases.
Baseball America noted in their write-up on him that he’s made strides in his plate discipline, chasing fewer out-of-zone pitches in his second trip through Double-A, and that bears out in his strikeout rate; Cordell walked in just 4.9 percent of his plate appearances in Double-A last season, compared to a woeful 30.2 percent strikeout rate. This year, however, he’s walked at a 7.1 percent clip and cut his strikeout rate to 21.8 percent. In MLB.com’s scouting report, Callis and Mayo write that Cordell has “some of the best all-around tools” in the Rangers minor league system and could eventually have average-or-better tools across the board. His best tool right now is his speed, but he also has the bat speed to hit for power as well.
MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy points out (via Twitter) that Cordell’s season ended this year due to an Aug. 2 knee injury, and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tweets that the injury was sustained when Cordell crashed into the outfield wall. However, the Brewers clearly aren’t overly concerned about the long-term implications of that collision and will count on a full season from Cordell in 2017. Given his production and experience at the Double-A level, it’s not far-fetched to think that Cordell could either open the season with Triple-A Colorado Springs or, at the very least, be promoted to that level early in the 2017 campaign.
Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News first reported that Cordell was the player to be named later (via Twitter).
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The Brewers were the team that won the claim for Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Milwaukee engaged in serious conversations about acquiring the 25-year-old before the waiver placement was revoked by Los Angeles.
Intriguingly, the trade dialogue between the two organizations included star Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun. It seems reasonably likely that there were quite a few other moving parts involved, but those two players undoubtedly make for fascinating centerpieces on either side.
It is not yet clear whether the clubs intend to revisit the matter in the offseason, though it certainly seems plausible. Los Angeles was not interested in parting with Puig unless it obtained a “better player” in the swap, per Rosenthal. If that remains true this winter, then Braun — who is older and more expensive — would certainly fit the mold of the type of asset that could be pursued.
Puig remains controllable for three more seasons, his age-26 through age-28 campaigns. Two of those are guaranteed at $14MM total, and Puig can still opt into arbitration, but the total commitment falls shy of his talent level. The question, of course, is whether his poor recent play and somewhat spotty track record at maintaining focus can be reversed.
There’s really no question as to the current performance level of Braun, who is carrying a .312/.374/.544 batting line with 24 home runs and 14 steals over 468 plate appearances this year. But he will turn 33 in November and has battled through a laundry list of injury issues.
Braun does have a rather robust no-trade clause, but the Dodgers are not on this year’s iteration, meaning he can be traded there without his consent — at least until he has his next opportunity to modify the list. Even assuming his PED past is mostly a non-issue at this point, Braun’s large contract is also a factor in limiting his marketability. He is owed $76MM over the next four years, including the buyout on a $15MM option for 2021.
The Yankees announced that they’ve acquired outfielder Eric Young Jr. from the Brewers in exchange for cash considerations and assigned him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Young, 31, is a veteran of seven big league seasons and is known for his standout speed. He’s a career .247/.314/.328 hitter in 1683 big league plate appearances and has 144 steals in 179 attempts over the course of 557 Major League contests (an 80.4 percent success rate). This season, he’s spent the entire year with Milwaukee’s Triple-A affiliate in Colorado Springs, batting .263/.338/.339 with 23 steals in 29 attempts over the life of 116 games. He’ll give the Yankees an option as a pinch-runner off the bench late in games in September as the club hopes to remain afloat in the race for the second American League Wild Card spot. New York is currently 3.5 games behind the division-rival Orioles for that spot, but they’d have to leapfrog the Royals, Astros and Tigers in addition to Baltimore in order to secure a postseason berth.
- Since joining the Brewers organization, Lewis Brinson has been on fire, entering today’s action with a 1.099 OPS over 68 plate appearances for Triple-A Colorado Springs. Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that Brinson could be a September callup for the Brew Crew, though the club’s outfield is already pretty crowded. Brinson was the centerpiece of the trade package (fellow top prospect Luis Ortiz and a player to be named later) Milwaukee acquired in the deadline blockbuster that sent Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress to the Rangers.
The prospects the Brewers have acquired during their rebuild have drawn plenty of attention, but the work general manager David Stearns did buying low on veterans during his first offseason at the helm shouldn’t be overlooked, as Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes. The two biggest success stories resulting from Stearns’ offseason dumpster diving are shortstop/third baseman Jonathan Villar and right-hander Junior Guerra, while reliever Carlos Torres has also been a quality addition. Villar, whom the Brewers acquired from Houston in November for pitching prospect Cy Sneed, has stolen the second-most bases in the league (50) and hit .297/.378/.434 with 10 home runs in 546 trips to the plate. The 31-year-old Guerra, a waiver claim from the White Sox, has been among the top rookies in baseball this year, having logged a 2.93 ERA, 7.55 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and 46.1 percent ground-ball rate across 107 1/3 innings. “Some of the most rewarding moments you get in this job stem from challenging processes,” Stearns told Haudricourt. “Finding players who can contribute at the major-league level through some of the unconventional means, whether it’s waiver claims or minor-league free-agent signings, Rule 5 picks, lower-level trades, those are transactions that don’t generate a lot of public notoriety but can still have a positive effect on the organization.”
Before the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline, the Dodgers discussed a deal with the Brewers that would have sent outfielder Ryan Braun to Los Angeles, reports FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (video link). While Braun has since cleared waivers, meaning the Dodgers (or another team) could make a trade for him this month, that would require overcoming potential complications. For instance, any team acquiring Braun would likely want the Brewers to eat a significant portion of the $76MM left on his contract, says Rosenthal, who adds that Milwaukee might be hesitant to assist a high-revenue club like the Dodgers in paying the 32-year-old. If the Dodgers and Brewers aren’t able to swing a trade in August, they could revisit talks during the offseason.
- After Ryan Braun’s no-trade protection seemingly gummed up any inclination the Brewers may have had to trade him this summer, Heyman writes that the team is expected to explore trade scenarios this winter. Age, cost, injury history, a PED past, and the no-trade rights will make that a complicated proposition, but Braun’s .317/.380/.562 slash line holds obvious appeal.