The Brewers have told other teams that they’re open to hearing offers for anyone on their roster, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports in his latest Insider-only column. As Olney notes, this could make Jonathan Lucroy a potential trade candidate this winter, though obviously, “only in the right deal.” Lucroy’s name was mentioned in several trade rumors last summer since Milwaukee fell out of the pennant race so soon, though the Crew reportedly had no interest in dealing the catcher. New GM David Stearns could have a different perspective, however. In his recent Brewers Offseason Outlook piece, MLBTR’s Charlie Wilmoth speculated about a possibly Lucroy trade, and also suggested that the club might wait for a midseason deal to allow Lucroy to rebuild some value after an injury-plagued and subpar 2015 campaign.
Here’s some more from the NL Central…
- Also from Olney’s post, he reports that the Pirates are in “informal discussions” with Ben Cherington about a possible front office job. Since stepping down as Boston’s general manager last summer, Cherington reportedly declined opportunities to interview for both the Mariners and Phillies GM jobs out of a desire to take some time away from the game. It’s fair to speculate that a position working under his friend Neal Huntington could be more attractive to Cherington than a return to the full-time grind of a GM position.
- Could the Cubs shop Kyle Schwarber this offseason? Grantland’s Ben Lindbergh explores the possibility, noting that the defensively-challenged Schwarber would be a good fit as an American League DH. The Rays and Indians are two clubs with a hole at DH and the young arms to offer the Cubs, who are openly looking to add pitching. While scouts are mixed at best about Schwarber’s ability to play catcher or left field over the long term, a trade may be unlikely given Schwarber’s already-impressive hitting potential. “He’s not attainable now,” one AL scout tells Lindbergh. “He still has a chance to hit .285 with 40 bombs. They’d be insane to trade that.” I tend to agree with the AL scout; Chicago would need a massive return to even consider moving Schwarber’s bat.
- Jason McLeod, Cubs senior VP of player development and amateur scouting, spoke to Fangraphs’ David Laurila about a couple of Cardinals players who were well-liked by the Cubs and Red Sox when McLeod was running the drafts for those clubs in 2012 and 2008, respectively. “A lot of the teams that passed up on Michael Wacha, us included, probably kicked themselves,” McLeod said. St. Louis took Wacha with the 19th overall pick of the first round, while the Cubs (picking sixth) instead chose Albert Almora, who is a well-regarded 21-year-old prospect but has yet to play beyond the Double-A level. For Boston in 2008, Lance Lynn was “a guy we liked quite a bit; he was high up on our board.” The Sox instead took Casey Kelly with the 30th overall pick, leaving Lynn to be drafted by the Cards 39th overall.
- Also from Laurila’s piece, he cites the Reds’ trade of Mat Latos to the Marlins for Anthony DeSclafani (and minor league Chad Wallach) as perhaps “the best under-the-radar trade of last offseason.” DeSclafani posted a 4.05 ERA, 2.75 K/BB rate and 7.4 K/9 over 184 2/3 innings in his rookie season, and looks to have solidly earned himself a spot in Cincinnati rotation.