3 scenarios for Milwaukee Brewers after trade of Yovani Gallardo

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Oct 4, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) pitches in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants in game two of the 2014 NLDS playoff baseball game at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Scenario 2: Trade For A No. 1

The Nationals, having signed Scherzer, have an embarrassment of riches in their rotation and could be looking to deal 28-year-old right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, who will be a free agent after the 2015 season.

Let’s stick a pin in that, however, to share this little tidbit.

According to USA Today’s John Perrotto:

That could be a pipe dream—given (a) the state of the Brewers farm system in terms of major-league ready prospects and (b) the fact that Strasburg is 26 and under team control for two more seasons.

Sep 27, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) throws during the first inning inning against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Of Milwaukee’s top 10 prospects according to MLB.com, only Taylor Jungmann has played above the Advanced-A level (OK, so Tyrone Taylor and Orlando Arcia did play five games each at Double-A Huntsville last year, but I digress).

So it’s not certain the Brewers have the assets to deal for a Stephen Strasburg.

Zimmermann, on the other hand, is a Wisconsin native—grew up in Auburndale, pitched at UW-Stevens Point—and, again, will be a free agent next year.

Given the vagaries of age, experience and baseball’s financial system, Zimmermann will make $16.5 million this season, while Strasburg is under contract for $7.4 million.

The danger with a Zimmermann deal is that the organization gives up assets only to see him bolt after one season.

Strasburg is under team control for two more seasons, but has the sometimes problematic (OK, usually problematic) Scott Boras as his agent.

Strasburg was 14-11 with a 3.14 ERA and 1.121 WHIP in 34 starts and 215 innings last season, leading the National League with 242 strikeouts, while only walking 43 batters. He might need to learn the fine art of being “effectively wild” though—despite devastating stuff, Strasburg served up 23 home runs last season.

Zimmermann, meanwhile, had a 2.66 ERA and 1.072 WHIP in 199.2 innings, fanning 182 in 32 starts and threw a no-hitter in his final start in 2014.

He’s a two-time All-Star; Strasburg has been to the Midsummer Classic once.

Hard to go wrong here … if the return isn’t franchise-dismembering.

Next: Or Will It Be Door No. 3?