3. What overall grade do you give the Brewers with all three of their trades?
Mike Wendlandt: I absolutely love what they did at the deadline. They were able to grab one of the most underrated relievers of the past decade in Joakim Soria for a developing Kodi Medeiros, who is still a question mark. That was a phenomenal trade.
Then they got two power bats in Moustakas and Schoop for a group of prospects who are either blocked at the major league level or lottery tickets years away from being a legitimate major league prospect. Plus, Moustakas and Soria have options that could bring them back and Schoop is controllable through next season already. That’s a good trio of trades to boost the 2018 and 2019 Brewers without giving up anyone who is a major factor in the future. The deadline gets a huge A+ from me.
Anthony Haag: Overall, I would give Stearns a “B” for all three trades he made in July. He added Soria to an already strong bullpen, which now gives them four guys come playoff time. Making it so essentially the starting pitcher only has to get through five innnings, then bring in Soria, Jeffress, Hader and Knebel. As we saw last year in the playoffs, bullpens are being used differently than in the past, so this plays in the Brewers favor.
He improved the teams all around infield with the additions of Moustakas and Schoop. Second base and shortstop have been black holes in the lineup all season. By acquiring these two and moving Shaw to second, it upgrades your lin-up while sacrificing some of your defense.
The trade for Schoop also sets the Brewers up nicely for 2019. He will man second with Shaw moving back to third. It did not deplete their farm system and gives the team flexibility in the off-season to add a starting pitcher. He is building this team to not only be competitive for one season but for multiple seasons. The only two positions that he did not address are catcher and starting pitcher.
Nick Michalski: B. The team did fail to add to the starting pitching pool, and hopefully that will not come back to haunt. Stearns needs to be active in trolling the waiver wire to look for possible additions that could improve the starting staff. The 2018 bullpen is phenomenal, but innings-eating out-getters are still in demand. An injury could devastate the rotation as currently constructed. The Brewers probably need one more starter in reserve.
However, the additions of Joakim Soria, Moustakas and Schoop are very exciting and bode well for the stretch run. The Brewers did a great job adding to the team this summer without giving up any prospects that will leave a lasting dent in the farm system. In a way, it’s nice to see Brett Phillips receive the opportunity for regular playing time with the Royals instead of languishing deep down the Brewers’ outfield depth chart.
Not only do Moustakas and Schoop reinforce infield versatility, they also bring flexibility to the offense. The expected production from their bats should allow Counsell to experiment with the lineup and fortify the bottom of the order a bit by bumping everyone down a notch. Players will also have the opportunity for more rest, and the bench will be rife with good pinch-hitting options. Once Moustakas and Schoop get in a groove with their new team, the offense could punish opponents on a regular basis. It will be fun to watch!