Milwaukee Brewers: Trade for third base upgrade in the works?

MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 12: Craig Counsell #30 of the Milwaukee Brewers looks on prior to Game One of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Miller Park on October 12, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 12: Craig Counsell #30 of the Milwaukee Brewers looks on prior to Game One of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Miller Park on October 12, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Brewers
Nolan Arenado #28 Colorado Rockies (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Established Stars

Justin Turner

Justin Turner has been hitting at an All-Star level ever since he went to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2014. Somehow, he’s only managed to make one All-Star game in that time. This year, he is scheduled to make $20 million, which is no small salary to take on. However, the Milwaukee Brewers have made efforts to cut extra fat off of the payroll, and this could be the big bat they need with the extra money. Also, he is a free agent after this season, so there is no long-term commitment, which is what held the front office back from re-signing Moustakas and Grandal this winter.

In Turner’s time with the Dodgers, he has a slash line of .302/.381/.506 for a spectacular OPS of .887. He has also hit over 20 home runs in three of his seasons with them. He also has a history of being great in the postseason. He has played in 11 postseason series and his win probability added from batting was positive in all of them but one when he only had two at-bats. He was also the MVP of the 2017 NLCS, and I think we can all remember the huge home run he hit in the 2018 NLCS against the Milwaukee Brewers. He could help this team make the playoffs, and give them some clutch hits when they get there.

Right now, the Dodgers have a bit of a log jam in their infield with young guys like Gavin Lux coming up and still having to find room for Corey Seager, Max Muncy, and Kike Hernandez. Turner is a great player, but he’s aging at 35 years old and the Dodgers could decide to deal him to let their younger players see more at-bats.

Kris Bryant

Now we’re really getting into dream territory. Whether the Brewers could even make a package big enough for Bryant is a question, but if they want to go all-in then this could be the move to make. Former Rookie of the Year in 2015 and then MVP in 2016, he has unlimited upside and at 28 years old is right in the middle of his prime.

He’s hit 29 home runs or more in three out of his five seasons, including 39 big flies in his MVP season. The fact that his 2018 season was considered a down year tells you all you need to know about Kris Bryant. A .272 batting average, .374 on-base percentage, .834 OPS. Those are all above-average and the latter two are well above league average. It was the injury that only allowed him to play in 102 games that held him back, but when he was in the lineup, he was still a huge plus.

Make no mistake, Kris Bryant is an absolute stud, with another year of team control in 2021 and coming into possibly the best years of his career. This would be a huge blockbuster trade that would take a lot of assets, but a guy like Bryant may be worth it. His first three years, he had WARs of 6.1, 7.4, and 6.1 for a total of 19.6. The four guys that the Brewers have now as third base options combined for a WAR of 6.5 in those same years. To be fair, Urias wasn’t in the majors then, and Healy wasn’t in 2015, but all of those guys in three years barely combined for one year of Bryant. He’s an incredible impact player that would change this franchise overnight.

Nolan Arenado

Speaking of incredible impact players, Nolan Arenado‘s name has been in trade talks all offseason. His price would be similar to Bryant’s, especially after the report that the Rockies and Cubs are considering swapping the two players in a trade.

Nolan Arenado’s Baseball Reference page just looks like a Hall of Famer, with league leading numbers scattered everywhere and plenty of awards. He’s led the league in doubles once, total bases and RBI twice, and home runs three times. He also has four silver sluggers and has been an All-Star in each of the past five seasons. And guess what else? He’s only 28 years old!

He can hit for average, power, and if that wasn’t enough he’s won the Gold Glove award every single year he’s been in the league. In 2014, he won it while only playing in 111 games. Third Base is probably the single hardest defensive position in baseball, and he has been the best one in the National League for seven years. He’s everything you could ever want in a baseball player.

Unfortunately for the Brewers and their not-so-deep pockets, he is set to make, and this is a very technical term, A BOATLOAD OF MONEY. 2020 will be his second year of an 8-year, $260 million contract. If the Milwaukee Brewers trade for Arenado, it opens a small window with him and Christian Yelich hitting back to back that would inevitably end when Yelich’s contract is up after 2022. 

This is the Hail Mary Pass, the desperation heave, and the swing for the fences move. This would take a ridiculous amount of assets that I won’t even try to guess at, but this team is a championship contender with Arenado and Yelich back-to-back. That would instill fear in almost any pitcher and maybe, just maybe, it’s worth selling the farm and more to get it.

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So what are your thoughts on a potential trade for a third baseman? Should the Milwaukee Brewers go to Spring Training with what they have now or try to make a big splash? Who would you like to see in a Brewers’ uniform and what would you be willing to give up to get them here? Leave any thoughts in the comments below or @DairylandXpress