The MLB trade deadline is now just over a week away, and the Milwaukee Brewers sit comfortably atop the NL Central with a 6.5 game lead over the Cincinnati Reds.
While adding a bat, particularly at first base, may be the move that is on the radar of many Brewers fans, especially given how the season began for this offense — and even now, the Crew still ranks 22nd in team OPS and 15th in runs scored — their biggest need lies within the bullpen.
Led my NL All-Star Josh Hader, the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen has been solid this season overall. They currently rank 10th in ERA and runs allowed while also ranking ninth in total hits given up, and as a unit, they have the fourth most strikeouts in baseball. We’ve also seen the emergence of Jake Cousins and Miguel Sanchez this season as well, which has certainly helped.
However, especially when the playoffs come around, there is no such thing as too much bullpen depth, which is why every contending team is always in the market for bullpen upgrades at the trade deadline—and the 2021 Milwaukee Brewers are no different.
In Robert Murray’s latest edition of Inside the Clubhouse, he notes that the Brewers “could look to add as many as two relievers before the July 30 deadline.”
Already this season, the Brewers have traded away a few of their bullpen arms. They sent JP Feyereisen and Drew Rasmussen to Tampa Bay for Willy Adames and Trevor Richards. Milwaukee would then turn around and trade away Richards for Rowdy Tellez recently. Not to mention that the two bullpen arms they acquired for Orlando Arcia, Patrick Weigel and Chad Sobotka, have spent most of their time in the minors.
Justin Topa is still working his way back from the 60-day IL — although the hope is that he will be available sooner than later — while Devin Williams finds himself on the IL as well—however, it, fortunately, appears to be a minor injury. This has forced the Brewers to rely on several inexperienced arms, including the aforementioned Cousins and Sanchez, along with Angel Perdomo and Janrel Gustave.
With that said, with how good Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, and Freddy Peralta have been this season, manager Craig Counsell hasn’t had to rely as heavily on his bullpen as he has had to in years past. However, we know how important it is for Counsell to have a variety of arms at his disposal.
During David Stearns’ tenure as General Manager and President of Baseball Operations, nearly every year, he has made at least one addition to the bullpen, and 2021 will be no different—it’s simply vital to any team’s postseason success, and the Crew is in need of some experienced depth.
The MLB trade deadline is Friday, July 30th—expect some moves from the Milwaukee Brewers in the near future.