Starting Pitcher Wily Peralta has consistently been inconsistent during his time with the Brewers. A 42-48 career record 4.18 ERA and 1.415 WHIP show a bottom of the rotation pitcher that club’s would look to upgrade. Flashes of brilliance have taken place in Peralta’s time in the Majors. Peralta was phenomenal in 2014 going 17-11 with a 3.53 ERA and 1.304 WHIP. How do you explain 2015 and first half of 2016? I believe what happened to Peralta happens to many young players around professional sports. The league gets more tape on you and makes adjustments accordingly. Then Peralta failed to adjust to what the league was doing to him. The first half of 2016 was atrocious 4-7 6.68 ERA, 1.879 WHIP, 5.7 SO/9 in 13 starts.
Making 10 starts at Triple A Colorado Springs helped Peralta get his groove back. The 6.31 ERA at Colorado Springs isn’t pretty, but that’s a hitter’s park. Coming back to Milwaukee in August, Peralta seemed to have much better command. A 3-4 2.92 ERA, 1.151 WHIP, 7.4 SO/9 in 10 starts upon his return gives hope for this season.
My eyeball test showed Peralta came back from his demotion with more command and more of a willingness to attack hitters. Early in the season, Peralta didn’t have command and got rocked coming over the plate to get back into the count. The overall numbers in 2016 of 7-11 4.86 ERA, 1.527 WHIP, and 6.6 SO/9 in 23 starts don’t jump out to fantasy owners.
Is it possible Peralta is back to being the pitcher he was in 2014 with a 17-11 record? Entering his age 28 campaign Peralta could possibly gain sizeable raises in arbitration before reaching free agency in 2020. A rebuilding club like the Brewers can use cost effective pitching. If Peralta takes a step forward this year at the deadline possibly GM David Stearns could flip Peralta for another asset.
I believe its well within the realm of possibility that Peralta’s 2nd half resurgence carries over into 2017. I plan to spend more time this winter researching 2nd half performances and gambling on those players late in fantasy drafts this season. Fantasy owners may want to consider a late round flier on Peralta or be prepared to track him as an early waiver wire claim.
Red Sox 3B Pablo Sandoval is one of the worst free agent signings in baseball in recent memory. “Kung Fu Panda” left the “Kung Fu” in San Francisco with a .245/.292/.366 slash rate last year in Bean Town. 2016 has gotten worse as Travis Shaw won the 3B job out of spring training relegating Sandoval to the bench. A shoulder strain has now pushed Sandoval to the DL. The salary in 2016 is $17.6 million dollars followed by $17.6 million in 2017, $18.6 million in 2018, and $18.6 million for 2019. 2020 has a $17 million dollar team option with a $5 million dollar buyout that certainly will be paid. With the buyout that $77.4 million dollars remaining paid out to Sandoval.
Flipping Sandoval will certainly require the Red Sox to take on another bad long term contract in return. In my opinion the Brewers with Ryan Braun are the perfect trade partner for the Red Sox and Sandoval. Braun has one of the worst contracts in baseball with $96 million dollars remaining. $20 million dollars per year for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 seasons. $19 million dollars due in 2019 and $17 million dollars due in 2020. The 2021 season holds a $15 million dollar mutual option and a $4 million dollar buyout. With the buyout Braun is due $100 million dollars. Braun’s contract is awful because of the club’s situation and his age. Braun’s skills will have slipped farther by the time the club looks to contend.
Wins-above-replacement player has nothing to do with my position. Money is the driving factor in proposing this deal. The Brewers are in a rebuild looking to acquire younger players and cut costs. I have a hard time paying a player $20 million-per-year as the club struggles to win 70 games. My belief is if a club can finish in last place with expensive talent, they can finish in last place with inexpensive talent as well.
The Red Sox can afford to make the move with David Ortiz and his $16 million dollars coming off the books after this season. Braun could slot in as an OF or DH for the Red Sox. The Red Sox are in a win-now mode every season, while the Brewers reside on the other end of the spectrum. The process started to take place this winter, but a few more moves need to take place to fully rebuild. Very few clubs around baseball would be willing to take on $100 million dollars. Braun’s deal makes him tough to move for assets. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy is a better trade piece to acquire young talent. The only thing the Brewers would be able to do right now is take on another bad contract in return for Braun. Saving roughly $23 million dollars long term as your losing anyways may be the best that can be done. Corner infielders have been a problem for the Brewers and Sandoval fits that role. The Brewers have plenty of Outfield prospects to eventually fill in that void.
Brewers GM David Stearns shouldn’t be afraid of alienating the fans by moving on from Braun. The fact of the matter is getting out of Braun’s contract assists in the club’s rebuild. Braun is on the club’s Mt. Rushmore despite his linkage to PED’s. If the Brewers were remotely close the contending the thought would have never crossed my mind. Sandoval will be younger at the end of his deal and could be moved at a later date if his career rebounds. “The Round Mound of Pound” has hit well in his career at Miller Park with a .295/.371/.574 rate in 16 games. Braun will be a tough player to move at age 36. Other pieces may need to be added to make the deal work. Also no-trade clauses could come into play. Sometimes you need to think outside of the box in a rebuild, this certainly would be doing that.
Brewers SS Jean Segura is one of the most dissappointing players of the 2014 season for fantasy owners. 2013 saw Segura make an All-Star appearance with a .294 avg, .329 OBP, and 44 steals. Segura’s BABIP for 2013 was .326 above league average. So far this season its been tough sledding as Segura is batting only .239. Young players sometimes struggle the year following a breakout year as opposing teams get a book on the player. The dropoff from 2013 to 2014 isn’t too difficult to figure out.
The league has certainly adjusted properly to Segura’s attacking style at the plate. Some of the numbers for this year to last are staggering. Segura feasted on southpaws in 2013 and this year its the complete opposite. Segura is batting .145 vs. southpaws, which isn’t even close to his weight (205). 2013 saw Segura feast vs. lefties to tune of a .317 avg. A 172 point drop in batting average from one year to the next is an astronomical drop. First pitches are also an area where the league has adjusted to the Brewers Shortstop. 2013 saw Segura attacking first pitches to the tune of a .406 avg. While in 2014 the league has adjusted and Segura has a .182 avg. Deeper in counts where he should have the advantage are a problem as well. 2-1 counts are no longer an advantage for Segura. It’s a .125 avg on 2-1 counts in 2014 compared to a .324 avg last year. 2 strike counts Segura was better last season as well. In 1-2 counts Segura’s batting .191 while in 2-2 counts the avg. drops to .105. Last season Segura hit .271 in 1-2 counts and .292 in 2-2 counts.
The Brewers coaching staff has a long way to go in getting Segura back on track as he’s hitting just .176 in the last 28 days. The Brewers can’t just hit the eject button on Segura like fantasy owners may be tempted to do. I own Segura in 4 of my 7 fantasy baseball leagues. I have trade offers out in the leagues in which I don’t own Segura. My belief is that Segura will turn it around at some point this season. The BABIP stat is one that projects how lucky or unlucky a player has been during the season. Segura’s BABIP is .265 right now which is below league average. WIth a better approach at the plate and a little luck Segura could be back to producing more at the dish. Since Segura’s numbers are rock bottom right now the buy low window is wide open. Shortstops with speed don’t grow on trees for fantasy owners, the time to buy is now.
The Hot Stove season has cooled off as many of the high profile free agents have signed. Clubs that missed out in free agency can look to the trade market to make changes. This post will outlay a hypothetical 3-team trade that in my opinion would be beneficial for all parties involved.
The White Sox would like to move Adam Dunn’s massive $15 million dollar salary to save money. Dunn’s OBP in 3 seasons with the White Sox .292, .333, and .320 is too close to his weight 285 lbs. Dunn just hasn’t been able to make the adjustment to being a full-time DH. The White Sox signed Jose Abreu to a 6-year $68 million dollar deal this offseason to play 1B. Paul Konerko was brought back on a 1-year deal worth $2.5 million dollars for a farewell tour. The White Sox are a club in transition that needs to move on from veterans and rebuild with youth. Jake Peavy, Matt Thornton, and Alex Rios were sent packing last summer for prospects and salary relief. Moving Dunn for salary relief and possibly a low-level prospect at this stage of his career would be a positive development. Dunn isn’t worth a package of blue-chip prospects at this point.
Clearing up the DH spot would allow the White Sox to move Dayan Viciedo to DH. “The Tank” has graded out as a below average left fielder in his young career. Viciedo has a -2.4 defensive win share for his career. The advanced fielding stats for last season aren’t pretty. The Range Factor per game (1.46 with the league average of 2.23 per game) and Fielding percentage (.970 with a league average of .987) don’t help the pitchers.
The Brewers have Rickie Weeks $11.5 million dollar salary on the books for 2014. There’s a club option that can be voided if Weeks doesn’t have 600 plate appearances in 2014 or 1,200 combined in 2013-14. Scooter Gennett batted .324 with a .356 OBP last season with the Brewers. Gennett has earned the 2B job going into spring training. Weeks is essentially the elephant in the room at this stage of his career. A change of scenery may be the best course of action for Weeks. GM Doug Melvin has failed to land a 1B as Corey Hart signed with the Mariners and Logan Morrison was traded to the Mariners. The Brewers have also been linked to the Mets Ike Davis. Hunter Morris is the top 1B prospect in the organization, but struggled in Triple-A last season. The 24 HR was good but, the .310 OBP leaves something to be desired.
The Brewers and White Sox both could benefit from a Weeks-Dunn swap. The White Sox would save $3.5 million dollars on the deal. Last season the Brewers 1B were the least productive in all of baseball with a .629 OPS. Dunn’s career .934 OPS at Miller Park in 288 plate appearances may be worth the risk. Acquiring Weeks could trigger another domino.
The White Sox may also best be suited to explore options for 2B Gordon Beckham as well. The 8th overall pick in the 2008 draft hasn’t cut the mustard in his time with the White Sox. 2014 is his first year of arbitration eligibility and free agency comes in 2016. With an offensive win share of 1.1, 1.4, and 1.1 the last 3 seasons, the White Sox should be considering options to move on from Beckham. Marcus Semien and Micah Johnson are in the pipeline and could be ready to play in the majors in the near future. The White Sox have position players in their farm system, but lack quality pitching prospects.
The Blue Jays have shown interest in Beckham in the past and have a depth of arms in their farm system. The Blue Jays probably won’t move Aaron Sanchez, Roberto Osuna, or Marcus Stroman for anything outside of a top flight player. Lefties Daniel Norris and Sean Nolin could possibly be had for the right price. Upgrading 2B should be a priority for the Blue Jays as they ranked last in all of baseball with a .556 OPS at the position in 2013. Beckham would be a cost effective upgrade over Maicer Izturis and Ryan Goins.
All parties involved would improve with this 3-team deal as the White Sox can shed salary and add prospects. The Brewers and Blue Jays would acquire players at positions of weakness to help them try to win this season. Feel free to post any comments.
Has the time finally come for Scooter Gennett to take over the second base job from Rickie Weeks? The 2011 All-Star is coming off a pair of down seasons. Weeks batted .230 in 2012 and just .209 in 2013. Weeks is due $11 million this season with a team option for $11.5 million in 2015. The option can be voided if Weeks does not make 600 plate appearances in 2014 or 1,200 plate appearances in 2013-2014 combined. Gennett batted .324 in 213 at-bats last season with the Brewers. The minor league track record is there for Gennett with a career .297 batting avg. and .337 on-base percentage. If Gennett is the choice the Brewers may be better off moving Weeks this winter.
The Royals are a potential trade fit for Weeks. Emilio Bonifacio and his career .262 bating avg. is better suited to play a utility role. Johnny Giovatella sports a career .240 batting avg in limited major league duty in Kansas City. The Royals do have a 2nd base prospect in the 4th overall pick in the 2010 draft in Christian Colon, who was selected ahead of Matt Harvey and Chris Sale. In 1779 career minor league plate appearances, Colon owns a .339 on-base percentage. A veteran acquired thru free agency or trade could be an option if the Royals want to give Colon a little more seasoning. Colon is playing winterball and hitting .357 in the Roberto Clemente league in Puerto Rico. Kelly Johnson, Brian Roberts, Mark Ellis, and Omar Infante are veteran free agents that possibly could come in on a short term deal.
The Royals went 86-76 fighting for a wild card berth late into the 2013 campaign. A major problem area for the Royals was the top spot in the order. Royals lead- off hitters batted .246 with a .309 OBP last season. The batting avg. is 26th and OBP 25th in all of baseball. Alex Gordon was out of place last season batting leadoff with a .255 avg. with a .323 OBP, but was much better in the 3 spot at a.391 clip. David Lough hit .271 with a .297 OBP in limited at-bats at the top spot. Lough owns a career .297 avg and .349 OBP in 7 minor league seasons. Alcides Escobar isn’t a candidate to bat leadoff with a career .179 avg. at the top spot. Lorenzo Cain owns a .243 avg. and .298 OBP at the top spot.
Rickie Weeks sports a career .256 avg. with a .354 OBP as a lead-off hitter. Ned Yost managed Weeks in Milwaukee and that could also assist in making a deal. Weeks presents a buy low option for the Royals as his value is at an all-time low. The Brewers may even have to help offset some of the salary to get a Weeks deal done. For the price, Weeks may be a better option than what they can find on the free agent market. It’s a short term option to help a team trying to win right now. The trade could help out the Brewers as well. Even if the Brewers have to pay a portion of Weeks salary, the balance could be used to address other problem areas of the club like the rotation or bullpen.
Carlos Gomez is the leading hitter on the Senior Circuit with a .373 batting avg. Gomez is a career .253 hitter in 7 major league seasons. Gomez was given a three-year extension after a season featuring career highs in batting avg. 260, ding-dongs(19) and stolen bases (37). The hot start shouldn’t come as a complete surprise as it seemed Gomez started to figure things out late last summer. In June the bottom fell out as Gomez batted .188. July was the beginning of the turnaround with a .274 avg, followed by .260 in August, and .275 in Sept/Oct. From July thru the rest of the season Gomez hit 15 of his 19 ding-dongs. His Isolated Power from jumped for .177 in 2011 up to .202 in 2012. So far the ISO is .275 this season.
Gomez career slash rates are .253/.300/.393 while this season its .373/.423/.647.I believe Carlos Gomez has turned the corner a bit and figured some things out at age 27. BABIP is a stat I hold in very high regard in trying to figure out if a player is getting lucky or can sustain a level of production. However his BABIP so far this season is .416 while his career number is .303. Gomez will probably regress back closer to his career track record at some point this season. Fantasy owners should use last season’s numbers as a baseline if they want to hold onto Gomez. Players with home run potential in the teens and steals potential in the 30’s shouldn’t come too cheap. If trade offers come in for more proven commodities, fantasy owners should strongly consider selling high on Gomez.
The Brewers plan for Mat Gamel entering the 2013 season is to use him in a utility role as a corner infielder/outfielder. The plan in 2012 for Gamel was to replace Prince Fielder at first base until an ACL tear prematurely ended his season. Corey Hart’s diminished range in the outfield and his 6’6” frame are a perfect match at first base. Hart is in the last year of his deal at $10 million in 2013 before free agency. If the Brewers were looking to reload now would be the time to move Hart, but this is a club going for it again in 2013. The first baseman of the future had an award winning 2012. Hunter Morris won the Southern League MVP and the Robin Yount Performance Award as the Brewers Minor League Player of the Year.
Gamel is yet again a man without a position and not part of the Brewers plans. I believe Gamel can be a solid 5 or 6-hole major league hitter. In 7 minor league seasons, Gamel has a slash rate of .304/.376/.498. It’s tough to judge Gamel because he’s only had 269 major league plate appearances in 5 seasons.
The Brewers starting pitching is Yovani Gallardo followed by a slew of young pitchers. Ryan Dempster signed with the Red Sox and Edwin Jackson’s price may be too high. The Brewers won’t break the bank on the free agent market to sign starting pitching. Going with a rotation full of young pitchers doesn’t make sense for a cub in win now mode. The Brewers won’t look to move their high-ceiling prospects to improve the pitching staff, so that leaves Gamel as the logical tradable asset. There are a few American League clubs that could use a stick the caliber of Gamel and could send the Brewers a starting pitcher in return.
The Astros move to the American League West is going to difficult in 2013. Houston doesn’t nearly have enough offensive firepower to matchup with the Angels, A’s, and Rangers. The Astros have a lot of holes to fill in as organizational top prospects grow up in the minors. Jonathan Singleton is viewed as the first baseman of the future, but is a ways away. Instead of going after an old broken down Lance Berkman, why not move Bud Norris for a package of young players. I’m not sure what the asking price is for Norris, but Gamel and a lower level pitcher could make it happen. I’d be surprised if Astros would be able to command a king’s ransom for Norris. The earliest Norris can become a free agent is 2016. His career record of 28-37 with a 4.42 ERA and 1.402 WHIP doesn’t stand out as a top of the rotation starter. The career 8.8 SO/9 is often sabotaged by the 3.8 BB/9.
The Rays are another potential trade partner for the Brewers. Jeff Niemann is coming off a nightmare 2012 due to a broken fibula and shoulder problem. This 6’9” righty owns a career 40-26 record with a 4.08 ERA and 1.286 WHIP. His career SO/9 sits at 6.8. The metrics should improve a bit if Niemann were to move from the AL East to the NL Central. Niemann has pitched well against the Rays top rivals. The veteran righty owns a career 7-2 record vs. the Yankees and Red Sox in 13 starts. Niemann is eligible to become a free agent in 2015. The Rays offensive team rankings in the AL weren’t very good in 2012. (11th in runs, 11th in RBI, 12th in avg., 11th in SLG%) Evan Longoria’s extended DL stint definitely played a part in the clubs low offensive rankings.
The Rays have a surplus of high-end young arms in the farm system. Major League ready power on the other hand is in shortage. Its possible Will Myers may need a little more seasoning. Gamel could provide an offensive upgrade a DH over Ryan Roberts and possibly James Loney at 1B. Loney’s calling card is defense at this stage of his career. Gamel isn’t a defensive wizard by any stretch of the imagination, but could provide power.
I believe these are 2 reasonable trade possibilities for the Brewers to explore. Matching a young pitching staff with a win now offense doesn’t seem to make much sense. If the Brewers are going all in for the 2013 season then the starting rotation needs an upgrade. There’s still plenty of time for the Brewers to make moves this offseason.