Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Stearns has chips if stars align at Deadline

Braun, Feliz among talent GM could flip for right return package
March 26, 2017

PHOENIX -- David Stearns was an active seller at his first non-waiver Trade Deadline. Will the same be true in year No. 2?Stearns traded Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress to Texas, Will Smith to San Francisco and Aaron Hill to Boston in the run-up to last year's Deadline -- all

PHOENIX -- David Stearns was an active seller at his first non-waiver Trade Deadline. Will the same be true in year No. 2?
Stearns traded Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress to Texas, Will Smith to San Francisco and Aaron Hill to Boston in the run-up to last year's Deadline -- all deals that swapped established players for Minor League prospects. Part of the haul was the Brewers' new No. 1 prospect, Lewis Brinson, who came in the Texas trade.
As Milwaukee's rebuild rolls on, there are fewer established assets to sell. But some do remain, leaving open the possibility of another active summer for Stearns.
"Trying to predict where we are going to be from a competitive standpoint or from a player personnel standpoint in July is really tough," Stearns said. "We're not sure where we're going to be from a competitive standpoint a week from now. We've seen that rosters are constantly in flux. Players emerge, players underperform. It's really tough to understand what a strategy could be three months from now."
In other words, the Brewers could surprise.
"Absolutely," Stearns said. "We know we have a lot of talent in this Major League locker room. When that talent all comes together and coalesces, we don't know. It could happen sooner than we expected, or it could still be a little while.
"But we know we have players who have the ability to be very talented Major Leaguers. It's giving them the time to get there."
If the Brewers are sellers again, here are some potential trade chips:
Ryan Braun
Contract: Four years, $76 million remaining
He was nearly dealt to the Dodgers last August, and that may have been Stearns' best shot to get a deal done. But if Braun produces like he did in a healthy 2016, when he ranked 11th in the National League with 133 weighted runs created plus, his name will surely come up in trade chatter. The $19 million per-season average is right in line with that level of production.

Neftali Feliz
Contract: One year, $5.35 million
Feliz can earn another $1.5 million in incentives for games and games finished, but the money should not be an impediment to a trade. Speculation that the Brewers could flip Feliz began immediately after he signed in January.

Junior Guerra
Contract: Not arbitration-eligible until end of 2018
The Brewers fielded interest in Guerra during his age-31 breakthrough in 2016, but have yet to find an offer worth taking. Given his near-league minimum salary, there is no financial motivation to move him, so it would take some good prospects.

Matt Garza
Contract: Earning $12.5 million in final year of deal
Wishful thinking to include him on this list? Perhaps. That is a significant salary for a veteran trying to reinvent himself as his fastball velocity dips, but the Brewers do have some depth in the starting pitching ranks, and Garza was effective down the stretch last season.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.