Hot start fizzles as Peralta hit hard by Padres

Yangervis Solarte homered twice and drove in four runs as the Padres thumped the slumping Brewers in the opener of a four-game series, 13-5, at Miller Park on Monday.

Peralta knocked around in 2nd start off DL

Sitting in the Brewers' dugout in the bottom of the first inning, starter Wily Peralta was smacked in the back of the head by a foul ball. It might have been the least painful part of his night. Coming off a solid return from the disabled list last week in San Francisco, Peralta delivered a dud in Monday's 13-5 loss to the Padres at Miller Park.

Managers Murphy, Counsell go way back

The hot-headed coach saw promise in the skinny infielder, and rode him hard. That's how Padres interim manager Pat Murphy treated many of his players at the University of Notre Dame, including Brewers manager Craig Counsell, who so irked his skipper with a series of errors one fall that Murphy ordered Counsell onto a half-frozen field in November to field hot-shot grounders.

Managers Murphy, Counsell go way back

The hot-headed coach saw promise in the skinny infielder, and rode him hard. That's how Padres interim manager Pat Murphy treated many of his players at the University of Notre Dame, including Brewers manager Craig Counsell, who so irked his skipper with a series of errors one fall that Murphy ordered Counsell onto a half-frozen field in November to field hot-shot grounders.

Nelson looks to extend scoreless streak vs. Padres

The Brewers and Padres will continue their four-game series at Miller Park on Tuesday, when Milwaukee's Jimmy Nelson and San Diego's Andrew Cashner will oppose each other on the mound.

Brewers (44-62) vs Padres (51-54) series preview

The Padres were the talk of the Winter Meetings and the talk of the trade deadline, but for very different reasons.

The Padres are a weird club. They were the envy of the Winter Meetings wheeling and dealing in a fashion seldom seen outside a a late night drunken fantasy league trade. Then they went and signed James Shields. They basically did everything Brewers fans were clamoring for. Well, except for the ones that continually want a full rebuild regardless of context. And yet they find themselves not much better off than the Brewers at the moment.

It was sort of a reversal of the preseason position for their respective fanbases. Instead of the Padres selling off some bad contracts and legit talent to improve the farm system it was the Brewers. Curiously the Padres made basically no moves at all. It's pretty bold or pretty stupid to stand pat when you're three games under .500 looking up at the Dodgers and Giants.

To be fair there are almost certainly a lot factors we don't know about that went into the Padres non-moves at the deadline. They probably didn't see a lot of good offers. But maybe they should have been more aggressive. Their run differential is -49. The Brewers is -55. They rank 23 and 24 in baseball. Neither team is making the playoffs. One acted accordingly. At least as publicly perceived.

Offensive Spotlight

Justin Upton I guess? In 409 PA he's hit 247/321/429 (116 wRC+) with 18 home runs and 17 stolen bases. That's a nice combination of power and speed. But it's still far from what was hoped for the still relatively young (27) outfielder.

Pitching Match-Ups

Monday August 3, 7:10 pm CST: Wily Peralta vs Tyson Ross

Ross is their best pitcher by far. I'm not surprised they were unwilling to trade him. In 127.2 IP he has 25.3 K%, 11.3 BB%, .244 BAA, 1.37 WHIP, 0.28 HR/, 62.9 GB%, 3.38 ERA, 2.89 FIP. He's always had some trouble keeping his walk rate down but this year's is uncharacteristically high even for him. His GB% probably helps counteract the negative effect of the walks though.

He throws a fastball (93-94), slider and little else. He does mix his four seem fastball with a two seam though.

Tuesday August 4, 7:10 pm CST: Jimmy Nelson vs Andrew Cashner

I keep telling myself "this is the year" Andrew Cashner is going to break out. But injury often keeps that from becoming true. This year he appears to have been healthy, the results just aren't there (4.13 ERA, 3.97 FIP).

He throws a fastball (94-95), slider, change-up, and curveball.

Wednesday August 5, 7:10 pm CST: Taylor Jungmann vs Ian Kennedy

Now here is a guy that I am confused wasn't traded. It's true that his 4.44 ERA and 5.20 FIP look bad. But it's because of his 2.00 HR/9. The rest of his peripherals look fine: 21.5 K%, 6.9 BB%, .257 BAA, 1.29 WHIP. This isn't a case where he's giving up a ton of hits so it's almost expected his HR/9 would be high. A .257 BAA is not exactly good but I've seen plenty of starters live in that range and his 1.29 is acceptable. I have to believe teams were interested in him. Maybe the Padres were just asking for too much and unwilling to settle? Regardless of what the GM says I don't believe for a second they truly believe they can compete the rest of this year. It's just weird.

Anyway, he throws a fastball (91-92), curveball, change-up, and slider.

Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs

This is still a Compete Rebuild

You're reading that correctly. I didn't for the "L." It's not the rebuild most of you want but it's the rebuild the Brewers have been engaged in for years. And like before, it's working.

In a span of about twenty-four hours last week Brewers fans went from excessive anxiety to elation to disappointment to rage to elation again. It was about two days before the trade deadline and the Brewers had just moved Aramis Ramriez. Villagers were prepping their torches and sharping their pitchforks. And then it happened.

Carlos Gomez was traded to the Mets for Zack Wheeler and Wilmer Flores. Everyone let out a cheer. But as the reality set it they asked, "That's it?" But before someone could answer the trade was dead. The Mets' team doctor apparently didn't like the medicals (wink wink) and the Wilpons' checkbook concurred.

Depression set in. No more rebuild. No more trades. "They probably aren't even going to trade Gerardo Parra," was a common refrain. Pitchfork outlet stores sold out. "How to make a torch" classes at continuing education centers were book solid. And then it happened...again. Carlos Gomez was traded and this time Mike Fiers went along. This time it was for real. This time it was for prospects instead of damaged and ordinary major league ready players.

The villagers put down their torches and tossed aside their pitchforks. "Praise be to Doug Melvin the wily wizard" now was the refrain. But like they were hasty to cast judgment on the Brewers front office after the failed Mets trade, the villagers are wrong to assume the Brewers' plan has somehow changed.

This is still a Compete-Rebuild

Back in January I presented my take on the Brewers long term plan. I wrote it because I saw so many people accusing the Brewers of blowing in the wind with no real plan at all. I thought it couldn't be further from the truth. I called this plan a Compete Rebuild as opposed to a complete or full rebuild.

The Compete Rebuild is distinct from a full rebuild in that the team doesn't trade all of it's major league assets and it doesn't attempt to tank every year for prospects. Instead, in most years the front office attempts to field a major league team competent enough to take a wild card spot at least while still taking steps to improve the farm system. The key word being "attempt."

The Compete Rebuild is essentially an attempt to both rebuild and compete at the same time. It characterized by these key factors

1. The front office will trade major league assets, but only when they feel it's appropriate and that might mean they don't trade one when his value is highest.

2. The FO will not trade it's top prospects.

3. The FO will not "tank for draft picks." Instead, at least in most seasons, they will try to compete for a playoff berth whether that be through winning the division or a wild card spot.

There are upsides and downsides as there are with any franchise building plan.

The downsides are as follow:

1. You often find yourself fielding a marginally competitive team that could as easily, if not more likely, fall short of even the second wild card spot.

2. You will regularly find yourself drafting in the middle of a round instead of near the top of a round as is common with full rebuilds. It's harder to find impact talent outside the first ten overall picks in a draft. Sometimes it hard to find impact talent after the first three to five picks.

3. You sometimes miss the opportunity to maximize the trade return for players by holding onto them "too long."

4. Rebuilding the farm system will take longer because you're not infusing it with talent via larger trades and you have less of a chance to add impact talent via the draft.

The upsides are as follow:

1. You give yourself a chance to make the postseason most years whereas in a full rebuild you'd have no chance until your farm system is ready to spit out your top prospects (assuming they don't fall on their face).

2. You don't put your eggs in one basket. There is a lot of risk with prospects. Even the best ones can fail. If you invest several years focusing mainly on the farm system and it fails to produce that top level talent you're dreaming on then you've just spent years losing for nothing and now you're going to continue losing for years.

3. You still are improving the farm system by the draft, international market, waiver claims, and some trades.

4. You aren't depleting your farms system because you're keeping your best prospect.

A lot of people still say the Compete Rebuild is not a real plan. I think that's inaccurate. It's just more nuanced that a full rebuild or, conversely, going all in on your major league roster. In a full rebuild you're sacrificing your major league team for your farm system. In all-in mode you're sacrificing your farm system for your major league team. The Compete Rebuild takes elements from both but doesn't commit to an extreme.

The end goal of the Compete Rebuild is to have a highly competitive major league team and a stocked farm system. I think the main reason people dismissed this approach is because at the time I wrote my article neither the major league near nor the farm system looked particularly strong.

Now the farm system looks like it's in the top 11-15. The major league team obviously looks bad, but it might not in another year or two. This isn't because they've finally realized they need a full rebuild. It's because their Compete Rebuild plan has been working all along.

The plan in action

I don't think anyone would question the Brewers have been trying to compete. It's been a huge source of consternation among a lot Brewers fans for the last few years. It's the part about rebuilding the farm system and the future of the team at which most people seemed to scoff.

At the time of writing the original piece I offered examples of the Brewers adding to the farm or making trades to strengthen the future in general:

1. The Zack Greinke trade for Jean Segura, Johnny Hellweg, and Ariel Pena
2. The Nori Aoki for Will Smith trade
3. Drafting (Rule 5) and subsequently working to keep Wei-Chung Wang
4. The Marco Estrada for Adam Lind trade

The WCW acquisition was of particular interest because they made the move in a year they had a real chance to compete. Too much was made of the negative impact WCW had on the bullpen that season but it was not at all a move you see a contending team make.

Then something fortuitous to my argument occurred. About three weeks after I published my article the Brewers traded Yovani Gallardo. It was not the signal some fans thought it was. This was not the start of a full rebuild. The Brewers traded no one else of consequence leading up to the start of the season and their intention was clearly still to compete.

The trade was, however, a microcosm of my Compete Rebuild model. The Brewers got two near major league ready pieces (Corey Knebel and Luis Sardinas) that could potentially help them compete now. They also got one minor league pitcher (Marcos Diplan) who strengthens the farm system and could help them compete in the future. It wasn't completely designed to compete now and it wasn't completely designed to compete later. It was designed to do both.

Fast-forward to 3 pm on July 31. The trade deadline has passed and the Brewers moved Aramis Ramiez, Jonathan Broxton, Gerardo Parra, Carlos Gomez, and Mike Fiers. It's understandable to see that and think "full rebuild." However moving Mike Fiers is the only thing that was truly surprising.

Ramiez, Broxton, and Parra were on expiring contracts so they were getting traded no matter what. Carlos Gomez was different though. He had one more year left on his contract. However I think there is precedent for moving an asset with approximately that amount of remaining control in recent moves by the Brewers.

Nori Aoki and Yovani Gallardo were moved when they had one season left on their contracts. This shows the Brewers have been open to moving players with that amount of team control remaining. The fact that Carlos Gomez technically had 1 year and 2 months left on his contract didn't make him any different than Aoki and Gallardo when they were moved. That's because those 2 extra months don't matter if you can't make the playoffs.

I think of the two Yovani Gallardo is the better comparison. The Brewers either felt they couldn't afford to extend Gallardo or they simply didn't want. Either way, they wanted to get something for him before he left via free agency. The Brewers were never going to be able to afford Carlos Gomez after he hit free agency.

But Mike Fiers has 4 years of team control left after this season. His is a more interesting case. Again, I think there is precedent.

The Brewers moved Nori Aoki because they had Khris Davis ready to replace him. In part the Brewers moved Yovani Gallardo because they had Jimmy Nelson ready to replace him. When you factor the trades they've made and the players that will be near-MLB by next year there are a number of possibility to replace Mike Fiers: Zach Davies, Tyler Cravy, Jorge Lopez, Ty Wagner, Josh Hader. Maybe even Tyler Thornburg or Michael Blazek. I don't include Taylor Jungmann because someone will have to take Kyle Lohse's place on the roster.

That I think explains how Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers being available fits the Compete Rebuild model. But the trade return also must be considered. Despite all the trades made being for minor league players I think it helps to solidify my argument.

Every single one of the prospects (with the exception of the lottery ticket from the Broxton trade) is at AA or AAA. Each one of them could contribute to a major league roster in some capacity as soon as next year. Brett Phillips could very well be the heir apparent to Gomez even if he is 1 year away. Zach Davies might be ready to slot into Mike Fiers spot right now.

We're also in the unique position of being able to analyze the trade that almost happened for Carlos Gomez. That would have given the Brewers an immediate answer to third base (yes I'm talking about Wilmer Flores) and a front line starter (Zack Wheeler), albeit and injured one not ready to contribute until June or July of next year. That trade also kept Mike Fiers in the fold. So it strengthened the near and long term which is exactly what you would expect from a team operating under the Compete Rebuild model.

It's impossible to say what else might have been available to the Brewers in other trade offers. But both instances the Brewers did or would have acquired talent ready or near ready to contribute at the major league level. I think that's informative.

The final thing to consider is the major league team. Doesn't trading Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers signal they're finally willing to tank for prospects? It might. But take a look at his roster:

C- Jonathan Lucroy BN- Martin Maldonado SP- Matt Garza RP- Francisco Rodriguez
1B- Adam Lind BN- Jason Rogers SP- Wily Peralta RP- Will Smith
2B- Scooter Gennett BN- Luis Sardinas SP- Jimmy Nelson RP- Jeremy Jeffress
3B- Hernan Perez BN- Elian Herrera SP- Taylor Jungmann RP- Michael Blazek
SS- Jean Segura BN- Domingo Santana SP- Zach Davies RP- David Goforth
LF- Khris Davis RP- Tyler Thornburg
CF-Shane Peterson RP- Tyler Cravy
RF- Ryan Braun

I am not asking you to entertain the idea this is a roster that can compete for the division or even the second wild card spot. But look at that roster and ask yourself if it really looks guaranteed to be one of the ten worst teams in baseball. Because that's what it needs to be in order for it to fit the "tank for prospects" model.

Now consider this: Orlando Arcia, Michael Reed, Tyrone Taylor, Ty Wagner, Jorge Lopez, Josh Hader, and perhaps others could be ready to bolster the major league club at some point next year. Arcia and Reed could have a significant impact as far as mid-season call-ups go.

Now consider this: That 25-man roster above only accounts for players currently available to the Brewers and leaves close to $30,000,000 on the table. The above roster costs approximately $74 million. This year and last the Brewers spent around $104 million on their payroll. It's certainly not guaranteed they will spent that much again, but it appears they can if they want to.

With a team of in-house options I'm not entirely convinced the Brewers would be one of the 10 worst teams in baseball. What I am entirely convinced of is the Brewers will spend money in free agency this winter. They always do. How much and to what end is still very much up for debate though. But given their history I don't believe they will completely punt 2016.

It's not the rebuild you want, but...

The Brewers stand to get a very high draft pick this year. Top 10 feels assured and they still have an outside chance at getting the Number 1 pick in next year's draft. That's more of an accident than part of the plan though. I suspect next year it's still not going to be part of the plan.

I know a lot of people are desperate for multiple drafts in a row with the No. 1 pick being in play but a team really has to try to be that bad. Of course I don't mean they lose individual games on purpose. But the front office has to build a really bad team. It's not that easy. And then silly things can happen like the Phillies winning 10 of their last 13 games. So you have to try to be that bad and (bad) luck has to be on your side.

The Brewers team does not look that bad next year and it can be improved moderately or even significantly via free agency. So no, the Brewers probably won't be trying for a top draft pick next year. Or in other words they'll try to compete next year to some extent. Sort of that I think they'll at least attempt to add assets that can help move up the major league team's window of contention.

That's not what some of you want to hear. I understand. I want the Brewers to have the best farm system in baseball too. I want them to get super awesome draft talent every year too. But look at where the farm system already is. It's gone from easily the worst farm system in baseball to arguably at Top 10 (though more likely Top Half) in just a few years.

The Brewers recently got a lot of talent in the higher minors to help turn the major league team around more quickly. But it's not because they're transitioned to a full rebuild. They just had better assets than Gallardo and Aoki to trade this time around.

In my opinion nothing they have done has suggested a full rebuild is on the horizon. And nothing regarding the state of the farm system nor the major league team suggests a full rebuild is needed to bring the Brewers back into contention. The Brewers farm system is not as bad as the Cubs and Astros when they started their full rebuilds. The major league team isn't as bad either. It isn't devoid of talent and it's not all that old.

Do you know why that is? It's because the Compete Rebuild is working as intended. That's why the Brewers are probably going to stick with the plan. And that's why you should still be hopeful. Because if it continues working as planned sometime in the future, perhaps the near future, the Brewers could have a highly competitive major league roster and a strong farm system.

What We Learned: New look Brewers get swept by Cubs

With the Brewers sporting a new look as a team, they got swept by the Cubs and have built up a five game losing streak. We discuss that and more in today's What We Learned.

This Weekend's Results

Cubs 4, Brewers 2

Matt Garza didn't have his best day on Saturday. The Cubs scored four runs off of him in six innings, with all of the runs coming on home runs. Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run shot in the third, and Kyle Schwarber also had a solo home run. The Brewers managed just two runs on five hits, one scoring on a Khris Davis RBI single and the other no a Jean Segura RBI groundout.

Cubs 4, Brewers 3

Kyle Lohse was himself yesterday afternoon, which means it was another rough start. He allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings, with the Cubs scoring single runs in the first, second, fourth, and fifth innings. The Brewers got a run in the second on a RBI groundout, but didn't do much else until the ninth inning. The Brewers got two runners to start the inning, and then RBI hits from Elian Herrera and Hernan Perez made it 4-3. However, that was all the Brewers could do.

Brewers News & Notes
Minor League Update
Team Level Record Saturday/Sunday Today
Colorado Springs Sky Sox AAA 43-63 Saturday: Iowa 13, Colorado Springs 8
Sunday: Iowa 9, Colorado Springs 7
Iowa @ Colorado Springs
Biloxi Shuckers AA 60-43 Saturday: Biloxi 2, Jackson 0
Sunday:
Mobile 3, Biloxi 2
Biloxi @ Mobile
Brevard County Manatees A+ 45-59 Saturday: Brevard County 6, Jupiter 3
Saturday: Jupiter 4, Brevard County 2
Sunday:
Brevard County 5, Jupiter 4
OFF
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers A 36-70 Saturday: Quad Cities 5, Wisconsin 0
Sunday:
Quad Cities 6, Wisconsin 1
OFF
DSL Brewers R 23-31 Saturday: DSL Brewers 4, DSL Mets2 1 DSL Brewers @ DSL Red Sox2
Helena Brewers R 18-24 Saturday: Great Falls 6, Helena 4
Sunday:
Helena 7, Great Falls 6
OFF
AZL Brewers R 17-18 Saturday: AZL Brewers 4, AZL D-backs 2
Saturday: AZL D-backs 7, AZL Brewers 3
Sunday:
AZL Rangers 2, AZL Brewers 1
OFF

News & Notes

NL Central Update
Team W L
Cardinals 67 38
Pirates 61 43
Cubs 57 47
Reds 47 56
Brewers 44 62

Today's Division Games

  • Cubs (Jon Lester) @ Pirates (Francisco Liriano) - 6:05 pm
  • Cardinals and Reds have the day off.
Around Baseball

Roster News

Other Notes

Today's Action

The Brewers begin a four-game series against the Padres this afternoon. In game one, Tyson Ross faces Wily Peralta. First pitch is at 7:10 pm.

August waiver trade candidates

The non-waiver trade deadline has passed but players can still be moved in August.

The non-waiver trade deadline was an exciting one for Brewers fans ready for a change of pace. Carlos Gomez, Mike Fiers, Gerardo Parra, Jonathan Broxton, and Aramis Ramirez were all traded. But some players remained despite being available and in some cases despite having a seemingly robust market. But the trade season is not over yet.

Trades can be made in August if a player is put on revocable waivers. One of two things will then happen. Either that player will be claimed by another team or that player will pass through waivers. If the player passes through waivers then he can be traded to any team like normal.

If he is claimed then he can only be traded to the team awarded waiver priority. Waiver priority goes in reverse order of record starting with the league that player is currently a part of. In the case of Brewers players, National League clubs will get first dibs. If no one in the NL puts a claim on a Brewers player then American League teams will have a chance.

One thing to remember: Most if not all players will be put on waivers in August. You are probably going hear something about a Brewers player being put on waivers. It does not necessarily mean they're going to be traded or that the Brewers are even trying to trade that player.

There is no penalty to putting players on waivers. If a trade agreement cannot be reached or if the team never really intended to trade a player they can just pull him off waivers. However if a team does that and then puts that player on waivers again he can no longer be pulled back.

The Brewers have a number of players that have waiver trade potential. One or two stand a good chance of being traded. Others are less likely. But even if they aren't traded now the Brewers can get valuable information. They can see which teams are interested in that player. They can also get a dialogue started which could result in an offseason trade.

Let's take a look at the possible Brewers waiver trade candidates:

Neal Cotts - RP

Neal Cotts has had a decent if somewhat uneven season. He started out poorly but on the season has a 25.0 K%, 8.7 BB%, .237 BAA, 1.27 WHIP, 3.51 ERA, and 4.38 FIP. He's had some strange splits over his career but this year he is dominating lefties: 30.6 K%, 4.2 BB%, 0.84 WHIP, 3.30 FIP.

I was mildly surprised Cotts wasn't moved by the July 31 deadline. Left-handed pitchers are usually in demand and Cotts only makes a prorated portion of $3 million the rest of this year. I think the chances are still very good the Brewers move him by August 31. Even if they get nothing in return but salary relief there is no reason to keep him around.

Francisco Rodriguez - RP

I was less surprised K-Rod wasn't moved. While he's having an excellent season a team that traded for him would be on the hook for $7.5 million next year and at least $2 million for the buyout on his 2017 team option. His contract actually isn't that expensive when you compare him to some other players in similar roles. Jonathan Papelbon was traded and he makes way more this year ($13 M) and next year ($11 M). But it's still a commitment through next season which might deter some clubs.

I think Francisco Rodriguez's history of domestic violence (12) has a lot to do with his not being moved. The climate has changed in recent months with Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson being big news stories in the last offseason. Don't think for a second MLB didn't notice the public outrage. They're working on changing their policy on domestic violence. Even though Francisco Rodriguez's incidents when under-reported when they happened and teams still signed and traded for him afterwards, that doesn't mean teams are still going to ignore them.

That said I don't believe it's impossible for the Brewers move him. He is having a very good year: 29.6 K%, 6.7 BB%, .167 BAA, 0.83 WHIP, 0.50 HR/9, 1.50 ERA, 2.34 FIP. He'll probably be the best reliever available in August. Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman weren't moved at the deadline but deals for them figure to be rather large. It's more likely they get moved in the offseason.

Kyle Lohse - SP

Kyle Lohse has been terrible this year. It's really unfortunate because he was excellent in his first two seasons with the Brewers. He has an ERA over 6 and has given up all the home runs. It's hard to see a team motivated to acquire him. He'll pass through waivers though and the Brewers will be very motivated to move him.

I think the chances he's moved are very slim but I would not be surprised if it happened. One season the Brewers traded for Livan Hernandez and Yorvit Torrealba. They didn't get those players because they were good. They got them because they wanted someone to cover innings and in the case of Torrealba it allowed them to use their catchers as pinch hitters more liberally.

A team might see Lohse as someone they can count on for 6 innings every five or six days that will help keep their better arms fresh for the playoffs. A club might even think they can fix him. His HR/9 and BAA are awful, but the rest of his peripherals are pretty much normal. Let's not forget the Cardinals just gave the Brewers a lottery ticket and $2 million in salary relief for Jonathan Broxton.

Matt Garza - SP

Garza is having a slightly less awful season than Lohse. His ERA is only over 5. But he does have a sub-5 FIP! However with 2 more guaranteed seasons and a vesting option I think it's incredibly unlikely he gets moved in August. I wouldn't rule out an offseason trade for Garza. If he can re-establish himself in the final two months of the season someone might talk themselves into him.

Adam Lind - 1B

Here is another player I'm somewhat surprised wasn't moved. Lind is hitting 278/356/485 (129 wRC+) with 16 home runs. He's having one the best season of his career and proving that he can still play the field on a full time basis. There seemed to be a market for him too.

Although two of the teams that could have used him were in-division (Cardinals and Pirates). The Pirates did nothing to improve their first base situation. The Cardinals gave up a solid prospect for the terrible production of Brandon Moss. It's really curious. I wonder if perhaps those clubs were reluctant to give their rival assets that could improve them for the long term.

Two other teams that seemed like fits were the Astros and Angels. The Angels don't have much of a farm system and they did a lot to upgrade their outfield with marginal pieces. It seems likely they just didn't have enough to get a deal done. The Astros made some pretty big upgrades not the least of which was to get SUPERSTAR Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers. Their farm system is still deep but they might feel like they've done enough.

An interesting team that wasn't mentioned much are the Nationals. They're getting dreadful production out of their first base position (-1.1 fWAR, 28th in MLB). It's fun to mock the Mets for their ineptitude but they did a solid job of upgrading their team. The Nationals are just one game ahead of them as of this writing. They might be feeling the heat.

I have no idea what the chances are the Brewers move Lind. Since he's an effective player making little money this year with a cheap team option next year I think there is a reasonable chance he does not pass through waivers. A team could claim him simply to block another team like the Nationals from getting him. They'd risk little as they could trade him in the offseason or in the worse case just exercise his $0.5 M buyout.

There is also the chance the Brewers just don't want to move him. I'm not sure I believe that though. I think it's hard to make an argument the Brewers were willing to move Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers but drew the line at Adam Lind. I think it's more likely they set the asking price rather high, rightfully so, and refused to do anyone any favors by selling low. Personally I endorse the strategy. They can move him in August or in the winter and theoretically not lose much leverage or value.

_______________________

I'm not sure what to expect in August but I'd be surprised if no one was traded. Although Neal Cotts is the only guy I think has a strong chance to be moved. I'd put slim to moderate on everyone else. If no one wants to meet the asking price for K-Rod or Lind then the Brewers might as well hang onto them. They can explore trades again in the offseason or next deadline.

Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs

Brewers mount threat in ninth, but fall short

Addison Russell smacked a solo home run to back Clayton Richard, who helped himself by hitting an RBI double, leading the Cubs to a 4-3 victory Sunday over the Brewers to complete a four-game sweep.