Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Rosenthal Has the Brewers' Long Term Plans All Figured Out

Ken Rosenthal attempts to crawl into the GM chair of the Brewers in a recent column on Foxsports.com.

To the victor go the spoils. The Brewers aren't going to mimic the Mets, who traded for Johan Santana and awarded him a landmark contract. No, Milwaukee is perfectly content to lose both Sabathia and right-hander Ben Sheets to free agency this offseason, then accept four premium draft picks as compensation.

The Sabathia trade continues a pattern that the Brewers began last year, when they traded three minor-league pitchers to the Padres for reliever Scott Linebrink, then gladly settled for two top draft picks when Linebrink left for the White Sox as a free agent.

The entire industry has seen what the Brewers can do through scouting and player development — Class AA outfielder Matt LaPorta, the centerpiece of the Sabathia deal, was the team's first-round pick in 2007.

As the Brewers' youngsters continue to evolve, club officials can continue picking and choosing among their players, using their surpluses to maximum advantage.

And then Rosenthal surmises that the Brewers may move both Hardy and Prince in the offseason.

The demand for shortstops, in particular, is rising. Hardy, second in OPS only to the Marlins' Hanley Ramirez among NL shortstops, could bring a quality young starting pitcher — think Giants right-hander Matt Cain — if he is packaged with the right youngsters.

And then there's Prince:

Fielder, who hit 50 home runs last season, could be even more coveted in trades than Hardy — the Mets and Yankees, for example, might prefer to acquire him than sign a free agent such as Mark Teixeira for countless millions.

The trade of Fielder on top of Hardy obviously would leave the Brewers offense short. Then again, the Brewers need not rush: Fielder, represented by Scott Boras, is unlikely to sign long term, but only entering his first year of salary arbitration.

Two other Brewers prospects at Class AA, Mat Gamel and Chris Errecart, loom as potential replacements for Fielder. By keeping Fielder, the Brewers could buy each player more developmental time, then act at the moment they deemed appropriate.

Oh, he also says that the Brewers are interested in trading for Ray Durham and Jack Taschner from the Giants (who is a loogy out of the pen, evidently).

Interesting stuff. If they can really turn J.J. Hardy into Matt Cain, I say go for it (depending upon the youngsters involved, of course). Goldy agrees.


Jason said...

/puts on GM Robe and Wizard Cap

Trade Fielder, Bill Hall, and whatever else we'd need to from A+/AA for Cain.

Move Hardy to third, play Escobar at SS, and Gamel at first.

Brantley or Cain in center.

If they did this they'd have enough money off the books to aggressively pursue resigning CC or Sheeter.


Jason said...

(to clarify, Brantley or LORENZO Cain in center)

Goldy said...

Taschner is from Racine. I played against him in HS. Actually, back then, he didn't even pitch that much.