Happy Friday everyone and welcome to this week’s edition of the Brew Crew Ball mailbag!
Maybe it would be a happier Friday if the Brewers hadn’t suffered a crushing sweep at the hands of the Pirates. The Crew took a lead in every game of the series, and with some still reeling from the Josh Hader trade, it wasn’t the right time for a bad stretch from the run prevention unit.
Let’s dive into this week’s questions.
What was the point of including Lamet in Hader’s trade if we’re just going the DFA? And really, what’s the point of exchanging Hader now if it’s not part of the value we returned?
That’s an excellent question. First, we need to establish that Lamet recently reached five years of MLB service time, which means the Brewers couldn’t opt him into the minor leagues without his consent. If they didn’t want him on the list, they had to single him out for an assignment.
Next, let’s look at the reasoning David Stearns provided for the move.
The phrase “balancing the deal” stands out. Hader earns $11 million this year. Taylor Rogers, the other big league player to join the Brewers as part of the deal, earns $7.3 million. By taking over part of Lamet’s $4.76 million salary for this season, the Brewers moved closer to an equal pay swap. The Padres likely demanded Lamet’s inclusion to keep their payroll from going over the luxury tax threshold.
In other words, the Brewers acquired Lamet strictly for financial gain to bring the trade to the finish line. They can say they liked his stuff and just ran out of space for him, but if they really liked him that much, they could have cut another mid reliever to make room. Maybe they were hoping he would accept a Triple-A assignment, but they didn’t see him having an immediate impact on the team.
This is a disappointing revelation for several reasons. When I first analyzed the Hader trade, I approved of it because it looked like a solid counter-building move. Not only did the Brewers get two prospects in return, but they also got two plays to instantly plug into their bullpen and minimize the loss of their closest. While I still believe the additions of Rogers, Matt Bush and Trevor Rosenthal will help the Brewers do well without Hader, removing Lamet from that equation makes a difference. Of the four, he and Bush are the only two who are controllable beyond this season.
Also, I think the Brewers could have made Lamet a formidable reliever. He still throws pretty hard and gets a ton of puffs out of his slider. Instead, they apparently saw him as dead weight.
Finally, cutting Lamet also raises the question of whether Hader’s return was worth trading him at the time. The Brewers love Esteury Ruiz and Robert Gasser, and so do I. Perhaps they think the two will become impact players sooner than we think, in which case they could definitely benefit from this move. Still, was this the best package the brewers offered Hader at one point? We may never know the answer.
It’s also possible the front office saw something in Hader’s recent struggles that convinced them it was time to get out now and get some new talent while they still could, so they settled for it. of the return of the Padres. However, I find that unlikely as I think Hader’s bad pass is control-based and not too much of a concern.
Time will tell how this pairing ages for brewers. In the meantime, fans have reason to be skeptical of the swap deal now that it has turned out to be a three-player return instead of four. I went from being firmly in favor to unsure but ready to trust the front office.
Did Stearns pull out a binder last weekend that he made stupid trade after stupid trade?
I wouldn’t describe any of the trades as stupid. While I’m not as comfortable with Hader’s trade after the Lamet news, Brewers could still come out on top on that one when the dust settles. Even though the Brewers have parted ways with some promising prospects, I really like the offers from Matt Bush and Trevor Rosenthal. You have to give up talent to get talent, and the organization under Stearns hasn’t really been burned by the prospects they traded.
Help me understand the quitting of Tristan Peters and whatever Trevor Rosenthal’s 4.5 million pro-rated contract, for at best a month from a relief pitcher who hasn’t pitched in 2 years.
I think the Brewers are counting on having more than a month of Rosenthal. He may not be ready to leave until September, but if they have a long run in the playoffs, they could take another month off him.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Brewers consider Rosenthal to be a main character in this year’s playoffs. Most of their relievers will have thrown 50 to 70 games by the start of the playoffs, but Rosenthal may only have 10 games under his belt. In theory, he should be very fresh in October, and the Brewers could give him a heavier workload than any other member of their relief unit.
The next question, of course, is how effective the veteran will be. He hasn’t pitched since 2020 and underwent thoracic outlet surgery last year. Despite this, he still seems to have the electric rising fastball that has made him a powerful high-leverage reliever in the past.
In 2020, Rosenthal’s fastball averaged 97.9 mph with a spin speed of 2454 rpm, 93% spin efficiency (also known as active spin) and 10.5 inches of movement vertical. A look at some bullpen sessions this year indicates he’s pretty close to that form.
First, here are some Rapsodo metrics he released during a session in June:
Here’s a more recent example from last week that also includes a video.
It looks like Rosenthal’s speed is a bit lower at his peak, but he’s still comfortably settled in the 90s. His fastball still has the same spin and motion profile that made it a weapon in the past.
As for his contract, Spotrac has the Brewers on the hook for just $296,700. The trade may seem odd given Rosenthal’s long layoff and the fact that the Brewers moved their prospect to 19th to acquire him. However, it looks like it has the potential to become a breakthrough weapon in October, which would be worth it in my book.
In your opinion, would you have traded Hader this season? I feel like moves like these could spoil the clubhouse mojo in the middle of a playoff push. Judging by some of Williams and Woodruff’s comments, they seemed a bit more than surprised. How do you feel about that?
I expected that if Hader was traded, it would have happened the final offseason after a career year with two seasons in check remaining. I also believe that brewers never actively bought it and just listened to offers in case one was worth it. It’s hard to comment on the timing without knowing what those other deals were.
I may be in the minority, but I think any bad vibes the trade may have created in the clubhouse will pass. Craig Counsell is known for his excellent communication skills, especially his ability to deliver bad news and help players deal with it.
I’m sure Hader’s trade shocked the clubhouse, and the Brewers expected it to. They test Counsell’s leadership qualities, but if anyone can help players get through this, it’s him. Everything will be fine in the end.
Are we going to be more disappointed with the Hader trade than the Carlos Lee trade at the time? Both trades were made with the idea of “not punting” on the current season while gaining value for a player who was not going to quit with the Brewers.
The return to the Hader deal is younger with more upside. Taylor Rogers is a better reliever than his ERA indicates this season. Ruiz’s speed and newfound plate discipline could translate to major league success, and having a strong command of three different courts gives Gasser a solid foundation. I’m optimistic the Brewers will get performance above replacement level from at least two of these players.
Jack, which young outfielder do you think will be with the major league club next summer?
I’ll have to say Esteury Ruiz. He’s the only one currently on the 40-man roster, and David Stearns has indicated he could join the major league side soon.
Stearns said Ruiz could very well spend time with the Brewers this season.
He also called Gasser “quietly one of the hottest pitching prospects in baseball right now.”
— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) August 1, 2022
However, Sal Frelick rose quickly through the minor league ranks. I wouldn’t bet on seeing it this year, but I won’t rule it out.
Seems curious minds want to know… How much longer will David Stearns work for the Brewers?
Stearns is under contract until the 2023 season unless the Brewers win the National League pennant this year, in which case his option for next year does not vest and he can seek a position in a new organization. .
I think we are in the final years of the Stearns era in Milwaukee. That shouldn’t bother anyone though. Even if he leaves, the Brewers are unlikely to move away from the model he used while leading the franchise. Stearns may be a big name, but he’s a person. The overwhelming majority of its current baseball operations team will remain intact. General manager Matt Arnold, who has played a bigger role in building recent rosters than he deserves, would take over as general manager.
Mr Leam asks:
Has anything interesting happened in the last few days?
I went fishing on Wednesday. It was nice.
Thanks for your questions this week! Hopefully things will have calmed down by next week.
#Brew #Crew #Ball #Mailbag #Handling #Unusual #Business #Delay
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