At 1.5 games back of the Chicago Cubs, you could argue things aren’t as bad for the Milwaukee Brewers as they feel after a two-week-long free fall.
On the flip side, trailing the Cubs at all at this point does not bode well for the playoff chances of a team that was surprisingly in the race as it was. The Brewers are also the third place Wild Card team, trailing only the two currently-in-position Wild Card teams, but they’re behind the Diamondbacks by 5.0 games. By any measure, things don’t look great for the Brewers, who enter the day with postseason odds in the 10% to 20% range, depending on your projection system of choice.
Adding a top arm in the trade market would certainly help that cause, and, if it were the right arm, could also help in 2018 and beyond, when the team’s young core is ready to compete for the full season.
Still, the Brewers aren’t about to break up that young core in service of adding that right arm, so I’m not surprised by this:
#Brewers were told "Brinson or bust" on Oakland's Sonny Gray. They chose "bust."
— Tom (@Haudricourt) July 30, 2017
The 23-year-old Lewis Brinson is the Brewers’ top prospect, and a top 10-15 prospect in all of baseball. More than that, he’s already reached the big leagues after putting up huge numbers (with good peripherals) in the upper minors. He’s got All-Star-caliber upside, showing power, speed, and great defense in center field.
I think Sonny Gray offers a lot of compelling upside, and his contract is great, but I would not trade Brinson in a deal for Gray if I were the Brewers.
The Yankees remain the most likely Gray destination, but you know how the Trade Deadline goes. Things can swing wildly from moment to moment.