How do you resolve a self-created outfield glut? You move a 34-year-old terrible defender into the infield, of course!
Braun confirmed he’s game for trying first base and said he’s talked with David Stearns this winter about some second base, too. https://t.co/SNLIKxiLGt
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) January 28, 2018
After signing Lorenzo Cain and trading for Christian Yelich, the prevailing wisdom is that the Brewers would trade from the Domingo Santana/Brett Phillips/Keon Broxton group, and then use the rest, together with Braun, in something of a rotation. It’s a perfectly acceptable approach. But it also comes without any leverage, since every possible trade partner out there knows exactly what the Brewers want to do.
So, then, the Brewers instead tell the world, “Nah, we’re moving Braun to the infield, so it’s fine.”
To be sure, it may well be the case that the Brewers do move Braun into the infield some of the time, but I think that would be more about starting to turn him into a part-time, bat-first utility guy in the twilight of his career, rather than any kind of move. At first base, the Brewers already have an Eric Thames-Jesus Aguilar platoon if they want. At second base, you could point to more of a need (Eric Sogard, Jonathan Villar), but can Braun actually play second base? I mean really?
Consider that, when he came up, Braun was a third baseman. In 2007, he played 113 games at the position and netted NEGATIVE THIRTY-TWO DRS. His UZR/150 was -42.8, which was *the worst of all-time by 13 runs*!!! (needs more exclamation points!!!)
Sure, second base is not the same as third base, and sure, Braun has perhaps developed since then, but come on. The guy was the literal worst third baseman in the history of the sport, and you’re gonna put him at second base at age 34? Get outta here. Or, I suppose, more pleadingly: DO IT.