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Brewers and Rays Get Together on Another Bounce-Back Trade, This Time for Mike Brosseau

Chicago Cubs

It’s a far less notable version, but the parallel is pretty obvious: Brewers and Rays get together on a deal that sends the Brewers a slumping position player who was previously great, and the Rays get a young arm(s) to put into their pitching machine and develop like crazy.

The last deal, of course, netted the Brewers Willy Adames, who wound up being one of their best players this year, and figures to be a thorn in the Cubs’ side for many years to come. (Thanks, Rays.) This time around, it’s a similar structure, but less likely to really burn:

If you remember Mike Brosseau, my guess is that you’re thinking of that big postseason homer off of Aroldis Chapman last year (remember the karmic revenge?). The now 27-year-old utility man was coming off two straight excellent, but partial, exposures to the big leagues in 2019 and 2020 (.284/.343/.500, 130 wRC+ over 240 PAs), and looked like he was going to be a very useful fixture for the Rays. But underperformance and injury combined to wreck his 2021 season (.187/.266/.347, 73 wRC+ over 169 PAs), and the numbers at Triple-A were underwhelming, too.

So now Brosseau, who can play the infield and outfield corners, as well as second base, is a pure bounce-back play for the Brewers. I kinda hate it, because I could see it happening. With Avi Garcia out the door, the Brewers will have some more at bats available in a corner outfield spot, as well as rotating around the movable Milwaukee infield.

For the Rays, they get righty Evan Reifert, an undrafted signing in 2020 (the shortened draft), who is relief-only but put up some eye-popping strikeout numbers in his pro debut. A quick look says he’s a raw, talented, nasty stuff arm with a big fastball … the kind of guy the Rays consistently turn into a quality big league reliever for a few years.

Here’s another consideration in the deal: the 40-man roster. By making the trade, the Rays get to open a 40-man spot, swapping out Brosseau for a prospect who need not be put on the 40-man any time soon. That gives them a little extra space to work with in advance of Friday’s rostering deadline (prospects who are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft must be put on the 40-man roster by this Friday if they are going to be protected from the draft).

We could see more trades like this in the coming days.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.