Tag: MLB

A Fork In The Road: Should the Milwaukee Brewers Buy at the Trade Deadline?

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Is the brewers rebuild coming to an end? or should david stearns stay the course?

The Milwaukee Brewers trade deadline activity might be heating up, especially after they have defied the odds all season and have a 5.5 game lead in the division. Even the most optimistic fans did not see the division as winnable after expectations were low to start the season. Many others, myself included, figured there were too many unknowns with this club for it to come together this early. Yet here we are at the All-Star break and the Brewers are 50-41 and leading a surprisingly mediocre NL Central.

Many fans are thinking playoffs and are right to think so. The Brewers offense has shown an incredible amount of power despite Ryan Braun appearing in less than half of the 91 games played. Pitching has held up thanks to big first half performances by Jimmy Nelson, Chase Anderson, and Corey Knebel.

The trade deadline is merely weeks away and some big names are available. Both the Oakland A’s Sonny Gray and Chicago White Sox Jose Quintana had been named as potential targets of the Brewers. Quintana is now off the board after the Chicago Cubs traded their top two prospects plus others for his services. Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers is also rumored to be on the trade block. The Brewers may be tempted to make a splash with a rare opportunity to make the playoffs looming. Should they though? We’ll take a look at the arguments for and against buying at the deadline.

Milwaukee Brewers trade deadline and buying in

The Brewers have a 5.5 game lead in the division with 71 games to play. If they hold a similar lead by the end of July, the division will be theirs for the taking. One big reason to buy at the deadline is that playoff appearances are unfortunately rare in Milwaukee. Aside from 2008 and 2011, one must go back to the 1982 squad to find a playoff team. The Brewers have one of the highest rated farms in baseball, but there is no guarantee that the prospects will pan out as expected. Why wait around for something that may not happen?

General Manger David Stearns does not care about history though, his focus is on the future. Sonny Gray could be a smart pickup as he is under 30 and has two seasons of affordable team control remaining. This would not be a half season rental like C.C. Sabathia back in 2008. Gray would immediately be, at worst, the number 2 starter in the rotation.

The Brewers farm system is loaded with talent with a surplus in the outfield. Stearns could flip a couple prospects and not damage the overall health of the franchise. While they would still be underdogs in the NLDS, a playoff rotation of Gray, Nelson, and Anderson could at least keep the Crew competitive. If Stearns feels like the roster is built to compete within the next several seasons then adding a starting pitcher could be the final piece needed.

The Case For Standing Pat

David Stearns has repeatedly said that his goal is to build a long term winner in Milwaukee. Selling off prospects for a pitcher now could help this year, but could also hurt the Brewers down the road. The Brewers have done a remarkable job over the last two years flipping veterans for prospects. The team could very well sell off some prospects, getting burned in the process when a player they acquire does not live up to expectations.

In fact the Brewers are already benefiting from the trades they’ve made as Travis Shaw, Domingo Santana, and Corey Knebel are big contributors now. The sheer amount of talent in the Brewers farm could have them set up to be a playoff caliber squad for a decade. Given Milwaukee’s rather non-competitive history I think most fans would welcome a sustained period of success.

In the end it’s about trying to bring a championship to Milwaukee and two seasons of Gray is unlikely to push the Brewers over the likes of the Dodgers, Astros, or Nationals. The Brewers have shown that they will go all in to acquire a front line starter; Sabathia in 2008 and Zack Greinke in 2011. Stearns may not feel that 2017 is the time for the big push, especially if either the Cubs or Cardinals close the divisional gap by the deadline.

My Opinion

The idea of acquiring Gray is tantalizing for sure. Winning the division title over the heavily favored Cubs would be sweet considering the meager expectations heading into the season. However I would not expect the Brewers to pull the trigger on a large scale deal this season. They might make another low risk trade similar to the one made for reliever Tyler Webb, but not much else.

The reality is that the Cubs gave up two of their top prospects to get Quintana. The A’s will want a similar deal for Gray which might require the Brewers to trade two of Lewis Brinson, Josh Hader, or Isan Diaz. Given the potential of those players I expect Stearns will pull out of any trade talks. There will come a time when the Brewers add a top line starter for a World Series push but it is unlikely to be this season.


An ode to Milwaukee's Iron Prince


Should the Milwaukee Brewers honor Prince Fielder by retiring his number?

By: Billy Tewes

Last week’s announcement that Prince Fielder will be retiring from baseball due to his second neck surgery brought back a lot of memories from the days I grew up as a sports junkie in high school. Nearly ten years ago was the first time I attended Brewers’ games as a young adult, and it was also around that time that the trio of Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks and Ryan Braun were maturing into three key pieces to a potential playoff run for the Milwaukee Brewers and put them on the map as unlikely contender after 25 years of missing the playoffs.

It was Fielder that made a massive impact and sent this fan base into a frenzy every time he was at bat. It was conceivable to think he could crush the ball right out of Miller Park at any given at bat or at the very least drive in some runs in exciting fashion. His best years were 2007 and 2009 respectively. In 07, he launched 50 homers and put his name out as a dynamic player who could be MVP material (finished 3rd in MVP voting that year). Just two years later, Fielder batted .300 and drove in 141 runs. While Fielder never won an MVP, he consistently batted over .275 and was a dynamic power threat in the lineup every night.

His best years definitely came in Milwaukee and the team got their money’s worth with Fielder playing damn near every game from 2006-2011. Fielder missed a total of 13 games over a span of those six years (per Baseball-Reference), which seems extremely unlikely for a player of his caliber and size to achieve in Major League baseball these days. Perhaps that was part of his untimely demise, as all of the years of violent swinging and playing so many games finally took its toll.

Prince Fielder personified much of what many Wisconsin sports fans value in professional athletes. Fielder’s sound work ethic and dedication to his craft made him likable to many of Wisconsin’s blue collar citizens. While former teammate Ryan Braun sullied the Milwaukee Brewers franchise with his antics and PED usage, it was Fielder who consistently gave Brewers fans something to be proud of for the time that he was with the team.

I cannot hide the fact that as a fan, I was upset when Fielder left Milwaukee. The selfish side of me wanted Prince to stay here at a hometown discount and keep our team relevant in playoff talks. When he left, I selfishly wished he would do poorly with the Detroit Tigers, but that frustration was obviously misplaced. Fielder went on to have a couple of great years with the Tigers and Rangers and will hopefully be welcomed home with open arms.

While the Brewers franchise could not get to the World Series and as a small market, could not afford to keep both Braun and Fielder, it is safe to say the city of Milwaukee was extremely lucky to have great player like Prince Fielder to cheer for in the prime of his career. From the no-doubt-about-it homers, to the unlikely in the park home runs, all the way to his orchestrated big splash walk off celebration against the San Francisco Giants, it’s safe to say Prince Fielder has, at the very least, cemented his legacy as one of Milwaukee’s all-time greats and is most definitely deserving of having his number retired by the organization.

all statistics are courtesy of baseball-reference.com.

Lucroy expresses no trade clause and kills deal to Cleveland, where will he end up?

By: Bill Tewes

UPDATE: According to MLBTraderumors.com, the Rangers are back in the mix for Jonathan Lucroy. The talks are “productive” and we may see Lucroy dealt today after all. Texas is not one of the eight teams that Lucroy can veto a trade to, so we’ll see if Stearns and company get a deal done!

Deadline day is upon us and it was only a matter of when we see Jonathan Lucroy in a jersey other than Milwaukee Brewer blue. Brewer fans were expected to wake up this morning and read the headline: “Jonathan Lucroy traded to Cleveland Indians for package of prospects.” Not so fast Brewer fans! As it usually is, MLB Trade Deadline day has many twists and turns. Lucroy has nixed a deal sending him to the Cleveland Indians due to the fact that Cleveland is one of the eight teams listed on his limited no-trade-clause. ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted suggesting that the Brewers are working feverishly to convince Lucroy to waive his no-trade-clause and accept a deal to Cleveland. 

Additionally, it appears that the major stumbling block in this trade as reported by Jeff Passan, is that Lucroy was expecting the Indians to do away with the 2017 Club option as part of his contract. The Indians would have been foolish for doing so as they would surely lose Lucroy to free agency after this season. Brewer fans should be rightfully upset with Lucroy if he seriously expected the Indians to do that (after he complained about not being on a contender), but it is also the ugly side for the organization of the no-trade-clause.

The 30-year-old catcher fetched a substantial offer from the Cleveland Indians, which was expected to yield four prospects with catcher Francisco Mejia (#6 prospect in Indian’s organization) being the top prospect of the trade. The Brewers and Indians had a deal in principle and now that deal is for naught.

In a tweet from MLB.com writer Ken Rosenthal, the Brewers were expected to get Indians’ prospects Yu-Cheng Chang (#12) and outfielder Greg Allen (#22) plus a fourth player yet to be named. The Brewers were allegedly heavily interested in Justus Sheffield, but the Indians just traded him to the Yankees as part of a deal to get reliever Andrew Miller. It would have been an incredible trade for the Brewers if they could have received Sheffield as part of the Lucroy package.

Jonathan Lucroy was very vocal about wanting to play for a contender in the offseason and Cleveland has been making moves to solidify them as a top flight contender this year. For everything Lucroy has said, it is hard to believe that he would outright deny a trade to a team that looks like a serious threat in the AL.

The Brewers had multiple trade partners for Lucroy and it seemed as if the cost would rise for his services. Now the Brewers have to go back to the drawing board and hope that they can get as good of a deal or possibly slightly better now that the Indians are out. The Mets offered what I think is a lowball offer for Lucroy. They offered catcher Travis D-Arnaud and outfielder Brandon Nimmo (#5 prospect in their system) plus a player yet to be named. The other substantial trade partner was the Texas Rangers, but they fell out of the running early yesterday as it appears they do not want to part with a top prospect like Jurickson Profar or Joey Gallo.

It would behoove the Brewers to take their time today and wait this trade deadline out as long as possible. Brewers GM David Stearns is not going to sell low on Lucroy just because a deal fell through with Cleveland. Lucroy would still have one year left on his contract and can easily be traded in the offseason, so that a team can get a full year of his services behind the plate. In that aspect, it might be better for them to keep Lucroy in Milwaukee for the rest of this season.

The Brewers still have their relievers they could move and it is encouraging to see the haul that the New York Yankees received for reliever Andrew Miller. Milwaukee should be able to move Jeremy Jeffress and Will Smith to contenders or teams on the verge of contending. It also would not surprise me to see Chris Carter moved for a team in serious need of a power bat, but so far there have been no rumors regarding Carter. By the end of the day, the Brewers should net some nice prospects, adding to their continued pursuit of a better future.

Brewers Jeremy Jeffress Trade Should Net Big Haul

By: Mark Prott

Recent Aroldis Chapman trade to Cubs should be model for asking price

Amid all the speculation, rumors and trade ideas surrounding Milwaukee Brewers Catcher Jonathan Lucroy, it has been a bit surprising to not see more trade talk surrounding the Brewers other big fish in the pond on the trade market, relief pitcher and suddenly dominant closer Jeremy Jeffress. Of course, with the trade deadline less than a week away and the recent New York Yankees trade of closer Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs, talk surrounding the Brewers hurler seems to be ramping up. MLB Network’s Jim Duquette says that Brewers General Manager David Stearns has a high asking price on a return for a Jeffress deal.

So in other words, the Brewers are asking for the same type of deal the Yankees received after they landed # 1 Cubs prospect shortstop Gleyber Torres in the Chapman deal. On the surface, one might think no way is Jeffress going to have the same value as Chapman. But when we dig a little deeper it couldn’t be more true that Jeffress should be worth at least the same type of top prospect on the level of Torres, rated by Baseball America as the #27th overall prospect in Major League Baseball.

Sure Aroldis Chapman comes with more flash and pizzazz, sporting his 105 mph fastballs and cranking out eye popping strikeout rates. But bottom line is the closer’s job is to get 3 outs in the 9th while protecting your team’s lead. No matter how you get the outs or how hard you throw, saves all count the same. And in that regard Jeremy Jeffress has been every bit as good as Aroldis Chapman this year. Compare the numbers so far, Jeffress is 25 out of 26 converting saves with a 2.11 ERA, while Chapman is 21 out of 22 with 1.87 ERA entering play Saturday. Both players also happen to be 28 years old.

If you still are not convinced Jeffress should command a similar return to Chapman, it is also important to take into account free agency status and team control. While we know the Cubs possess the resources to lock him up long term if they want, as of right now Chapman is simply a rental player. On the other hand, Jeffress does not become a free agent until the 2020 season. Then there’s the off field issues that need to be addressed in trade value. Jeremy Jeffress had a well publicized problem with marijuana, causing early career suspensions, but all indications are that problem is well in Jeffress’ past. Chapman on the other hand has a much more recent and alarming off field issue having been involved in an alleged domestic violence incident last October, which caused him to be suspended 30 games to start the 2016 season.

I’ll admit if it comes down to one game and I get to pick, I would choose Chapman over Jeffress. But there’s more factors involved than sheer talent when it comes to teams trading away building blocks of their future. Bottom line is the Brewers have a very valuable piece in Jeremy Jeffress. He’s one of the top closers in the game. And it also does not hurt that he’s been pitching great, when no doubt many scouts and executives’ eyes are on him, watching every pitch.



Rocky Mountain Way: Brewers Triple A Pitching Woes Explained

Is Colorado Springs bad for the Brewers?

By: Jim Boyce

The location of a team’s minor league affiliates is often an afterthought to fans of a baseball team. Throughout the years Brewers minor league teams have played ball in Wisconsin, Nashville, and Biloxi just to name a few and frankly few have cared as long as the prospects were putting up numbers and keeping themselves on track to play in Miller Park. Currently the Brewers Triple A affiliate is the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Now as many of you know, the thin air in Colorado adds a different element and unique challenges in most outdoor sports in that state. When it comes to baseball the thin air tends to allow the ball to carry farther, which is great for hitters but a real nightmare for pitchers.

This is where we take a look at the Brewers pitching prospects. Here are the 2016 pitching statistics in Colorado Springs thus far.


If you just spit your drink all over your computer, I do apologize. Let’s run down some of the high, or low, lights of this chart. Jorge Lopez, one of the crown jewels of the Brewers farm system, is 1-6 with an ERA of 6.33. This is a pitcher who was 12-5 with a 2.26 ERA in Double A in 2015, and was rated the #59th prospect in all of baseball heading into the 2016 season. Another similar, yet startling example is Josh Hader. Called up to Colorado Springs after dominating everyone he faced in Biloxi to start this season and I don’t use that term lightly, a 0.95 ERA! And also representing the Brewers in the MLB futures game just this past week in which he struck out the only batter he faced. He has begun his stint with the Sky Sox with a 6.38 ERA over five games.

While some of Lopez and Hader’s numbers can be expected to suffer simply because they need to adjust to a higher level of competition, it seems ridiculous to say that either guy lost the stuff they had in double A. If you need an example to prove that I am not crazy, Junior Guerra started the year in Colorado Springs and had a mediocre stat line of 0-2 with a 4.63 ERA over 4 games. He is currently the best pitcher on the Milwaukee Brewers staff, going 6-2 with a 3.06 ERA in 13 games in the bigs. It seems crazy doesn’t it? That Guerra can do so well against Major League competition, but struggle against Triple A guys, many of whom will never see the big stage. This is the effect the thin air in Colorado Springs might have.

Wily Peralta and Taylor Jungmann both have had success in the majors before, they both currently sport you-have-to-look-twice-to-believe-it ERA’s over 9.00. In fact, Jungmann’s stint in Triple A has been so unproductive he is now back in Double A trying to work on his game. While there is no real data to quantify this, one has to wonder what struggling like these pitchers have does to their confidence levels. Especially for guys like Peralta and Jungmann who struggled in the majors and were sent down. Does getting shelled in the thin air of Colorado ruin their chances of ever getting back to being successful in the majors?

So what options do the Brewers have for moving out of Colorado Springs and into an environment better suited for developing pitchers? Unfortunately, not many, unless an alternate home opens up before next season the Brewers will have no choice but to stay at Colorado Springs another 2 seasons. David Stearns seems to understand the challenges of developing pitching at the current triple A affiliate as a recent piece by Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel points out.

“We know Colorado Springs is a very challenging environment to pitch in,” Stearns said. “The entire industry knows that; it’s no secret. It’s challenging, No. 1 because the ball flies there a lot. It has the same issues defensively that Coors Field presents in terms of outfielders playing differently.

“Also, breaking balls don’t break as much as pitchers try to manipulate spin on the ball. It’s a difficult pitcher’s environment but it’s not the only difficult pitcher’s environment in that league or minor-league baseball. Most clubs, somewhere in their system, have an environment that is a little more challenging for pitchers. We have an environment in the Florida State League (at Brevard County) that is a little more challenging for hitters.”

Stearns definitely does not give Colorado Springs a ringing endorsement in the piece when discussing the Brewers options for the future. The thin air in Colorado is a very real problem, it’s the reason the major league Rockies have trouble attracting top pitchers in free agency. The Brewers are a franchise that has struggled immensely in producing their own homegrown pitching talent.  Jimmy Nelson may be the first starting worthy option drafted by Milwaukee since Yovani Gallardo, and the team has no realistic shot at being able to afford an ace via free agency. For these reasons I think it is important that they find a way out of Colorado Springs in the near future. In the meantime, do not be surprised if Jorge Lopez and Josh Hader are called up late in the season to get some major league experience. Also do not be surprised if like Junior Guerra, they actually post better numbers against the best hitters in the world than in the gauntlet known as Colorado Springs.

Brewers Young Trade Acquisitions Playing Well in Minors

Young trio of prospects on the rise

By: Mark Prott

Look no further than the current roster of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the Milwaukee Brewers Class A Minor League affiliate, to notice there has been a recent infusion of talent in the lower levels of the Brewers farm system. In fact, a whopping 8 Timber Rattlers were selected to play in the recent 2016 Midwest League All-Star Game.

3 of those 8 all-stars, including starting pitchers Marcos Diplan, Freddy Peralta, and shortstop Isan Diaz, all share a unique bond. They were all acquired by the Brewers via trades to rebuild the farm system within the past 2 years. And they all have one other important quality on their side: youth, as Diaz and Peralta just turned 20 years old, while Diplan is still only a teenager at 19.

Let’s start with the pitchers first. Seems like a long time ago now, but Marcos Diplan was acquired by the Brewers as one of the main pieces in the Yovanni Gallardo trade to the Texas Rangers. Originally signed by the Rangers as a top international pitching talent out of the Dominican Republic, Diplan received 1.3 million to sign in 2013. Headlined by a great fastball that reaches 94 mph and a plus slider, it is strange to see Diplan rated so low at #19 on the Brewers top prospects list coming into the season.

It’s not like he hasn’t produced on the mound either. Coming off a solid year for the rookie Helena Brewers, Diplan has taken his pitching game to new heights this year with a spectacular start to the season with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. His numbers this year: 70 IP  1.80 ERA 89K 1.16 WHIP and hitters are batting only .191 off him. Maybe his size 6-0 160 scares some scouts but to me, the kid is only 19 and will likely fill out and maybe in the process even add a tick or two on the radar gun to his already impressive arsenal.

The next recent trade acquisition to examine is pitcher Freddy Peralta, one of 3 young pitchers obtained in the Adam Lind deal with the Seattle Mariners in December 2015. In many ways the Dominican Republic native seems eerily similar to Diplan, due in part to a fastball that reaches low 90s, a smaller frame 5-11 175 and his propensity for missing bats while on the mound as he already has 77Ks in only 60 IP to go along with a 2.85 ERA. Although he’s rated slightly lower than Diplan on MLB prospect lists and in performance, he is an exciting piece to keep an eye on in the future as he develops.

Now for the shortstop, Isan Diaz, acquired in the Jean Segura deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier this year. Wait, but top prospect Orlando Arcia and current breakout Brewer Jonathan Villar are already playing that position. Doesn’t matter. This kid has shown he can rake and the Brewers will find a spot for him down the line if he stays on track. A 2nd round pick in 2014, the Puerto Rico native busted onto the prospect scene in 2015 winning MVP honors in the Rookie Pioneer league by batting .360 to go along with 13 HR 51RBI and a whopping 1.076 OPS. Known for his quick bat speed and easy pure swing, the left handed hitter has shown great power to all fields in the minors despite his lack of size at 5-10 185. After a slow start, Diaz has been on a complete tear as of late and is currently tied for the Class A Midwest League lead with 11 homeruns. Check out that sweet easy power on this beautiful swing.

As I take a closer look at all 3 of these young talented prospects, it makes me all the more convinced that the Milwaukee Brewers rebuild is currently on the right track. It’s impossible to predict if all 3 will become contributors to the major league club but that’s not the point I’m trying to make. In all 3 of these trades the Brewers top decision makers, Doug Melvin with Diplan and current GM David Stearns with Peralta and Diaz, were not afraid to trade for the player they viewed as the highest upside piece on the table.

It’s not easy to pull a trigger on a player who could be at least 3 years away while feeling pressure to win now and stay competitive. So, I give them credit for doing the right thing and trying to accumulate as much talent as possible in all levels of the farm system. That folks is how you build a sustained winner. So hold on Brewer fans, it may be painful to watch the big league club at times, but keep an eye on the future, even right in our backyard because we are in store for a fun rebuild to follow

Update: Freddy Peralta and Marcos Diplan have been promoted to the Brevard County Manatees, the Brewers High-A class affiliate. Congratulations and good luck to Freddy and Marcos!



Brewers Deadline Discussion: Braun, Lucroy and more

By: Jim Boyce

As we approach the July 31st trade deadline, it is time to examine what David Stearns may or may not do.

The calendar has hit July and with it comes the mayhem known as the MLB trade deadline. Our local nine has at times shown signs of being a competitive baseball team (at home anyway). With Ryan Braun hitting well over .300, Jonathan Lucroy regaining his all-star form of 2014, Chris Carter mashing homers, and players such as Junior Guerra and Jonathan Villar have unexpectedly made the team watchable.

However, the Brewers are not going to finish anywhere near the NL playoffs and will be sellers at the deadline. Trading for prospects and landing in the top 10 of the draft does the Brewers more good than chasing 75 wins, so let’s take a look at some trade chips David Stearns has at his disposal:


The two obvious names are Ryan Bruan and Jonathan Lucroy. The only rumor of real substance so far was reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and had Braun headed to San Francisco. There are some major roadblocks to this particular deal and it seems unlikely at this point. Due to his contract, his past, and his no trade clause, moving Braun may be difficult to do. Lucroy seems far more likely to be traded, as his affordable contract and All-Star level production should be able to net the Brewers a nice haul of prospects. Lucroy may be able to fetch the Brewers a top 1st or 3rd baseman or starting pitching.

As a fan it would hurt to see Lucroy go, but sentiment must be put aside during rebuilds. After all most of us loved watching Carlos Gomez play, but the Brewers clearly won the deal that landed them a future starting pitcher, centerfielder, and a current starter in Domingo Santana. If the Brewers can get a similar deal for Lucroy, the future becomes very bright in Milwaukee.


Last season Chris Carter was bad, no other way to describe a .199 BA. As a result the Brewers were able to sign him on a cheap one year deal. While currently batting .231 and being on pace to strikeout over 200 times is not good, his power has returned as he currently sits at 20 HR as of this writing. I think there is a good chance David Stearns will receive calls from contending teams looking to add a power bat for the pennant race. The Brewers most likely will not receive a top prospect in return, but could get a guy who at least has a chance to blossom into a major league contributor.

Aaron Hill, after a slow start, has rebounded nicely and is currently batting .273 with 7 HR and 25 RBI. Derek Harvey of Brew Crew Ball wrote a nice piece recently likening a Hill trade to that of last seasons Aramis Ramirez deal. The player in return would be unlikely to become an MLB contributor, but as a rebuilding club it’s worth getting as many chips as you can.

Matt Garza is an interesting case. My bet is he will not be moved, as he has spent most of this season on the DL and was beyond awful last season. However he did have a few nice starts after coming back followed by a poor outing in St. Louis. Maybe some team takes a chance? Again I doubt it, but it’s worth keeping an eye on how he performs in July.


Beyond the players already mentioned I do not see anyone else being traded. Players like Jonathan Villar and Scooter Gennett have played well, and possibly could be traded to clear space for Orlando Arcia coming up. But they are both young players on affordable team controlled contracts, exactly the kind of players the Brewers are looking to acquire.

My final prediction is that Jonathan Lucroy, Chris Carter, and Aaron Hill are moved either at the deadline or off waivers at the end of August. Ryan Braun and Matt Garza finish out the season in Milwaukee. In the end though, the trade deadline can be a wild time, and no one really knows what Stearns might have up his sleeve.