Now that the dust has settled from the series sweep against the Pirates a week ago, the Brewers organization is undoubtedly entering their most important week of the season. Some, myself included, were a bit worried that the success of this team in July would cause the Brewers to second guess themselves as sellers. Those fears were calmed this week when the Brewers officially signaled the start of their selling off process, sending Aramis Ramirez back to Pittsburgh to finish his career. By Friday the 31st, this is going to be a very different baseball team.
It’s been an interesting July for the Brewers, who lead the major leagues in batting average in July. This is the same team that could not string together consecutive hits during the first six weeks of the season. And while some may find the selling process a bit disheartening given the team’s recent success, the recent surge of hitting this month is reason to celebrate. The July success of a number of players in the Brewers lineup will likely change the makeup of this franchise for years to come. Let’s look at a couple of key players and see how the last 30 days have improved their chances of being traded this week.
Gerardo Parra: There is no hotter hitter in all of baseball than Gerardo Parra. His .319 batting average and .507 slugging percentage both rank sixth in the NL. He is in the midst of a ten game hitting streak, and he’s batting .361 as a leadoff hitter (including .458 when leading off the game). All of his hitting numbers have improved significantly during the month of July, which is impressive given that Parra wasn’t even an All-Star. Per a number of Brewers insiders, the Brewers will have their pick of deals for him this week, and should garner some mid to high-level prospects that are near major league ready. While I’ve been quite critical of Doug Melvin, he deserves credit for flipping Parra after just a year and getting some talent in return. Odds of being traded: 100%.
Jean Segura: Segura has quietly had a solid July. Prior to this series with the Diamondbacks, Segura owned the highest batting average in the Major Leagues in July at .439. His average is now .275, up from .249 on the last day of June, and he has stolen five bases in the last 25 days. Being that Segura is in the middle of his rookie contract, the Brewers almost certainly have been getting calls about him from interested teams. The question for the organization is whether they want Segura to be their guy at shortstop for years to come. Given they have two promising shortstops that are near major league ready in Luis Sardinas and top prospect Orlando Arcia, it would make sense to dish Segura if the deal is right. Rumor has it, the Mets are calling; time will tell if they’re bringing enough to the table. Odds of being traded: 60%
Francisco Rodriguez: It would be hard not to mention Rodriguez when talking about the trade deadline. Rodriguez is now 22 for 22 in save opportunities. He allowed a run Friday night for the first time in a save situation all year, but was still able to close out the game to earn the save. The trade rumors surrounding K-rod have died down as of recent weeks, but given the needs of some of the teams in the playoff hunt, particularly the Blue Jays and the Rangers, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Brewers were able to pull off a last minute deal for Rodriguez. Odds of being traded: 35%
Aramis Ramirez: Yes, I know, this one already happened, but only because Ramirez got red hot at the right time. Prior to being traded to the Pirates, Ramirez was batting .352 in July. This is the same Aramis Ramirez whose average was a dismal .203 on June 3rd, at which point the Brewers had absolutely no chance of moving him. Fortunately, they were able to ship him off in the last three months of his career and got a nice pitching prospect by the name of Yhonathan Barrios in return. Barrios has a 2.68 ERA in 33 minor league appearances this year and averages just under 5 strikeouts per nine innings. Considering how poorly Ramirez was playing less than 60 days ago, this is a HUGE win for the Crew. Odds of being traded: Done Deal.
Other Potential Trades:
Carlos Gomez- 30%
Mike Fiers- 20%
Adam Lind- 20%
Hank the Dog- 5%
For those of us who enjoy Brewers baseball too much to look away, the next five days will be the most exciting of the 2015 season. Although it may be sad to see this team disassembled just when they started to get it together, the organization is much better off in the long run if they sell some of the aforementioned players while they are hot. It’s going to be a crazy week of wheeling and dealing, followed by a long, hot, and brutally depressing month of August before the Packers return to my TV screen and the Brewers fade away into the off season. I hope the organization does enough this week to keep fans excited about the possibility of building a championship caliber team.