The San Francisco Giants head into their three-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers this week with a 38-26 record in a comfy five-game lead in the National League West.
They do so having lost outfielder Hunter Pence for a substantial amount of time due to a hamstring injury (more on that here).
Even before Pence went down with injury, the team was rumored to be in the market for another power-hitting outfielder. Now that he’s out, that’s taken on a whole new meaning.
Interestingly enough, one of the players the team is interested in will be taking to AT&T Park with the Brewers starting on Monday.
According to USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale, Ryan Braun is on the Giants’ radar.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) June 13, 2016
Braun, 32, is hitting .316 with 11 homers and 36 RBI for the Brewers this season. He’s also posting a solid .378 on-base percentage and .919 OPS.
All of these numbers are marked improvements over the past three seasons, during which span the former MVP had struggled with injury and inconsistency.
One of the biggest obstacles to a trade of this magnitude has to be Braun’s salary. The veteran has $96 million remaining on his deal over the next five seasons with a potential buyout of $4 million in 2021.
That’s a ton of cash for a guy that’s been linked to PED’s in the past and hasn’t performed like a top-end hitter in recent seasons. Though, that hasn’t stopped him from being one of the hottest names on the trade block over the past several weeks.
Whether this means Braun will end up in San Francisco is anyone’s guess, but the team will get a first-hand look this week.