The Milwaukee Brewers are closing in on the All-Star Break with a record of 47-37. They stand alone in first place in the National League Central Division with a three-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals. The fact that the Brewers have been so successful all season long (aside from an eight-game losing streak in June) is a testament to how good their pitching has been. It is NOT an indicator of how good their offense has been. In fact, Milwaukee’s offense ranks among the worst in MLB. The Brewers rank 23rd in batting average and 16th in on base percentage.
The one area in which the Brewers’ offense excels is in slugging. Milwaukee ranks ninth in slugging percentage and 10th in OPS. Additionally, the Brewers have hit the fourth most home runs in all of baseball (116). The issue, though, is that Brewers hitters do not hit well with runners in scoring position and have the fifth most strikeouts in MLB (738).
If the Brewers are to complete the season holding onto first place, while avoiding an offensive collapse such as they did in the Playoffs last year, they need to add a bat or two. There will be plenty of teams selling some very good hitters, and the Brewers have the prospects necessary to get a deal done.
Trey Mancini can play multiple positions and gets on base
Some fans of the Milwaukee Brewers have been calling for the team to trade for Trey Mancini for over a year now. The same is true this year, as well. In fact, it could be argued that it is even more true given the fact that Mancini is having a better year at the plate than in 2021.
- Trey Mancini stats in 2021: .255/326/.432 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI
- 2022: .280/.355/.426 with eight home runs and 32 RBI
If there is anything that Brewers manager Craig Counsell values in a player, it is versatility. Trey Mancini fits that bill to a “T.” Not only can Mancini play first base, but he can also play either of the corner outfield spots. The Brewers have a left-handed first baseman in Rowdy Tellez who leads the team with 17 home runs and 55 RBI. However, Milwaukee has had issues with their outfielders staying healthy this year. Currently, Hunter Renfroe and Tyrone Taylor are on IL. If the Baltimore Orioles (40-44, 20.5 games back) were to make Mancini available, the Brewers should pursue him.
CJ Cron would provide power and an on base presence
As mentioned, the Milwaukee Brewers already have a slugging first baseman in Rowdy Tellez. However, if they want to improve the offense, they would do well to trade for Colorado Rockies first baseman CJ Cron. This season, Cron is hitting .295/.349/.549 with 20 home runs and 65 RBI.
There are two things that would make Cron a less-than-ideal candidate for Milwaukee, though. First, he only plays first base (or DH), and Tellez cannot play anywhere else on the diamond either. Second, the Rockies extended him before this season. Both of those things being said, there are some factors that may render them meaningless.
To the question of position, the National League does have the designated hitter now. While the Brewers did sign Andrew McCutchen to be their DH, he also has been playing well in the outfield. As mentioned previously, health has been a concern in the Brewers’ outfield and McCutchen has been playing there more anyway.
As far as Cron’s extension goes, the contract only runs through the 2023 season. If the Rockies, who will likely not compete this year or next, want to maximize the trade value of Cron, it would be wise for them to move him now. The Brewers have plenty of young and exciting prospects that would make it worth their while.
Eugenio Suarez is a more traditional trade target for the Brewers
As exciting as landing Mancini or Cron would be, the Milwaukee Brewers are not known for going after top-tier players at the trade deadline (with the exception of CC Sabathia in 2008). That being said, Eugenio Suarez is the kind of player that typifies the type of player Milwaukee usually looks to acquire.
This season, Suarez is hitting .236/.329/.426 with 13 home runs and 38 RBI. He also leads all of baseball with 112 strikeouts. Last season, he hit 31 home runs while slashing .198/286/.428. The Brewers, though, should not let these stats keep them from pursuing what could be a lineup-changing player.
In 2019, Suarez did strike out 189 times, but he also slashed .271/.358/.572 with 49 home runs and 103 RBI. A former Cincinnati Red, Suarez knows American Family Field well and has had success there. Bringing him in for the remainder of his contract (through 2025) could have benefits for years to come.