Could the Milwaukee Brewers be buyers?

Are the Milwaukee Brewers in a position to be buyers come the trade deadline?

Through the first quarter of the season, the surprising Milwaukee Brewers find themselves at the top of the division leading the National League Central. The Brew Crew has received several early-season strong starts offensively in order to propel them to the top of the standings to this point. Milwaukee is a team that is in a rebuilding mode, but if this type of production continues, might the Brewers become buyers at the trade deadline?

If the Brewers do decide to add pieces, the likely area figures to be pitching. Currently, the Brewers rank in the bottom half of the league in ERA, and the top half in blown saves. They have already made a move in temporarily taking away the closer’s role from Neftali Feliz as well. Milwaukee is also without that true number-one starter, that shutdown arm at the front of a rotation. The Brewers are near the bottom in the league in strikeouts thrown.

Nearly a decade ago in 2008, the Brewers were in a spot where they were buyers and decided to go for it. That was the year they made the big trade for CC Sabathia from the Cleveland Indians. That deal cost the Brewers four prospects, including then top prospect Matt LaPorta. Sabathia went on to post an 11-2 record with the Brewers and led the club to their first postseason in 26 years.

The question is, is there a Sabathia-type arm that can be traded for this year should the Brewers or any team decide to go for it? Milwaukee is strong in terms of outfield prospects with Lewis Brinson and Corey Ray leading the way. A deal would have to be very enticing for the Brewers to include one or both of those prospects in a trade.

With the offense being led by sluggers Eric Thames, Travis Shaw and table-setter Jonathan Villar, might the one trade piece Milwaukee has at the major league level be Ryan Braun? By moving Braun, the Brewers could get value starting pitching in return, and in the process make room for either Brinson or Ray.

It is a long way until the trade deadline, but could the Brewers find themselves in a position to not only compete for the playoffs this season, but also set up the club for the future? Milwaukee has the pieces on offense, as they are near the top in home runs hit, and now need to shore up the pitching side of things. After much speculation the last few seasons, might this be the year Braun is moved in a blockbuster?

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