Recapping David Stearns’ offseason trades as Brewers GM
FOX Sports Wisconsin
Since taking over as general manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, David Stearns has made a number of trades -- including six alone from July 20-Aug. 31 this year. Like other GMs, Stearns has done a lot of his swappings in the offseason. With the MLB winter meeting approaching, we look back at the eight trades Stearns has made in the offseason (involving players on both sides; we're not including minor deals where a player was traded for cash, for example) and decide which team came out on top in the deal (spoiler alert: the Brewers under Stearns have done well).
Nov. 18, 2015: Traded Francisco Rodriguez to the Detroit Tigers for a player to be named later (Manny Pina) and Javier Betancourt
The winner: Brewers. Skinny: After getting only 81 plate appearances in 2016, Pina emerged as Milwaukee's starting catcher the past two seasons. He hit .279 with nine home runs in 2017 and .252 with nine HR in '18. His defense is top notch (he was a Gold Glove finalist). Pina has thrown out 38 percent of attempted basestealers over the past two seasons. Rodriguez saved 44 games for Detroit in 2016 with a 3.24 ERA, but was finished in 2017 after being pounded for a 7.28 ERA and 1.658 WHIP. Betancourt never made the majors and played in an independent league in 2018.
Dec. 9, 2015: Traded Adam Lind to the Seattle Mariners for Carlos Herrera, Daniel Missaki and Freddy Peralta
The winner: Brewers. Skinny: This was one of those trades where a team deals a veteran for a bunch of young prospects no one has heard about and years later you hope one pans out. Hello, Peralta. After dazzling in the minors, the 22-year-old got the call to the Brewers this past season and in 78 1/3 innings he allowed just 5.6 hits per nine innings while striking out 11.0 per nine. He even pitched a game in the NLCS, tossing three hitless, scoreless innings and whiffing six. Lind played one season for Seattle and hit .239 with 20 home runs. Herrera pitched last year in Single-A. After never pitching for the Brewers due to injuries, Missaki was released in September. Peralta alone, though, puts this deal firmly in Milwaukee's corner.
Dec. 17, 2015: Traded Jason Rogers to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Trey Supak and Keon Broxton
The winner: Brewers. Skinny: Broxton has been a decent extra outfielder who has some pop (33 homers in 769 PA for Milwaukee) and speed (49 steals), and can play a little defense. Supak is an emerging left-handed pitching prospect who had a combined 2.48 ERA and 1.126 WHIP last season between Single-A and Double-A. Rogers went 2 for 25 with Pittsburgh in 2016 and is now out of baseball.
Jan. 30, 2016: Traded Jean Segura and Tyler Wagner to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Isan Diaz, Chase Anderson, Aaron Hill and cash
The winner: Push, based on later trades. Skinny: This trade occurred two years ago and of the five players involved only Anderson remains on the team to which he was dealt. Segura played only one season in Arizona, hit .319 and was traded to Seattle (as part of a five-team deal; Arizona received Ketel Marte and Taijuan Walker), which recently dealt the shortstop to Philadelphia. Segura has hit .300 or better in each of his three seasons since leaving the Brewers (his high with Milwaukee was .294). Wagner, a pitcher, appeared in three games for the Diamondbacks and was later claimed by Texas. Diaz was involved in a later trade we document below, while Hill played 78 games for the Brewers before being dealt to Boston (for Aaron Wilkerson and Wendell Rijo; the latter was traded for Eric Kratz). Anderson is 30-23 with a 3.71 ERA in three seasons with Milwaukee, but has never pitched more than 158 innings, which he did in 2018, although he was taken out of the rotation down the stretch, last pitching on Sept. 18.
Feb. 12, 2016: Traded Khris Davis to the Oakland Athletics for Bubba Derby and Jacob Nottingham
Winner: A's. Skinny: Davis was not known for his defense or arm, so it made sense for him to be traded to the American League (although he mainly played left field for Oakland until 2018 when he primarily served as designated hitter). Still, it has to hurt to witness Davis hitting 42+ homers in three straight seasons since leaving Milwaukee (42, 43 and 48) … while hitting .247 each year. Nottingham turns 24 in April and is still young enough to perhaps be an impact bat at catcher, although he hasn't hit much outside hitter-friendly Colorado Springs. Derby has been OK in the minors, although had a 4.49 ERA in Triple-A in 2018 (but, again, at Colorado Springs). Well, they all can't be winners.
Dec. 6, 2016: Traded Tyler Thornburg to the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later (Yeison Coca), Mauricio Dubon, Josh Pennington and Travis Shaw
Winner: Brewers. Skinny: Needless to say this has worked out well for Milwaukee and could still pay dividends. Shaw his .273 with 31 home runs in his first season with the Brewers and then hit 32 HR in 2018 as he played all over the infield (except shortstop). Speedy second baseman Dubon (38 stolen bases in 2017) was probably ticketed for the majors last year before he tore his ACL. Expect him to be in the mix in 2019. Coca, a switch-hitting infielder, doesn't turn 20 until May. He hit .281 with a .413 slugging percentage with 16 stelas in 68 games in Rookie ball last year. Pennington retired in 2018 after undergoing his second Tommy John operation. The Brewers' depth in the bullpen allowed them to deal Thornburg, who ended up missing the entire 2017 season and pitching just 24 innings (5.63 ERA, 1.583 WHIP) for Boston in '18. He recently re-signed with the Red Sox on a one-year deal.
Dec. 13, 2016: Traded Drew Gagnon and Martin Maldonado to the Los Angeles Angels for Jett Bandy
Winner: Angels. Skinny: The Brewers looked to go in a different direction for their No. 2 catcher, but this didn't pan out as expected. Maldonado has never been great with the bat -- although he hit 14 homers in 2017 with the Angels, he batted only .221. In 2018 with the Angels and Astros he hit .225. However, he won the American League Gold Glove at catcher in 2017 and in 2018 led the AL in caught stealing percentage (48.6 percent). Bandy played only 84 games in two seasons with Milwaukee, hitting .202 with seven home runs. He recently signed a minor-league contract with Texas. Gagnon never pitched for the Angels; he signed with the Mets in 2018.
Jan. 25, 2018: Traded Isan Diaz, Monte Harrison, Jordan Yamamoto and Lewis Brinson to the Miami Marlins for Christian Yelich
Winner: Brewers. Skinny: It remains to be seen how all the prospects turn out for Miami -- Brinson hit just .199 for the Marlins -- but we certainly know how this turned out for Milwaukee. Its first batting champion and an MVP. Oh, and Yelich is signed through 2021 (with a team option for 2022). To put it in modern parlance, this was 💯.