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Brewers are likely to sell, so why wait?

April 29, 2015

The best news for the Milwaukee Brewers this week? Adam Wainwright’s season-ending achilles injury. But not for the reason you might think.

No, the loss of Wainwright isn’t enough to get the Brewers back into contention. Not even close. Rather, the Cardinals’ ace going down for 9-12 months is good news for the Brewers, who undoubtedly will be looking to sell at some point in the next three months.

Teams like the Cardinals and Dodgers, on the other hand, are in the market for starting pitching following season-ending injuries to Wainwright and Dodgers right-hander Brandon McCarthy.

At 4-17 before Wednesday’s victory, the Brewers were off to the worst start by a National League team since the 1997 Chicago Cubs. That team finished 16 games out of first place at 68-94, back when the Brewers were still in the AL.

The Baltimore Orioles started 4-17 as recently as 2010. That team was 32-72 at the trade deadline, and actually improved from there to finish 30 games out of first place at 66-96. Recent history doesn’t offer much hope for the Brewers, even at 5-17.

The last team to win just five of its first 22 was last year’s Arizona Diamondbacks, who finished 64-97 for MLB’s worst record.

Oddly enough, the biggest thing holding the Brewers back from selling could be their own futility. Who wants to trade for a guy with a 7.28 ERA? How about a pair of all-stars on the disabled list?

Fortunately for Milwaukee, they still have quite a bit to offer, especially if teams bet on players like Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Braun, Kyle Lohse and Matt Garza continuing to bounce back after season-opening slumps. For a true rebuild, which such a poor start could merit, just about everyone should be on the trading block, even stars like Carlos Gomez and Jonathan Lucroy, once healthy.

At this point, it looks like a question of “when” not “if” the Brewers will sell. The answer should be sooner rather than later, to maximize value.

Categories: Uncategorized
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