Royals Need to Make a Deal With Milwaukee

The Milwaukee Brewers shook up the National League last year by finishing 86-76 and missing the second wild card spot by merely one game. Before the season started, most people assumed that Milwaukee would be mostly uncompetitive and continue their rebuild. However, with the Cubs struggling to dominate the league for most of the season, Milwaukee was able to hang around and contend for a playoff spot.

With 2018 coming up quickly, the Brewers have been shopping around for a few different pieces to help them reach the playoffs next year, pieces that the Kansas City Royals just happen to have. Milwaukee will look to make the playoffs in 2018, and the Kansas City Royals can help them do just that. Kansas City needs to take advantage of this opportunity in order to expedite their rebuild, making a potential deal a win-win for both parties.

Let me explain the deal, and then I’ll explain why it’s important for both clubs to execute this offseason.

The Deal

The Milwaukee Brewers need just a couple of pieces in order to put them over the hump and into serious playoff contention. The Royals have all of those pieces. Let’s examine the players.

The Milwaukee Brewers receive:

  • LHP Danny Duffy
  • 2B/LF Whit Merrifield
  • RHP Kelvin Herrera

The Kansas City Royals receive:

  • CF Monte Harrison
  • RHP Corbin Burnes
  • 2B/SS Isan Diaz
  • RHP Jordan Yamamoto

This would most certainly count as a blockbuster trade, but it would also work for multiple reasons. The Brewers would be getting the front-of-the-line starter that they’ve been looking for with a very affordable contract and four years of control. They’d be getting a starting second basemen who can play LF when Ryan Braun makes his annual trip to the DL as well. They’d also be getting a premier set up man to help build the bridge to closer Corey Knebel. This trade would be fantastic for the Brewers because two of the three pieces fit into their long-term plans as well as the short-term.

The Royals would receive three players who would instantly become the top three prospects in the organization and a RHP in Yamamoto who pitched to the tune of a 2.51 ERA in 111 IP with 113 K in 2017. Corbin Burnes and Isan Diaz have both been featured in MLB’s Top 100 prospect list and Monte Harrison has a shot to make the 2018 list.

Why It Would Work

This may look like a ridiculous proposal before you start thinking about it. Most things probably sound  ridiculous if you don’t stop and think about them. “Why would the Brewers trade three potential top 100 prospects and a promising young RHP?” Great question. I’d love to answer it for you.

The Milwaukee Brewers would accept this trade for multiple reasons.

Number one, they don’t have to trade their any of their top five prospects. Monte Harrison is arguably only Milwaukee’s 6th best OF prospect and Corbin Burnes is arguably only Milwaukee’s third best SP prospect (according to MLB.com). Isan Diaz projects as more of a 2B than a SS at the big league level, and 2017 1st round draft pick Keston Hiura also plays 2B. None of the three players listed above are the Brewers best prospect at their respective positions. Jordan Yamamoto didn’t even register on the Brewers top 30 prospects list.

Number two, the Brewers have recently introduced winning baseball back to Milwaukee and now they have a chance to seize on an opportunity to compete in the NL. With the St. Louis Cardinals recently trading for Marcell Ozuna and apparently looking to keep adding, Milwaukee needs to keep pace with their division rivals. Acquiring Danny Duffy, Whit Merrifield, and Kelvin Herrera allow them to do just that. The three Royals that would be moving to Milwaukee fill in three holes that the Brewers need to fill in order to compete for a playoff spot in 2018.

Number three, the Brewers have the opportunity to add back prospects later on. Like I mentioned earlier, Whit Merrifield and Danny Duffy are both under control for the foreseeable future. The Brewers are apparently trying to trade Domingo Santana already, meaning that they could add back some depth there. Also, when Keston Hiura is ready to debut, Milwaukee could turn around and flip Whit Merrifield again, or move one of the two to the outfield more permanently. Danny Duffy’s contract could also allow the Brewers to make trades after 2018, whether it be in another Duffy trade or by trading one of their own SP prospects.

The Royals really only need one reason to make this trade: Milwaukee is by far the Royals best trade partner right now and like I mentioned before, Diaz, Burnes, and Harrison would instantly become the Royals top 3 prospects. The Royals appear to be ready to go through a rebuild (although this painfully slow offseason has me worried that they might be reconsidering), and they can instantly remove themselves from the conversation of “league’s worst farm system” by making this trade.

Conclusion

The Kansas City Royals need to make an effort with Milwaukee. Milwaukee signed Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo this offseason, but they’re not fooling anyone. Their rotation still needs some help and Danny Duffy would be a perfectly-priced solution for them. Herrera and Merrifield also fill holes on their roster that they need to fill in order to make a playoff run in 2018. The Cubs, Phillies, and Orioles have all been rumored to be interested in Duffy, but none of these teams can offer the same fire-power to Kansas City that Milwaukee can. Kansas City needs to commit to this rebuild, and this trade would send them all in.

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9 thoughts on “Royals Need to Make a Deal With Milwaukee

  1. Keep dreaming. Nobody in that deal warrants the Brewers to give up young/impact pitching like Burnes. We could wait until June and slide him into the rotation. Duffy is good, but frontline is a massive stretch. He’s much closer to mid-rotation, he’s injury prone, and he’s expensive. Not much surplus value there. Also Whitfield’s flexibility to play OF is valuable to some degree, but we have others that can fill in out there and will have 4 good outfielders on the roster come opening day. He might get a handful of innings out there if he came over, not much more. And Herrera doesn’t have a ton of value as he has one expensive year of team control remaining. Some value, but not a ton. The teams do match up, but no way is Burnes coming over in that deal. Maybe you can get Ponce and a flier to go with your package, but no Burnes/Ortiz/Peralta.

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  2. As a Brewers fan it is a fairly even trade. It is nice for the Brewers that they would have Duffy for a few years and Merrifield for five, with a couple very cheap years. Herrera is only one year but certainly a solid addition to the bullpen if the Brewers intend to make the playoffs this year. For the Royals Harrison is obviously the best player in the deal. You may say he isn’t top 5 per MLB but that is horribly outdated, he is a top 3 Brewers prospect, only behind Brinson in the outfield. It is always hard to give up pitching but if you want a cost controlled starter in return it is going to cost a pitching prospect. Diaz is a nice get for the Royals as well as I expect a nice bounce back year for him and a solid MLB 2B with pop in the future.

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  3. There is much more involved that what is on paper. Duffy was just signed to a long term deal a year a ago. The organization has PR value ties up in Duffy that is worth those players alone. That doesn’t even count the PR hit for trading a guy who is so passionate about the team and city.

    To trade that package of guys, you would need at least one guy who will play in the majors in 2018, which doesn’t seem to be any of your picks.

    I wouldn’t be at all upset with this deal though. Very well thought out and set out.

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  4. Thats a horrible trade proposal!! It would take those 4 players alone just to get duffy… let alone merrifield and herrera thrown in to… not gonna happen!! Royals arent just going to give their players away.. it would take brinson and ray, harrison, burnes and gatewood for them even to consider it..

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  5. I give them Soria over Herrera. Herrera has some trade value on his own in a separate deal.
    The good news with this trade is it cuts salary by about $24M getting them below $100M. Royals could then afford Hosmer although I would much rather go after Morrison or Duda at 1st, Walker or Phillips at 2nd and Vargas or Garcia at SP on short term deals.
    I also think you have to ask for a better package. I would want Brinson (#1) or Ray (#2) as a first request. Then go for 3 of the following Dubon (#9), Peralta (#11), Harrison (#14) or Yamamoto. Brinson is major league ready but Ray is at least a year away so might be more amenable for Milwaukee to give up. Dubon could replace Whit as a utility player and Peralta has a good chance to make it to the majors in 2018. Harrison and Yamamoto are also at least a year away.
    Trading both Duffy and Whit might cause a fan backlash that would only make the already confusing winter season for Royals fans even more so.
    Good speculation though. Could be a win-win trade for both teams if Royals truly are about rebuilding.

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      • Yeah it isn’t even close, Harrison is much more highly regarded at this point than Ray. Ray could bounce back, but yeah I don’t think so.

        Many of you have absolutely ridiculous perspective as to the value of your players. Merrifield basically had a career year and it should be obvious that he won’t do it again. He’s much more of a contact guy with above average speed, more of a 2nd division starter or 1st division utility man than anything. Duffy is a mid-rotation starter with injury issues and a big contract. Why would the Brewers give up a ton for him when Cobb/Lynn are available in free agency for a similar cost? It might cost a touch more than the 4/60 Duffy is getting to land either one, but there isn’t much surplus value there. And Herrera has 1 expensive year of team control left and wasn’t particularly good last year.

        More realistic return without the Royals eating any salary would be Ray, Peralta, Ponce, one or two low level fliers. If the Royals want better prospects, they’ll have to eat some of Duffy’s salary to make that happen. You all might as well consider Brinson, Burnes, and Hiura completely off limits in trade discussions for these players as none of those 3 Royals are a high enough caliber player to warrant one of those 3 prospects.

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  6. Pingback: Finding a Danny Duffy trade partner, part 2 (thanks Miami) | Royals Farm Report

  7. Pingback: A trade with Milwaukee could still work | Royals Farm Report

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