NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 14: Cincinnati Reds’ Brandon Drury #22 hits a victim fly while Reds’ Nick Senzel #15 scores in the fifth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 14, 2022 in the Bronx Borough of NYC. Elsa/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by ELSA/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP)
While the Milwaukee Brewers have a three-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central, the Cardinals have a better run differential, suggesting they could be the stronger team.
If they are healthy, brewers will have a great starting position and that will keep them competitive. But if Milwaukee wants to win the division, they probably need offensive upgrades for the stretch run.
Here are three potential trades for the brewers that might make sense.
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LHP Antoine Kelly and INF Yeison Coca to the Cincinnati Reds for INF Brandon Drury
Drury has been outstanding for Cincinnati this season. The 29-year-old provider has 19 homers and a .271/.330/.517 slash, and the Brewers could either play Drury, could see regular action at third base, or play in a super utility role for the Brewers — really anything to add a competent slugger to the lineup.
Brandon Drury three run BOMB! pic.twitter.com/SyB07MJUNA
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 26, 2022
Kelly, 22, was a second-round pick in 2019 and has shown good progress at high-a-ball this season. In 18 starts, Kelly has a 3.41 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 11.7 K/9. He also has 5.0 BB/9, which is an issue that will need to be addressed as he moves up through the organization. Still, he offers potential for the Cincinnati rotation.
Coca is a 23-year-old infielder who still struggles with scoring enough. In 59 games this season in High-A, Double-A and Triple-A, Coca has a .202/.297/.290 slash, so he would be a project for the Reds to try and develop further in the next few seasons.
RHP Miguel Sanchez to the Washington Nationals for DH Nelson Cruz
It looks like age may be catching up with Cruz, the 42-year-old power hitter, who has just eight home runs in 89 games this season. However, he has hit 30+ home runs in seven of the last eight seasons, with the lone exception in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season. Cruz’s .233/.318/.350 slash isn’t up to his usual standards, so it’s with some Risky acquiring him, but the Brewers lineup could use more pop, be it Cruz or the Boston Red Sox’s JD Martinez (as detailed in the Red Sox article “3 Trades”).
Given Cruz’s mediocre production and $12 million salary, the Brewers probably wouldn’t have to offer much in return.
Helper Miguel Sanchez, 28, is currently on the injured list but has a 4.12 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP, with 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 40 major league games over the past two seasons. That kind of prospect might be enough to close a deal for Cruz.
RHP Dylan File and 1B/LF Thomas Dillard to the Detroit Tigers for RHP Joe Jimenez
Even with a relatively strong pitching staff, the Brewers could still improve on their bullpen, and Jimenez is having the best season of his career. The 27-year-old has appeared in 40 games this season and has a 3.13 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 2.18 FIP and 11.8 K/9. He would be a solid addition to the Brewers’ bullpen.
File is a 26-year-old starting pitcher who has pitched 130 innings at Triple-A since last season. In 28 games, including 24 starts, File has a 4.92 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and 7.4 K/9.
Dillard, a 24-year-old switch-hitter, has just seven home runs in 85 games at Double-A this season with a .214/.358/.351 slash. His 62 walks in 85 games reflect a patient approach that could give him a chance to climb further up the ladder.
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Scott Cullen is a sports betting analyst for SportsbookReview.com and one of the best known sports betting writers on the web. He wrote about fantasy sports for TSN for many years and has also written for The Athletic, NHL.com, The Hockey News, Monkey Knife Fight and McKeen’s Hockey. Born in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, Cullen studied economics at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario and played for the Laurier Golden Hawks ice hockey team.