The Milwaukee Brewers had an unexpected 2017 season. They have had a highly ranked farm system in recent years and were expected to be a good team in the near future.
2017 was the year the Brewers were waiting for. It surprised most people who follow baseball. Potentially, it even surprised the Brewers ownership. There were talks of trading Ryan Braun and getting prospects for him until the Brewers were 50-41 going into the All-Star Break, and held a 5.5 game lead over the reigning champs.
Young players were performing earlier than expected, and really everything was going well for the Brewers. They made a push at the end of the year challenging the Cubs for first place in the NL Central, but fell just six games short with an overall record of 86-76. They missed the wild card by just one game.
This over-performing season showed the Brewers owners that their team was ready to make that push for the playoffs. Ownership felt that with a couple more pieces, this team could challenge not only the Cardinals and Cubs in their division but the rest of the National League in the playoffs.
The Brewers have good outfield prospects, but with last year’s impressive season, they did not want to wait. They traded a highly ranked outfield prospect Lewis Brinson, infield prospect Isan Diaz, outfielder Monte Harrison, and right-handed pitcher Jordan Yamamoto to the Miami Marlins for star outfielder Christian Yelich.
Yelich will provide great length to an already pretty stacked Brewers lineup, as well as a great glove in the outfield. He was figured to play centerfield (where he played in Miami), until the next move the team made.
Free-agent Lorenzo Cain signed a five-year deal with the team who drafted him, and will play centerfield. These two moves made the Brewers have potentially the best outfield in baseball with Yelich and Braun in the corner spots and Cain in center.
The addition of the two-star outfielders rounded out the team’s lineup, and their defense, but there is still one big question mark left for the Brewers. The starting pitching rotation, as well as the bullpen is the weak link on the team right now.
Luckily for the Brewers, there are still some really good free agent pitchers in the market, including Jake Arrieta from the rival Cubs, and Yu Darvish. I think one of these free agents will be signed and be the ace that the Brewers need.
From there, depending on how the 2018 season is going, they may make some more trades for either starters or bullpen pieces in the middle of the year. Their farm system is still highly-ranked and they could probably interest some teams in a trade for a pitching piece they need.
The 2018 Milwaukee Brewers will be an exciting, and interesting team to watch this year. Can they climb the ranks of the NL Central and beat the Cubs, or will they be in the hunt for another wild-card game? Regardless, I think the Brewers will have an impressive season and turn some heads with their play.