The Milwaukee Brewers were the most aggressive team ahead of the August trade deadline. In the month’s final hours, general manager David Stearns pulled the trigger on trades for two notable MLB veterans.
On the pitching side, Milwaukee acquired veteran left-hander Gio Gonzalez from the Washington Nationals in exchange for minor leaguers K.J. Harrison and Gilbert Lara. Hours later, outfielder Curtis Granderson was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays for a minor league prospect.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal was the first to report both deals.
#Brewers get Gio Gonzalez, sources tell The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 31, 2018
#Brewers get Granderson, sources tell The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) September 1, 2018
Worth noting, the Brewers were similarly aggressive ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. The Brewers completed trades for infielders Mike Moustakas and Jonathan Schoop in the final hours.
The Washington Nationals continue to wave the white flag with their trade of starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez. (AP Photo/Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)
Why Gio Gonzalez makes sense for the Brewers
It’s common knowledge that the Brewers have been seeking starting pitching reinforcements after losing Brett Suter to Tommy John surgery. The Brewers have survived with Chase Anderson, Jhoulys Chacin, Freddy Peralta and Wade Miley leading the rotation, but Gonzalez will provide another dimension if he pitches up to his capabilities.
The 32-year-old left-hander had a great two months to start the season. Through the end of May, he had a 2.10 ERA. And then things started to go downhill pretty hard. In the three full months since then, his ERA is 6.53. His overall ERA for 2018 is 4.57 in 27 starts, with 126 strikeouts and 15 homers allowed. One of those homers was a heartbreaker against the Phillies on August 29, a grand slam that gave the Phillies the win and denied the Nationals a sweep of a major (and surprisingly competitive) division rival.
Gonzalez is signed through the end of 2018, and the Brewers will only be responsible for paying the remainder of his $12 million salary. There’s just a month left in the regular season, and since Gonzalez has the capability to be excellent on the mound, it makes sense for Brewers to give him a try.
Why Curtis Granderson make sense for the Brewers
After falling disappointingly short of the postseason in 2017, the Brewers are guarding against a repeat this season. They’re giving manager Craig Counsell as many offensive options as possible so he won’t have to rely on struggling players in key moments. Right now, Eric Thames could be the odd man out after seeing his batting average dip from .245 to .219 during August.
Granderson, 37, hit .243/.340/.429 with 11 home runs, 21 doubles, and 35 RBI for the Blue Jays this season. Those are solid, if unspectacular numbers. But Granderson’s experience makes him a more trustworthy option. He won’t get a lot of playing time with Ryan Braun, Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich manning the outfiled, but Granderson should get some critical at-bats.
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