The Brewers are preparing to buy at the non-waiver trade deadline and have started “background work” on aces Jose Quintana, Sonny Gray and other impact starters, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
The Brewers are the latest team to be in pursuit of Quintana and Gray, who have been the most talked about players to possibly be traded at the deadline.
Quintana has drawn interest from the Dodgers, Astros, Pirates, Yankees, Braves and Red Sox. The Dodgers were the latest to throw their hat in the ring and are regarded as a dark horse to land the 28-year-old White Sox’s lefty .
The 27-year-old Gray has drawn interest from the Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs and Astros, with the Red Sox being the latest to join the pursuit of the Athletics’ righty. In addition, there is a mysterious National League team that is possibly looking to convert him to a closer.
But, the Brewers are in first place in the NL Central at 48-40. They lead the defending World Series champion Cubs (42-43) by 4 1⁄2 games.
Morosi points out that the Brewers can be a major player because they have a few factors that are in their favor. The first is they have a farm system that features five prospects — outfielders Lewis Brinson and Corey Ray; left-hander Josh Hader; right-hander Luis Ortiz; and infielder Isan Diaz — ranked in the top 55 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list. The second is the Brewers have the lowest payroll in baseball this year at around $78 million and “only $25 million on the books next year,” which allows them to possibly take on some big, future contracts.
If they don’t go after Quintana or Gray, Morosi suggested the Blue Jays’ J.A. Happ, who is expected to be made available. Happ is only owed $13 million next year, he is a lefty and he has postseason experience, something the Brewers are lacking in their rotation. In addition, Brewers general manager David Stearns has ties with current Blue Jays president/CEO Mark Shapiro and GM Ross Atkins, who he worked under in Cleveland as an executive.