Now that the non-waiver deadline has passed, we’re taking a look back at what each team was able to accomplish before 4 p.m. ET on July 31. Next up in our recap series, the Milwaukee Brewers.
Milwaukee Brewers (59-56), 1.5 GB in NL Central, 6 GB in NL Wild Card
ACQUIRED: RHP Anthony Swarzak (from CWS), RHP Jeremy Jeffress (from TEX), LHP Tyler Webb (from NYY)
TRADED: OF Ryan Cordell (to CWS), 1B Garrett Cooper (to NYY), RHP Tayler Scott (to TEX)
The upstart Brewers entered July as the leader in the NL Central, causing the team to consider making big additions before the end of the month. Milwaukee was linked to almost every top player on the market, including Jose Quintana, Sonny Gray, Justin Verlander, Ian Kinsler, Brad Hand and Justin Wilson.
As the month went on and the Cubs surged, the Brewers decided to take a more measured approach at the deadline as it became clear that Chicago was the favorite to win the division. While the Cubbies made major moves for Quintana, Wilson and Alex Avila, the Brewers only added relief depth, deciding to largely keep the stock of prospects acquired just a year ago when the club sold at the deadline.
Though the Tyler Webb-for-Garrett Cooper trade was technically the Crew’s first July trade, the club’s first significant deal saw outfield prospect Ryan Cordell shipped to the White Sox for Anthony Swarzak. Swarzak, a rental, came at a relatively low cost for the Brewers in comparison to other relief options like Hand and Wilson.
Milwaukee then made a bit of a surprising move on deadline day, obtaining old friend Jeremy Jeffress from the Rangers for righty Tayler Scott. Jeffress, of course, was one of the players the Brewers traded away just a year ago, so the club was smart to capitalize on his low value and see if a return to Milwaukee, where he has pitched well in two prior stints, would help turn things around.
With the additions of Webb, Swarzak and Jeffress, the Brewers were able to beef up a relief corps that already included Corey Knebel, Jacob Barnes and Jared Hughes. They did it at a low cost, only giving up one top-30 prospect (Cordell, who was the player to be named later in the Jeffress deal a year ago) in the process.
As August continues, the Brewers could continue to be active in trade talks. The club could still look to add a starter or some infield depth.
For a complete list of our trade deadline recaps, click here.