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2018 MLB Trade Deadline: Are the Milwaukee Brewers going to be buyers or sellers?

The Brew Crew are in a position to make a run for the playoffs, and they know they have to make some moves to get there

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As we approach July 31, we will preview what each team is projected to do in advance of the non-waiver trade deadline. For a complete listing of our previews, click here.

Milwaukee Brewers: 55-39, 1st in the NL Central

The Brewers are proving that last year’s surprise 86-76 season was no fluke. According to ESPN Stats and Information on Monday, the Brewers had already been in first place in the NL Central for 70 days, having since increased that total to 73. This amount of time atop the standings has already surpassed their total from 2017, when they had led for 69 days.

If they want to make sure they stay in this spot and lock up their first postseason berth since 2011, when they went to the NLCS, the Brewers have to become buyers at the deadline. They have some quality pieces in their lineup and on the mound, but getting another impact arm or bat could put them over the top.

What moves have they made so far?

The Brewers have been quiet this season after they undoubtedly had one of the most exciting offseasons of any MLB team last winter. They made a massive splash on Jan. 25, acquiring outfielder Christian Yelich from the Marlins for a package that included arguably the Brewers’ top three prospects: outfielders Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison and infielder Isan Diaz. Just hours later, they signed former Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain (who was drafted by and broke into the majors with the Brewers) to a five-year, $80 million deal.

Because of these two deals, the Brewers have experience in their lineup and on defense, which has allowed 349 runs — best among NL division leaders. More importantly, they also have a surplus in the outfield, which they can use in their trade talks this summer. Along with Cain and Yelich, they also have Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana, Keon Broxton, Brett Phillips and Hernan Perez.

Who could they acquire?

Like every team in baseball, the Brewers have inquired about the possibility of acquiring Orioles star shortstop Manny Machado.

While the news and offers for Machado are growing at a rapid rate, the Brew Crew are one of three teams, along with the Yankees and Dodgers, who have “separated themselves from the pack” in terms of landing Machado, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

For starters, the Brewers are one of the few contenders who actually need a shortstop, outside of the Phillies, Dodgers and Diamondbacks. However, what puts them in the mix for the four-time All-Star is their prospects.

But, the question with the Brewers is, “How much are they willing to give up for Machado, who is bound for free agency and is expecting to sign one of the richest contracts in the history of the game?”

After all, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has reported that the Orioles want a package that features right-hander Corbin Burnes, but the Brewers would rather have a deal that centers around Phillips and Double A right-hander Luis Ortiz. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN also reported that Phillips “could be a piece” in a deal for Machado and could benefit the Orioles a lot, but it still seems the Brewers and O’s are still not seeing eye to eye.

Outside of Machado, the Brewers have talked to the Twins about acquiring infielders Eduardo Escobar and Brian Dozier, according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com. They have also discussed the possibility of making a deal for Lance Lynn because they also need a starter. Though Morosi points out that they are “more focused” on the pair of Minnesota infielders, the Brewers have had interest in Lynn dating back to the offseason. Either way, the Brewers will not have to give up the kind of prospects for these players as they would for Machado

Predictions

The Brewers will make a small deal for infielder Brian Dozier. Even though Dozier is not having a great statistical year this season, adding one of the better second baseman in the majors will shore up their second base issue and add a little pop to their lineup.

Unfortunately, the Brewers will not land Machado. They will not come to terms on a package for the biggest rental of the trade season.

But, the addition of Dozier should be enough for them to help earn that coveted playoff berth that they desperately want.