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  1. Just curious, where would you put Jamey Carroll on the matrix?

    Comment by GP — July 12, 2011 @ 11:02 am

  2. I bet they wish they still had JJ Hardy

    Comment by Derek — July 12, 2011 @ 11:04 am

  3. Their Thirdbase situation isn’t much better: Casey Mcgehee and Mat Gamel, with a Craig Counsell fill in. This should be called “The Brewer’s Left Side of the Diamond Problem™”

    Comment by sean — July 12, 2011 @ 11:23 am

  4. The way you began the article, I thought you were going to suggest that the Brewers acquire Aybar, and the Angels acquire Reyes.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — July 12, 2011 @ 11:24 am

  5. The thought of Wilson Betemit playing shortstop sends chills down my spine.

    Big problem for the Brewers here is they have virtually nothing desirable in the minors left to trade, no matter what says. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: This is the price Doug Melvin paid for selling his soul to the devil. That said, I don’t disagree with his decision to do so. Sometimes you just gotta go for it.

    Comment by rbt — July 12, 2011 @ 11:30 am

  6. Who do you think you are, putting John McDonald in that bottom right corner? Sure, he can’t hit but he pretty damn amazing defensively.

    Comment by John McDonald — July 12, 2011 @ 11:32 am

  7. I think trading for Miguel Tejada would be a big upgrade. His arm strength is still there, and his range is still impressive. His plus speed would give the Brewers more flexibility on the base paths. His biggest asset would be his bat. A .300/.350/.450 slash line with plenty of clutch hits wouldn’t be out of the question.

    Comment by Frank McCourt — July 12, 2011 @ 11:35 am

  8. Seeing as the Astros have absolutely no chance this season, they could part ways with either Barmes or Keppinger. I see both of those guys in the same quadrant as Furcal. Kepp would be the perfect addition for the Brewers, because he could slide into that dismal #2 spot in their lineup.

    Comment by Calm Like A Bomb — July 12, 2011 @ 11:35 am

  9. I had an idea for a 3 way deal:

    Milwaukee receives: Jose Reyes
    Cleveland/Tampa/LAA/Arizona receives: Prince Fielder
    Mets receive: prospects

    This way the Brew crew goes from Yuni/Prince to Reyes/Gamel

    It’s a ballsy but logical move for all parties involved

    Comment by Sean — July 12, 2011 @ 11:37 am

  10. Just got posed this trade…I need pitching and could use a SS after Reyes went down.

    Felix Hernandez & Asdrubal Cabrera for Pujols.

    It’s a 12 team mixed keeper league. Is this a no-brainer for me? Just want to make sure I’m not crazy before I pull the trigger.

    Comment by Dom — July 12, 2011 @ 11:48 am

  11. Betemit at SS? Seriously?

    Comment by Eminor3rd — July 12, 2011 @ 11:54 am

  12. why try to be a better troll than the real mccourt? he wins every time. he’s like the kasparov of trolling baseball fans.

    Comment by juan pierre's mustache — July 12, 2011 @ 11:55 am

  13. yuniesky betancourt at any major league position? seriously?

    Comment by juan pierre's mustache — July 12, 2011 @ 11:57 am

  14. What is this, 2006?

    Miguel Tejada has hit .260/.300/.364/.664 over his last thousand plate appearances and is no longer a shortstop.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — July 12, 2011 @ 11:59 am

  15. Oh, right. Didn’t see the name.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — July 12, 2011 @ 11:59 am

  16. The bet with this trade then is that even if Gamel needs a while to adjust, he still can’t possibly be as bad a hitter as Yuni. Another advantage is that it gives Gamel a third of the season to figure things out. He’s going to be the firstbaseman next year regardless, so it makes sense to get him experience now. Trading for Furcal (and not giving up a starter) would give the team a better chance to win now and their remaining prospect aren’t very good anyways, so if they can get Furcal, I think this would be the best move.

    Comment by Bill — July 12, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

  17. Does this look like an article about fantasy baseball?

    Comment by Everett — July 12, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

  18. The Brewers’ 3B fix is much simpler: Promote Taylor Green from AAA. The PCL is no doubt helping inflate his numbers, but he’s been reasonably productive at every level and would probably be an improvement over the disastrous McGehee. He can even backup 2B in case Weeks goes down at some point.

    Comment by Sean O'Neill — July 12, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

  19. “these are they”

    Is this a Venture Brothers reference, perhaps? “Are these they?” If so, nice. If not, much appreciated nonetheless.

    Comment by DD — July 12, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

  20. Reyes won’t be down long, so unless you have a utility infielder spot on your roster, the trade really comes down to King for Pujols. In a 12 team mixed league, I’m guessing that there are still above average first basemen on your waiver wire, so I would go with the trade and then try and trade Cabrera or Reyes for a good first baseman.

    Comment by Bill — July 12, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

  21. +2 wins for your career isn’t that good, buddy. especially when you’re -1.5 oWAR (at shortstop, no less!) and all of your value comes from defense

    Comment by Benjamin — July 12, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

  22. Love the chart and analysis. A few comments on the comments:

    -Trading away Fielder this season is a non-starter; keeping him has been the core piece of the Brewers’ all-in mentality for 2011. With the Brewers tied for first at the All-Star break, he’s not going anywhere.

    -The #2 spot is not so dismal against right-handed pitchers. Nyjer Morgan has served as team igniter. Against lefties, agree it’s dismal when Roenicke bats Gomez second, but once Braun returns, they can resume batting Corey Hart second.

    -Gamel unfortunately hasn’t hit a lick during call-ups either last season nor this season. The heir-apparent at either 1B or 3B is not nearly as apparent as before. Not sure who would take him in a trade at this point.

    -There’s still a chance Casey McGehee will come around in time, if he loosens up. I personally think they should have optioned him to AAA Nashville to get his swing and confidence back, but since they haven’t, Roenicke will have to work Wilson and Counsell in more often to keep him from pressing.

    -I agree that Wilson Betamit is not the answer. The thought of acquiring a shortstop worse defensively than Betancourt is upsetting to the soul.

    -Best identified option, I think, is Cleveland’s Luis Valbuena. This actually has some possibilities.

    Comment by My Two Innings — July 12, 2011 @ 12:12 pm

  23. JJ Hardy should be waaaay over to the right. The O’s have nothing to hope for in the short term and can benefit from JJ’s great season by netting a nice return. The Brewers might not like taking him back though.

    Comment by Joelskil — July 12, 2011 @ 12:19 pm

  24. Trading for Hanley could be really interesting–it would provide a core to continue the team in the future with Ryan Braun, assuming they lose Prince. It also would probably not be feasible, given the state of their farm.

    Comment by Max — July 12, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

  25. This. barmes or keppinger don’t have the offensive upside that furcal has, but either would be an upgrade over yuni. plus, furcal is hurt 1/2 the time anyway, and the brewers might want someone healthier.

    Comment by brendan — July 12, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

  26. I’d like to see where you put more players on this sweet XKCD-esque chart, like Yunel Escobar, Jerek Deter and Asdrubal. Why list just these guys?

    Comment by SC2GG — July 12, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

  27. But all of Yuni’s value comes from nowhere…

    Comment by DD — July 12, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

  28. Read your interesting article fully expecting that you would devote a graph to the trade of J.J. Hardy.
    Also, since Hardy is in a walk-year, is he no longer welcome in Milwaukee, or was his trade to Baltimore the result of Melvin’s final judgment on the ability of Hardy to remain injury-free?
    We like him in the Land of Perpetual Rebuilding and hope to keep J.J. around until Manny Machado arrives — and beyond.

    Comment by jackdunn'sbaby — July 12, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

  29. Cleveland wont deal the prospects necessary for the Mets to part with Reyes. Even if Milwaukee pitched in some (really, who do they have that the Mets would really value?) this isn’t going to happen.

    Cleveland also wouldn’t buy on Fielder straight up because they’d just lose him next year (no way in hell they would even try to resign him) and block potential development from LaPorta or force Hafner to ride the pine more often.

    That being said, Fielder could be the difference the Indians need to take the AL Central this year.

    Comment by Chris — July 12, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

  30. Hardy was traded to Minnesota, then Baltimore.

    Comment by DD — July 12, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

  31. Hey, that’s not true. I’ve got 112.6 career runs from replacement, and 39.4 career runs from positional scarcity.

    You gotta give me some credit for showing up to work.

    Comment by Yuni Betancourt — July 12, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

  32. Agreed. Furcal is more talented, however, he is perpetually injured.

    Comment by Calm Like A Bomb — July 12, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

  33. agreed. Him and betancourt are two of the worst in mlb this season.

    Comment by Templeton1979 — July 12, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

  34. I think these are just the shortstops who are conceivably available in some sort of trade. Either they play on teams that are potential sellers, or the team has some other option at short. I think.

    Comment by WY — July 12, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

  35. No, we don’t. We got rid of Hardy for a reason, he’s having a good year, but i’m absolutely certain its a fluke

    Comment by Dan — July 12, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

  36. Actually, aquiring two of those three would be the prudent move for a serious playoff team. Unfortunately, you would have to actually have somebody to trade in return – which the Brew crew lacks

    Comment by AK707 — July 12, 2011 @ 2:17 pm

  37. Tejada? Among those with 300 plate appearances(Tejada 311, Betancourt 321), Tejada has the lowest wRC(20.1) in MLB compared to second worst Yuni B at 20.3! Tejada third worst wOBA at .257(Yuni B is second worst at .255) only Alex Rios is worse this season at .252! Also, Tejada has 19 XBH, Yuni B has 20. Both are horrible offensively.

    Also, while Tejada(-2.7 UZR, -5 rPM) is better defensively than Betancourt(-9.4UZR, -11 rPM) it wouldnt be much of an overall upgrade. Tejada’s career is pretty much done.

    If another offensive liability were to be obtained by trade, the Brewers would AT LEAST want plus defense, not something just a few inches above bottom of the barrel.

    Comment by Templeton1979 — July 12, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

  38. He’s not going to last. Baltimore should trade him for whatever pitching they can get while he’s healthy

    Comment by Templeton1979 — July 12, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

  39. Hardy would be welcome back in Milwaukee – the fans still like him, I think, despite his injury issues. I think a lot of people felt like he had some tough luck with the ‘Crew. Reyes is certainly a more interesting prospect. I lLOVE the thought of him playing for the Crew. How much would the Mets really need at this point? They are 11 games back and on the verge of losing him anyway. Granted they could pay some serious jack to keep him, but they might have that opportunity to do that at the end of the season even if he goes to the Brewers, esp if the Brewers keep Fielder.

    If the Brewers get Reyes soon, they win the central – as long as the starters stay fairly healthy.

    Comment by Goose — July 12, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

  40. Open your eyes. The Brewers made the mistake of selling low and underrating defense.

    .361 wOBA this year (.836 OPS). His K, BB, and BABIP numbers are typical for him; only his power is up.

    He has a career .327 wOBA (.754 OPS). For his career, he has 3.55 WAR per full season (600 PA’s).

    He’s one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball. For his career, he’s got +42.1 runs (UZR), +34 runs (BIS DRS), or +18 runs (Total Zone). So something like +4 to +8 runs/season.

    Even if you think what he did in 2009-2010 is his true talent (.302 wOBA), that’s still a league average player.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — July 12, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

  41. I hope not! Looks like we might sign him….

    Comment by O's fan — July 12, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

  42. Wow… there are some gullible people in this world.

    Comment by Seattleite — July 12, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

  43. “Unfortunately, you would have to actually have somebody to trade in return – which the Brew crew lacks.”

    Shouldn’t take much to get a Furcal (the broke-@ss Dodgers would be glad to shed the $5M he’s owed for the duration of the season) and it shouldn’t take ANY sort of quality prospect to land middling cannon-fodder like Keppinger or Barmes.

    Comment by Jason B — July 12, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

  44. Also they might want to let Hart hit 2nd or 5th regularly, rather than 6th behind McGehee. Better protection for the Prince and a chance to actually drive in a run or three. Who would rightfully pitch to him sandwiched between woeful McGehee and woefull-er Yuni?!?

    Comment by Jason B — July 12, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

  45. Any thoughts on Mike Aviles? I see him is a perfect way to upgrade cheaply. He can handle ss, right?

    Comment by Rob — July 12, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

  46. To be fair, it is pretty unrealistic for McCourt to reference a slash line

    Comment by A — July 12, 2011 @ 3:50 pm

  47. I am a Tigers’ fan by birth, but I am an adoptive son of Wisconsin by location and root for the Brewers as my NL team. Yes, yes, yes, I wish they still had Hardy… I did not want Hardy to go. I understand Alcides was coming from behind, but I would have asked Hardy to go to 3B before I moved him.

    Good “D” and an iffy bat makes for a quality SS in the post Rodriguez/Jeter/Garciaparra period.

    Comment by jlebeck66 — July 12, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

  48. Especially with the glut of “traditionalist” satire that’s been going on in the comments at Fangraphs for the last three weeks.

    Comment by Mcneildon — July 12, 2011 @ 4:40 pm

  49. Yeah, if the Brewers were to pick up all of Furcal’s salary I can’t imagine it would take a prospect with any kind of real future to get one of those three.

    Comment by Mcneildon — July 12, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

  50. Realize he’s in the minors right now, but I think the Royals still value him as a utility guy. Which, of course, doesn’t mean they won’t trade him, but it might make the asking price higher. Yes, he can play short; did so his entire rookie season.

    Comment by rbt — July 12, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

  51. First thing I thought of as well upon reading that.

    Comment by spliffbowl — July 12, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

  52. Maybe you could take Ian Desmond off the Nats hands so they can move Espinosa to his natural SS position and give Matt Antonelli the 2B job for a few months before the Steve Lombardozzi audition in September.

    I’ll take a bag of busted whiffle balls for him.

    Comment by DCUnited — July 12, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

  53. He was a very good player when you dumped him and he’s a very good player today.

    Comment by chuckb — July 12, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

  54. but there’s reason to believe McGehee will turn it around. There’s no reason for such optimism (or hope) w/ Yuni.

    Comment by chuckb — July 12, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

  55. but neither would be a bad 3rd or 4th option.

    Comment by chuckb — July 12, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

  56. There’s nothing logical about trading your best player while you’re sitting in first place at the All-Star break.

    Trading Prince for Reyes gets the Brewers absolutely nowhere.

    Comment by chuckb — July 12, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

  57. Isn’t it something that there are 4 teams in the race in the NL Central and all of them need, or could use, a major upgrade at SS. It seems to me that the team who does upgrade at SS is the team that’ll end up winning the division.

    Comment by chuckb — July 12, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

  58. Can the Dodgers trade Furcal with them in bankruptcy? I know the Rangers made some moves last year when they were in bankruptcy, but the Dodgers seem to be in a different scenario.

    Comment by Tom — July 12, 2011 @ 10:37 pm

  59. this is absolutely one of the funniest comments i’ve ever seen on fangraphs

    Comment by jim — July 12, 2011 @ 11:46 pm

  60. barmes might be an option, he’s an outstanding defender, and is almost league average at the plate this year (98 wRC+ with a career-high walk rate)… he’s pretty much having the best year of his career, and would probably be easy to acquire, which milwaukee needs since they run out 7 guys every day in AAA

    Comment by jim — July 12, 2011 @ 11:53 pm

  61. are you Frank McCourt from a couple posts above? you guys are classic!

    Comment by jim — July 12, 2011 @ 11:57 pm

  62. Betemit is not a shortstop. He’s barely a third baseman. Aviles could be had, but not for free, as he’s the emergency utility infielder; right now they’re playing with no backup SS on the MLB team. He’s had a bad MLB season this year OBP-wise, but is beating up AAA pitchers right now.

    Comment by Juancho — July 13, 2011 @ 1:01 am

  63. As a Brewers fan, I wasn’t sad to JJ Hardy go. Escobar excited me, and I thought Gomez had room to grow on offense.

    Fast forward to the present, and I would kill to get JJ back. I’ve heard it said, “you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.”

    Betancourt. Yuck. How can anyone’s defense be worse than his? The few Brewers games I’ve been able to watch this year have showcased Yuni’s dreadful defense… ground balls that seem so routine just get by him. Just terrible.

    Comment by STEALTH — July 13, 2011 @ 1:11 am

  64. In articles we should also consider 3 way trades. Brewers need a MLB player, but don’t have prospects, so we need to find a team needing a salary dump and a team with prospects who could use something the Brewers have. I don’t know enough about the Crew to be able to say what they should dump, I’d say selling high on a reliever to the team with prospects maybe.

    Maybe Furcal to the Crew, LaTroy Hawkins to the Angels, and Tyler Chatwood to the Dodgers? Iunno, just spitballing at this point.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — July 13, 2011 @ 4:27 am

  65. Why not trade for me,as I am better than Yuni. This can be proven because, if I was not better than Yuni, universe ending paradoxes would ensue. This would occur because Yuni would be better than someone, which is clearly against the laws which the baseball gods have created.

    Comment by Cesar Izturis — July 13, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

  66. Might not like taking him back? With that defense and some semblance of a bat, it would be a massive upgrade. Do you think the Brewers management is immature enough to not acquire a good player at a position of need because they traded him a few years ago?

    Comment by STEALTH — July 14, 2011 @ 9:49 am

  67. I’m a Brewers fan, you’re delusional. They can’t acquire Reyes and they won’t be able to keep Prince.

    If the Crew weren’t in the thick of the central race, I’d say trade Fielder for Trumbo, Aybar, and change. But the pretty much have to keep him with them being in contention…

    Comment by STEALTH — July 14, 2011 @ 9:55 am

  68. As a Brewers fan, I’d say go after Furcal, Barmes, or Keppinger. Mostly because they all fit the description of “relatively cheap” and “better than Yuni B.”

    Comment by STEALTH — July 14, 2011 @ 10:01 am

  69. the 2 spot is only brutal when gomez starts, nyjer morgan has been an unbelievable bright spot.


    why does nyjer not lead off with rickie in the 2 spot? i feel like rickie has 5+ extra rbi on home runs alone if thats the case

    Comment by nyjer morgan — July 14, 2011 @ 11:51 am

  70. especially if its a keeper league, you will be able to keep cabrera for dirt next year. assuming he was relatively cheap this year. then again it also depends on where albert lands after this season. if he ends up in baltimore, his value might decrease.

    Comment by nyjer morgan — July 14, 2011 @ 11:58 am

  71. The Indians aren’t in need of a 1B with Matt LaPorta available as a hopeful long-term option. Also, Carlos Santana has the ability to play 1B as well as catch. Santana should hopefully pick up his average, but his 68:62 SO/BB rate is stellar.

    Comment by Matt W — July 14, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

  72. The Orioles and Hardy are currently in serious talks for a long-term extension that JJ thinks will be done in the next month.

    Comment by Matt W — July 14, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

  73. ok people this is how its gona work. we keep my boy prince because he leads this team and he wants to stay. and when everybody is healthy who besides pujols is better? who the hell cares how much we pay him he brings in tickets and keeps us in the race. then since this is our apparent “all in year” we go all in on jose and trade yuni, kameron loe, mat gamel, maysonet, taylor green, erik komatsu,and cash and hope the mets bite on the deal. we resign prince so no need for gamel in the future. can you imagine prince and me 3-4 for the next 5 or 6 years, one of the best 3-4 in the league. 1reyes2rickie3myself4prince5corey6casey7nyjer8jon lucroy
    playoffs baby!!!

    Comment by Ryan Braun — July 16, 2011 @ 11:12 pm

  74. They traded Hardy because they wanted to open up the spot for Escobar… then they went and traded Escobar to KC for Greinke and got stuck holding the old maid (betancourt)

    Comment by Roger — July 18, 2011 @ 3:16 am

  75. You’re goddamn right we do.

    Comment by Dave M — July 22, 2011 @ 11:06 am

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