The 2022 MLB trade deadline is quickly approaching. Many Brewers fans are hoping David Stearns is able to make a move to improve the team before the 5 pm CT deadline on August 2nd. It is unlikely the Brewers will be able to secure any of the big-name players on the trade block. However, it is possible that the Brewers could snag a relatively cheap and reliable player to bolster their squad.
This trade deadline philosophy is one that the Brewers have practiced a lot during Stearns’ tenure as GM and President of Baseball Operations. Stearns understands that small moves can be more effective for small market teams, especially when teams like the Yankees and Dodgers are having bidding wars for the top trade targets.
With that being said, it is possible that the Brewers could try and work out a trade for a reliable outfielder like Ramon Laureano. Or the Brewers could try and make a medium-sized splash and land Josh Bell. However, the most likely scenario is that Stearns finds a relief pitcher that he likes and lands that player for some low-value prospects.
Why Would the Brewers Need a Relief Pitcher?
From Opening Day until the end of June, the Brewers bullpen seemed untouchable. After the 6th inning, if you were losing to the Crew, the game was pretty much over. With a three-headed dragon consisting of Boxberger, Williams, and Hader, very few teams were able to come back late in games.
However, leading up to the All-Star break, the back end of the bullpen began regressing to the mean. Teams started getting hits and drawing walks against Boxberger. Hader gave up multiple home runs in clutch situations and lost some games. It seems like the only reliever who has remained untouchable is All-Star Devin Williams. As of July 31st, Williams hasn’t allowed a run in his last 30 consecutive appearances.
Make it 30 straight scoreless appearances for Devin Williams, extending his own single-season franchise record. Sweet sassy molassy.
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) July 30, 2022
Although the Brewers still have two of the top ten bullpen arms in baseball, it wouldn’t hurt to add another talented arm to the group. While some overly-optimistic fans hope the Brewers make a run to acquire Jorge López from the Orioles or Joe Mantiply from the Diamondbacks, it is unlikely the Brewers are willing to give up the number of quality prospects it would take to secure those arms. However, there is one talented arm right across Lake Michigan that the Brewers could absolutely make a run at for relatively cheap.
A Trade For Andrew Chafin Makes Sense
Andrew Chafin is a 32-year-old left-handed relief pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. Chafin signed a two-year contract worth $13 million in total this past offseason. The deal also includes an opt-out clause for the 2023 season which Chafin would likely exercise if he continues to perform at a high level for the rest of the season.
In the 2022 season, Chafin has pitched 32 innings, collecting 39 strikeouts, and posting a 1.06 WHIP. His numbers are impressive and would be a great addition to an already dominant Brewers bullpen. The Tigers are sitting 21 games under .500 and 13 games behind first in the AL Central. Detroit should be in sell mode when it comes to players who could potentially hit free agency this winter. In other words, Andrew Chafin and his awesome mustache are on the trade block.
Andrew Chafin puts Cole Tucker on the Infinity Day IL. pic.twitter.com/clynkGEKGD
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 4, 2022
His contract is one reason the Brewers could snag him for cheap, but another is Chafin’s vaccination status. Chafin was placed on the restricted list for the Tigers’ recent road trip to Toronto. Foreign nationals who aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19 are not allowed to enter Canada. Right before the trip, Chafin was asked whether or not he’d get vaccinated if it meant he was able to join the team in Toronto. He stated that he and his wife discussed vaccination and decided that their family would not be getting the COVID vaccine.
“For me, family life and personal life comes before anything,” Chafin said. “We decided as a family it was best to go this route, and we’re willing to deal with the consequences.” -Andrew Chafin
Chafin Will Likely Be Traded to a National League Contender
Chafin’s vaccination status wouldn’t be an issue for many National League contenders. The only Canadian team is in the American League, so the only time it would impact them during the playoffs is in a World Series matchup with the Blue Jays. Regardless his vaccination status drives down his trade value since teams could use that point as leverage in trade talks with Detroit.
With the Toronto Blue Jays being a playoff contender, American League teams won’t want to spend prospects to acquire Chafin if he couldn’t travel to Canada to face the Blue Jays in a potential playoff matchup. This means if Chafin is traded before the deadline, it will most likely be to a National league team.
Looking at NL teams interested in him, you have the Mets, Dodgers, and Brewers. The Mets and Dodgers have exponentially more assets to acquire Chafin than the Brewers. However, Chafin is not a top five priority for New York and Los Angeles. This deadline, they’re both very much occupied trying to land Juan Soto. This could open the door for the Brewers to swoop in and make a deal while the big market teams are occupied.
How the Brewers Can Land Chafin for Cheap
The Brewers don’t have any games in Toronto this season. They have the low-to-mid level prospects it would take to acquire Chafin. They love adding bullpen arms at the deadline. All three of these reasons are why the Brewers could make a trade happen in the next 48 hours.
Using the most reliable MLB trade machine available, I created a potential deal the Brewers could execute that could land Chafin. Using the trade machine, an acceptable trade for a relief pitcher is to get both sides within a few value points of one another. With the likely departure of Chafin, Detroit could potentially accept a deal with less value that what I created in this trade.
- Andrew Chafin, LHP, 3.7 Trade Value
- Lucad Erceg, RHP, 1.1 Trade Value
- Victor Castaneda, RHP, 0.5 Trade Value
- Taylor Floyd, RHP, 0.7 Trade Value
This deal involves the Brewers likely giving up more than they would like. However, if it lands them a high-quality arm like Chafin to help make a deep playoff run, it’s worth it. Lucas Erceg is a 27-year-old third baseman turned pitcher who has likely already reached his maximum potential. Castaneda is arguably the most valuable of all the trade chips going to Detroit in this deal. However, he’s already 24 and the Brewers have much better pitching prospects ahead of him. Lastly, Floyd is a 23-year-old who hasn’t found much success in High-A ball this season.
Although these prospects are currently low-to-mid value, Detroit would be smart to accept a package of three decent prospects. It would be much better than letting Chafin walk this winter and getting nothing in return.
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