Matt Arnold has been making all of his significant moves via trade this offseason. That trend recently continued as he got the Brewers involved in a major three-way trade with the Athletics and Braves. In the trade, Arnold parted ways with just one player and received three in return. Here we will give a letter grade to the trade.
After all the dust had settled, here is how the trade played out for each team.
What we know so far, per sources and reports:
Braves get Murphy
Brewers get Contreras, RHP Yeager (from ATL), RHP Payamps (from OAK).
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 12, 2022
Letter grade for the Brewers return in the three-way trade with the Athletics and Braves: A++
The Brewers return in this three-way trade for what they gave up is astronomical. As mentioned, just one player was surrendered by the Brewers. That was prospect Esteury Ruiz. Ruiz had been acquired earlier in the summer as a part of the Josh Hader trade package. For him alone to yield them William Contreras, Joel Papamps, and Justin Yeager is mind boggling.
The other aspect that makes this trade an A++ for the Brewers is that they acquired their new catcher of the future. Contreras was a first time All-Star in 2022 and is under club control through the 2027 season. He is a bat first type player and should be a focal point in the offense moving forward.
As for the pitchers joining the Brewers, Joel Payamps has major league experience. Over four seasons the right-handed reliever has a 3.35 ERA. In 2022 he pitched 55.2 innings and had a 3.23 ERA. Despite throwing a fastball at 95 MPH, he does not strike a lot of batters out.
The other pitcher, Justin Yeager, made it to AA ball in 2022. He is a former 33rd round pick by the Braves, but has pitched exceptionally well in the minor leagues. Unlike Payamps, Yeager has a career 13.9 K:9 ratio.
Overall, there is a lot to like in regards to the Brewers return in this three-way deal. Before any of the players involved in this deal have thrown a pitch or taken a swing, it gets an A++ letter grade for me.