Is Tyrone Taylor a Valuable Trade Asset?

Will the Brewers include Taylor in a potential trade package?

Milwaukee’s baseball team appears to want to win a championship as badly as their basketball team. Following a trade between the Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks involving all-star Eduardo Escobar, the team appears adamant on making a push for the World Series. While some fans may get attached to certain players – not wanting to see them leave – it is important to remember that in order to trade for a star player, a team needs to give back players of high value.

Could one of those players in a potential return be Tyrone Taylor?

To make a long story short: absolutely.

To make that short story long again, here’s why the answer is absolutely.

Return of the Outfield Logjam

It is January of 2018. The Brewers have just shocked much of the baseball world by making two crucial offseason moves. In one night, the Brewers added Lorenzo Cain on a 5-year, $80 million contract and proceeded to trade for future star Christian Yelich from the Miami Marlins. While these two transactions would prove to be integral parts of the organization’s recent success, they also created a problem. After all, the team already had a former MVP in Ryan Braun and a potential star in Domingo Santana in the outfield prior to these moves.

Thus begged the question: where are they all going to play?

Yes, the team experimented with Braun at first base (news flash: it did not go too well), but in the end, the Brewers had four great outfielders that could only play three outfield spots.

Flash forward to 2021 and the average fan could swear the situation had not been fixed since then. The outfield is jammed once again, with too much talent competing for not enough spots. With Cain, Yelich, Avisail Garcia and Jackie Bradley Jr. under multi-million dollar contracts, Taylor is the odd man out from a salary perspective.

Slick Fielding plus a Sweet Stick

Tyrone Taylor celebrates after hitting a home run late in the 2020 season. Taylor has a career-high nine home runs in 2021. (AP Archives)

Tyrone Taylor’s middle name might as well be “versatility”, because that’s exactly what he provides for the Brewers off of the bench. Taylor has mainly played in left field this season, with 23 appearances on the year. In 53 games total, Taylor has also made 22 appearances in right field, and 12 in center. Better yet, Taylor has yet to make an error in his career.

You read that right. No errors in 102 games.

Not only is he a vacuum in the outfield, but he can also hit the cover off of a baseball. His average exit velocity in 2021 is the highest of his career thus far at 88.8 miles per hour. Taylor is currently slashing .253/.339/.475 with nine home runs and 31 RBIs, with most of his production coming with runners on base. His offensive runs above replacement (oRAR) sits at 10 while also posting a 12.6 run expectancy. Coming from a player who has primarily been a spot starter, those numbers are very good.

That being said, Taylor’s stats for the whole season are one aspect of his game. In the month of July, Taylor has been red hot. His batting average for the month is .326, increasing his season average from .223 to .253 in under 20 games. That increase in batting average coincides with an increase in his OPS, going from .736 to .814 in that span. Any team could easily use that production right now.

Team-Friendly Contract

Taylor is under team control through 2023, and is arbitration eligible through 2026. This is tied to a very team-friendly salary of $570,000 for this season. While that number is sure to increase between now and 2026, Taylor will not cost an arm and a leg to keep around, making a trade package that includes him much more appetizing for opposing teams.

The only problem that this may pose is that Taylor will be 33 when his contract expires, meaning that his team will have control over him, but he won’t have the same luster as a younger player with a similar contract and similar production. That being said, Taylor is still 27 right now, meaning his peak is either just beginning or is right around the bend, which will surely bring his name some well deserved buzz.

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Looking for more great content on the Milwaukee Brewers? Follow me on Twitter at @strash_sam and follow us at @WiSportsHeroics! To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest on all things Wisconsin sports, click here.

Brewers’ fans, the MLB trade deadline is nearly upon us! Click here to read about my predictions for the Crew at this year’s deadline (Spoiler alert: one of them came true…partially).

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