The Milwaukee Brewers have put in a lot of time and work into help Keston Hiura develop into a Major League Baseball player. Unfortunately, Hiura has taken longer to find a place on the roster than originally thought. Due to his lackluster defense at second base, the team attempted to move him to first base. Then, when he struggled at the plate for two seasons, they began shifting him to the outfield. Now, even though he has a OPS of .805, the Brewers have sent him back down to Triple-A. In Nashville, Hiura is hitting .355/.459/.774 with four home runs and 13 RBI in 37 games. Perhaps, the Brewers have sent him down to build up his trade value so they can exchange him for immediate help. If this is the case, here are three trades involving Hiura that would improve the Brewers’ 2022 team.
Related: The Brewers trade minor league outfielder to the Boston Red Sox
Trade #1: Keston Hiura to the Detroit Tigers for Pitching
Tigers Receive: Keston Hiura
Brewers Receive: RHP Joe Jimenez and RHP Jason Foley
Why Would the Brewers Make This Trade?
The Milwaukee Brewers need to upgrade their bullpen. In moving Keston Hiura, who apparently has no spot on the roster, the team would receive two bullpen arms that are having decent seasons on a bad Tigers team. Jimenez is 3-0 with a 3.13 ERA and 0.96 ERA in 40 appearances. Foley is 0-0 with a 2.95 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 34 games.
The question, of course, is that if the Brewers trade Hiura for two players, what happens with the 40-man roster? I propose that the team would release Pedro Severino. He is ineligible to play in the postseason anyway and has not been getting much playing time anyway behind Omar Narvaez and Victor Caratini.
Why Would the Tigers Make This Trade?
If the Tigers were to make this trade, it would be because they believe that Hiura can return to his 2019 form when he hit .303/.368/.570 with 19 home runs and 49 RBI. In addition, as a result of the constant position changes, Hiura now has the ability to play multiple positions all over the field. Then, there is this fun fact: Keston Hiura’s .805 OPS in 2022 is currently higher than the OPS of EVERY SINGLE Detroit Tigers’ player. Harold Castro currently leads the Tigers with a .734 OPS.
*Baseball Trade Value Evaluation- Keston Hiura: 2.1 value; Jason Foley: 1.2 value; Joe Jimenez: 0.7 value
Trade #2: Keston Hiura and prospects to the Texas Rangers for a Starting Pitching
Rangers Receive: Keston Hiura, Felix Valerio (minors), Zavier Warren (minors)
Brewers Receive: Brock Burke
Why Would the Brewers Make This Trade?
The reason Ethan Small came up to make his second Major League appearance is because the Brewers are currently a little short-handed in the starting rotation. Both Freddy Peralta and Adrian Houser are on IL. While Peralta is now making rehab starts and could be back soon, there is a long-term reason why the Brewers would be interested in making this trade.
Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes are edging closer and closer to free agency. The probability of the Brewers signing both of them is slim-to-none. In other words, Milwaukee is facing a very near future without one or both of their All-Star starting pitchers.
Brock Burke, on the other hand, is under club control until 2026. This season, he is 4-2 with a 1.67 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 32 appearances. Now, he has been used out of the bullpen this season. However, he was a starter down in Triple-A. This bodes well for the Brewers in two ways.
First, the Brewers can add an arm to the bullpen to improve that aspect of their team. Burke can make spot starts when needed. Second, Burke will likely be a full-time starter going into next season. Adding him will make their starting pitching depth even better and set them up for success when Woodruff and Burnes hit free agency.
Why Would the Rangers Make This Trade?
In addition to adding the potential deadly bat of Keston Hiura, the Texas Rangers would be adding some very high-quality prospects to their already-stacked farm system. The Rangers currently have six prospects ranked in MLB’s top 100, yet none of their top 30 prospects are catchers. This is where adding Zavier Warren via trade could be an enticing move for them.
As far as letting Burke walk, the team already is stacked with young pitching prospects including Zach Leiter and Kumar Rocker. While it is always nice to have as many quality young pitchers as possible, the team could boost their lineup with Hiura’s bat and add depth at key positions in the minors without giving up a top prospect.
*Baseball Trade Value Evaluation- Keston Hiura: 2.1; Felix Valerio: 3.5; Zavier Warren: 2.4; Brock Burke: 8.7
Trade #3: Keston Hiura Highlights Blockbuster Trade in Which the Brewers Acquire Josh Bell and Andrew Benintendi
Recently, it was reported the the Milwaukee Brewers were interested in acquiring both Josh Bell and Andrew Benintendi. This would dramatically improve the Brewers’ offense this season and give them tools to make a run at the World Series this season. In order for that to happen, though, Milwaukee would have to give up a great deal.
Trade with Nationals
Nationals Receive: Keston Hiura and Adrian Houser
Brewers Receive: Josh Bell
Trade with Royals
Royals Receive: Joe Gray Jr., Mario Feliciano, Russell Smith, Garrett Whitely, Freddy Zamora
Brewers Receive: Andrew Benintendi
Would the Brewers Do These Trades?
The positive aspect of these trades is that, as mentioned before, the Brewers would immediately bolster their lineup in 2022. Benintendi is currently hitting .321/.389/.399 with three home runs and 39 RBI. Josh Bell is hitting .304/.388/.494 with 13 home runs and 53 RBI. He has also walked 47 times compared to 55 strikeouts. In short, the Brewers’ offense would automatically be among the best in the National League.
The tradeoff, of course, is that they would be giving away some pretty big prospects and a proven Major League starting pitcher. That being said, Houser, when he returns from injury, is likely not going to start a postseason game. Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff will be the top two starters. Freddy Peralta should be back by then and Eric Lauer would take any fourth start. If Milwaukee is going to make a World Series run this season, they may have to sacrifice Adrian Houser.
Related: Milwaukee Brewers named top three team to trade for Juan Soto according to one MLB exec
How Do the Nationals and Royals Benefit from These Trades?
Both teams are facing losing All-Star players at the end of the season to free agency. By trading them now, both teams ensure they get something in return. The Nationals, for their part, get an intriguing bat in Keston Hiura and a starter for their below-average starting rotation. The Royals get a slew of the Brewers’ top-20 prospects (excluding Whitely) with players that could be solid Major League players in a couple of years.
*Baseball Trade Value Evaluation- Keston Hiura: 2.1; Adrian Houser: 3.8; Josh Bell: 5.3; Andrew Benintendi: 8.1; Mario Feliciano: 1.8; Joe Gray Jr.: 1.7; Russell Smith: 2.4; Garrett Whitely: 0.2; Freddy Zamora: 2.6
*All trade values determined by Baseball Trade Values.
Update: Andrew Benintendi has been acquired by the New York Yankees for three prospects
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The Arizona Fall League has every teams top prospects, a couple of years ago it was Pete Alonso and Vlad Jr, Keston Huira won the MVP, he was always a butcher in the field but a hitting machine, Brewers should be able to get something.