Coming into the 2009 season the Milwaukee Brewers had three major question marks. Relief Pitching, Starting Pitching and the bench. To be fair, bullpen pitching is a question mark for every team, every year. 2 1/2 months into the season we now know the answer to those question.
The bench was overhauled, bringing in Frank Catalanatto and trading for Jody Gerut. The bullpen has been outstanding, arguably the strongest aspect of the team. And the starting pitching has been sub-par.
Yovanni Gallardo has been outstanding but that's it. Jeff Suppan and Braden Looper have looked like number five starters and Dave Bush just hasn't looked the same since getting nailed by that comebacker in Florida. With Manny Parra's demotion to Triple A it's become clear that a new arm is needed. But who?
Jonathan Sanchez - LHP - Giants - The Giants may be willing to part for a major league bat, but Sanchez hasn't been great this season. His batting average allowed is .240 but he's walked 43 and sports a WHIP of 1.66. This doesn't seem like a good fit since the Brewers would like an impact arm, not another No. 3 or 4 pitcher. Unless the Giants wanted to make a deal involving Bill Hall or maybe a Minor League hitter, this is not something I would expect
to see happen. Likelihood: 10%
Jason Marquis - RHP - Rockies - Marquis has been outstanding this year for Colorado, and it's unlikely that the Rockies would consider trading them unless they fall out of by the trade deadline. Marquis is 8-4 with an ERA of 3.77. He's never been a strong finisher, but this would not be a bad fit. The Rockies would want pitching back, which the Brewers don't have a lot of, except for the low minor league levels. Likelihood: 8%
Jeremy Guthre - RHP - Orioles - Although his name hasn't been mentioned in any trade rumors, the Orioles are bad and would be very irresponsible to not listen to offers on Guthrie. At 30, he isn't getting any younger and the O's aren't going to be contending anytime soon. Guthrie hasn't been very good this year, his ERA is 5.52, but pitching in the AL East is tough on any pitcher. A move to the National League could be just what he needs. Likelihood: 20%
Brad Penny - RHP - Red Sox - Boston has a glut of pitching, and they seem content to keep all of them. That said, they are probably listening to offers on Penny, since he will be out of the rotation when John Smoltz starts pitching for the Sox. Penny hasn't been very good this year, averaging less than 6 innings per start. His ERA is also over five. He could be a lot like Guthrie in that moving to the National League would be good for him. With his injury history and inconsistency he doesn't seem like a good fit for the Crew, stranger things have happened though. Likelihood: 1%
Doug Davis - LHP - D'Backs - The D'Backs are one of those teams that think they have a better chance then they do. So trading Davis or Jon Garland may not happen. Doug Davis is an interesting option, he has a career ERA of 4.30 (3.65 this year) and still has a lot of fans in Milwaukee. That said he will walk a lot of batters, and the D'Backs would probably have a high price for him. Likelihood: 15%.
Jon Garland - RHP - D'Backs - Garland has been a workhorse throughout his career, pitching over 190 innings in each of his last seven season. This year is his first in the National League and it's been uninspiring, his ERA is 5.45 and he's walked 33 while striking out 30. You could make excuses for his play, hitters ballparks, new league, but they're exactly that... excuses. Garland could have been had for a reasonable amount in the offseason and since the Brewers didn't sign him then I see no reason why they would trade for him now. Likelihood: 1%
Jarrod Washburn - LHP - Mariners - A Wisconsin native, Washburn is in the last year of his contract with Seattle. The Brewers had some interest in him when he signed his current deal, but it was a little to rich for their tastes. Now, it's a different story. This is a very good fit for Milwaukee. Washburn is having a very good year, with a 1.22 WHIP and an ERA of 3.30. Being 34 the asking price shouldn't be too high. Much like Davis, Washburn would provide a veteran lefty in a rotation that features no left-handed pitching. Likelihood: 60%
Erik Bedard - LHP - Mariners - One thing you know about trading with the Mariners is that there will be no fleecing of either team. Bedard has been impressive so far this year, with an ERA of 2.47. He has 65 strikeouts against just 22 walks and has managed to win five games on a very bad team. Any deal for Bedard would almost certainly have to include a shortstop, either J.J. Hardy or Alcides Escobar. Trading Hardy and a prospect for Bedard makes sense for both teams. The Mariners are looking for a Shortstop and Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik would not undervalue Hardy. Likelihood: 50%
We know the Brewers GM Doug Melvin is not averse to trading fan favorites, in fact he had a reputation for it early in his tenure (Richie Sexson, Scott Podsednik, Lyle Overbay, Carlos Lee), so dealing J.J. Hardy would not be out of the question, but will it happen during this season? Alcides Escobar has been tearing up Triple A, hitting .306 in May and .353 in June. Bedard would be nice, but Washburn is probably more likely.