With two sizable off-season deals Milwaukee Brewers GM Doug Melvin has put his team into contention in the NL Central race. The acquisitions of Shawn Marcum and Zack Greinke have lifted an ugly rotation to one that looks very respectable. Although some smaller holes remain in the lineup and in the pen, the team should give opponents in the NL Central a run for their money.
But this jump into potential contention has been costly. The farm system, already mediocre by some reviews, has been decimated. Gone is their biggest potential impact hitter in Brett Lawrie, their best pitching prospect in Jake Odorizzi, and a decent looking centerfield prospect. There are some decent prospects left in the system, most notably Kentrail Davis and Mark Rogers. But it is questionable whether they will have the impact that some of the prospects they gave away will have.
So the Brewers are in a win-now mode. With Prince Fielder probably moving on after the season, this year may be the team’s best chance for at least the next couple years to make the playoffs. But if the Brewers are able to stay in the thick of things throughout the season, it is unlikely they will part with Fielder before the deadline. Failing to make the playoffs in that scenario would be tough as they will only get draft pick compensation, rather than a bevy of proven prospects for their biggest slugger.
Doug Melvin is certainly on the hot seat. If things don’t work out well for the Brewers this upcoming season, it’s probably an easy bet that the team will have a new GM by this time next year.