Deadline Coverage: Milwaukee Acquire a Swiss Army Knife

Jeff Zimmerman and I will be covering the fantasy relevant deals this week, highlighting the winners and losers and pointing out the actionable items for you in your leagues.

MIL gets: UT Eduardo Escobar

ARI gets: C Cooper Hummel, IF Alberto Ciprian

Escobar seemed like a lock for White Sox before that trade was 86’d by the Nightengale hex:

For weeks we waited to see if the White Sox would indeed complete the deal until the Brewers swooped in to lock it up.

The 32-year-old infielder has seen his power return after a brutal 2020 (56 wRC+) and even made the All-Star game, though that was likely due to the 1-player per team rule more than his pure stats. He has a .246/.300/.478 line with 22 HR, 65 RBI, and 50 R in 400 PA. Add it all up and he has a 105 wRC+ and 2.0 WAR, as well.

The veteran switch-hitter can play virtually anywhere, though it seems like he will primarily play 1B with some 3B sprinkled in. The keystone is locked up with Willy Adames and Kolten Wong while Luis Urías has taken a step forward with his best year yet (103 wRC+, career 88). Recently acquired Rowdy Tellez has hit the ground running in Milwaukee with a 202 wRC+ and 3 HR in 35 PA, but he has just a 91 wRC+ for the year so some of his playing time will be eaten up by this move.

Neither Urias nor Tellez have shown any sort of major platoon split this year so we might not get much guidance about his playing time based on the opposing pitcher handedness. My guess is Escobar will take most of the 1B PA against lefties, though, just due to his switch-hitter capabilities and Tellez being a lefty. Against righties, I wonder if the Brewers will consider giving him some burn in LF.

He hasn’t played there since 2017, but Jackie Bradley Jr. has been dreadful at the dish (50 wRC+) and his elite glove won’t save him here as the Brewers want to improve their run production with this move. The way it all breaks down does look like at least a slight dip in volume for Escobar, though. He was an unquestioned everyday player in Arizona playing 98 of their 102 games, but he will likely miss a game or so each week and then pinch-hit in those games but I could also see him being removed for a defensive replacement at times if and when he plays LF.

He was tabbed for 242 PA the rest of the way with Arizona by both The BAT and Steamer and I’d knock that down to about 220 instead. And of course, the fluidity of player health and performance could render that moot and have him starting daily again before we know. The bottom line is that there is nothing actionable about Escobar’s outlook. He remains an all-formats must play. Urias and Tellez were already deeper league types and while they will both lose some time, this move doesn’t drastically change their outlook the rest of the way.

Neither Hummel nor Ciprian made the Brewers prospect list this season and I’m not about to text Eric Longenhagen at midnight for thoughts on them.

Hummel is a 26-year-old catcher who has crushed throughout the minors, improving his wRC+ every step of the way – 117 in 2017 at A+, 136 in 2018 at A+, 147 in 2019 at AA, and 152 so far this year at AAA – but he has been old for every level and there are major questions about how much of a catcher he really is at this point. To that end, he has played more OF than C this year in his 46 games.

Ciprian is making his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League as an 18-year-old, hitting .378/.465/.514 in 43 PA thus far. He is Arizona’s best bet at a spiking a big return for Escobar, but is too raw to be considered much of a prospect at this point.

Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and Content Director for OOTP Perfect Team. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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Greg Simonsmember
2 years ago

Thanks for this review, Paul. I have both Escobar and Urias starting in my NL-only league, so Milwaukee was not my preferred destination for Escobar. But it’s good to read both are likely to lose only a little playing time.