The Milwaukee Brewers swung an unexpected trade on Thursday when they made a deal for the left-handed throwing Alex Claudio.
The Milwaukee Brewers have made their first official trade of the 2018-19 offseason. Although it was a completely unexpected one, it was a trade nonetheless. The Brewers agreed to send their competitive balance pick to the Texas Rangers in exchange for the left-handed throwing Alex Claudio.
The final order is not yet set, but the pick is expected to be somewhere around the 40th overall selection. That’s a steep price. The competitive balance picks are given to the smaller market teams with a lower payroll in order to help keep everything somewhat equal in the MLB.
In return, the Brewers get a 26-year-old lefty. Claudio has thrown over 230 innings in the big leagues and has an ERA of 3.20. That ERA shot up last season after keeping it below 2.92 the previous three seasons in the MLB.
Claudio’s biggest strength is his ability to keep the ball in the park and on the ground. That should bode well in the home run friendly Miller Park. He will provide the Brewers with an additional lefty arm in the bullpen besides Josh Hader and likely spells the end of Dan Jennings run with the Brewers.
Claudio will likely take over Jennings role as a lefty specialist and will only face a couple of batters at a time. Regardless, he’s shown the ability to throw whole innings at a time and will be a very nice depth piece for general manager David Stearns and his team.
Claudio is projected to be under team control for two more seasons, giving the Brewers plenty of time get to know him. This move shows Stearns and company continue to understand the importance of a strong bullpen and will reload instead of rebuild.