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Rumor: Brewers could reposition by trading Mike Moustakas or Yasmani Grandal

Mike Moustakas, Yasmani Grandal, Brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers find themselves in the thick of the National League Central divisional race yet again, and they may look to get aggressive in order to acquire starting pitching prior to Wednesday’s trade deadline.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athleticreported that the Brewers are considering trading third baseman Mike Moustakas and Yasmani Grandal, both of whom will be free agents at the end of the season:

• The Brewers, arguably the most creative team at last year’s deadline, have kicked around the idea of bolstering their injury-depleted rotation by trading one of their potential free agents: catcher Yasmani Grandal or infielder Mike Moustakas. It’s unclear whether the concept has advanced beyond internal discussions.

Milwaukee’s rotation has mostly been a disaster this season. Last year’s ace, Jhoulys Chacin, has significantly regressed and just hit the Injured List, joining All-Star Brandon Woodruff. To make matters worse, left-handed veteran Gio Gonzalez was pulled from Friday’s start against the Chicago Cubs.

Meanwhile, Moustakas and Grandal have been two of the most productive hitters in Milwaukee’s lineup, and Grandal is one of the best pitch-framers in baseball. Similarly, their likely replacements (Travis Shaw and Manny Pina) have been below-average options at their respective positions.

However, there is no question that the Brewers need to do something to improve their rotation, particularly in light of the recent injuries to Woodruff and Chacin.

Zach Davies has been effective, but his peripherals point to possible regression in the second half. Meanwhile, Chase Anderson has flipped between being a bullpen piece and a spot starter, never quite establishing his role.

The question is what Milwaukee would be able to attain for two players who could merely end up being rentals. They might even deal with another contender in order to swap needs.