After the drama of an offseason that included the departure of franchise cornerstones Corbin Burnes and Craig Counsell, the Milwaukee Brewers have responded with one of the best starts in franchise history. The club is 53-38 — 4.5 games ahead of the second-place St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central and 11 games in front of the last-place Chicago Cubs.

Despite this success, the team could use some reinforcements to maintain their high level of play throughout the season. Here are four sneaky 2024 MLB trade deadline targets for the Brewers as the club looks to strengthen its squad for the playoff push.

4 sneaky Brewers 2024 MLB trade deadline targets

Tampa Bay Rays relievers Kevin Kelly and Jason Adam

Brewers relievers have thrown a lot of innings this season — the second-most in baseball, to be exact. This is a byproduct of a Milwaukee starting rotation that has not pitched deep into games. The Crew is averaging 4.75 innings per start this season and has already seen 16 pitchers start a game in 2024, a franchise record.

Adding starting pitching is a must, and the team has begun to address that need by acquiring Aaron Civale from the Tampa Bay Rays. But the team does not have the resources to add numerous high-level starting pitchers. The club can lean on its strength—a bullpen with a 3.29 ERA on the year. Relievers are far cheaper than starting pitchers, and the Brewers need more lockdown arms in a pen that is beginning to fatigue.

Milwaukee already swung a deal with Tampa Bay for Civale and could look to continue its relationship with the AL East strugglers. Kevin Kelly is a ground ball pitcher who ranks among the best in the MLB in hard-hit and walk rates, while Jason Adam provides elite swing-and-miss stuff. Both players would be ideal additions to a Milwaukee relief corps needing one or two more shutdown arms.

Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Cal Quantrill

While the Colorado Rockies are rarely synonymous with solid pitching, the club has several pitchers who will generate trade interest this summer. Chief among them is Cal Quantrill. After a forgettable year with the Cleveland Guardians in which he produced a career-worst 5.24 ERA, Quantrill has been much better for the Rockies this year.

The 29-year-old has a 3.77 ERA across 18 starts in 2024, including a 3.58 ERA in 55.1 innings on the road. Quantrill does not avoid many bats, but he is a ground-ball pitcher who excels at inducing weak contact — a beneficial tendency when playing in front of the Brewers' elite defense.

Quantrill's money-making pitch this year is his splitter, which is worth 11 runs. The lefty went from throwing his splitter just 12% of the time last year to a 34% clip in 2024, with opponents batting .171 against it in 2024. If Milwaukee is looking for another affordable arm, Cal Quantrill fits that billing.

Chicago White Sox outfielder Tommy Pham

Chicago White Sox outfielder Tommy Pham (28) hits an RBI single against the Cleveland Guardians during the fifth inning at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee outfield is among the best in the league in numerous categories, including base-running and on-base percentage. But, one skill this group lacks is the ability to hit for power. The Brewers' outfield is 21st in home runs and 23rd in Isolated Power.

Plus, with Blake Perkins and Sal Frelick posting batting averages nearly 30 points above their expected average, regression is coming soon for Milwaukee's light-hitting outfield. Tommy Pham is routinely in the top quarter of the league in average exit velocity while still possessing the bat-to-ball ability and high batting average (.285 expected batting average) that the Brewers want from their outfielders.

With Garrett Mitchell back in the Big Leagues, Milwaukee has plenty of outfield depth. But if the club can use that depth to upgrade for a better bat, then the front office should make it happen.