The news of today, despite the split series with the Reds is a big trade with the Diamondbacks. The Brewers now welcome Felipe Lopez. And this is a trade with no downside until 2013. I love this trade for the Brewers, I want you to love it too.
Here's why this deal is tremendous.
1) The Brewers don't give up a high impact prospect.
I like Cole Gillespie. He has a Mark Kotsayish vibe about him as someone who plays above his tools. But in his first exposure to Triple-A? He's hitting .242. And while Roque Mercedes is killing it in the Florida State League with a closers set of weapons, it's a bullpen guy in class A. You see all sorts of strange happen with relievers who hit double-A for the first time. See: Omar Aguilar.
2) Felipe Lopez is at his best in September and beyond...
Traditionally, Felipe Lopez has been a better second half hitter than a first half hitter. Post All-star break, his OPS is 51 points higher. This moves him from a rich man's Alex Cintron into something worthwhile. But he's shown an ability to get hot in September. Last month of the season? Felipe's gone off for a .299/.362/.438 line. Not to say lock it down by any stretch, but that is most definitely hope we can believe in.
3) The Brewers infield situation gets interesting.
For several reasons. One, Craig Counsell's nigh miraculous .280 start to the season loses the sword of damocles aspect of his final 2007-2008 lines. Two? All of the sudden, the Brewers would have to consider J.J. Hardy available if they're going to go after a starter. Three? The Billy Hall threat level is at noon.
Dumb rumor I just made up. Challege trade with Boston. Billy Hall for Julio Lugo.
Anyway, I love this deal. Blueberry Johnson style.