It was a disastrous season for the Milwaukee Brewers a year ago as their face of their franchise, Ryan Braun, missed 101 games throughout the 162 game schedule. Braun was on the shelf for 36 games due to injuries, and then missed the final 65 games for using Performance Enhancing Drugs.
Doug Melvin has said that Braun is not available for trade, but I think they need to rethink this. With the Brewers years away from being a competitive ball club, trading Braun would be the solution to rebuilding one of the worst farm systems in all of baseball. Braun definitely has trade value if the Brewers put him on the block even with seven-years, $113 million remaining left on his deal, and with the controversy surrounding his PED use.
While he still has to prove that he can be a productive player, he is in the prime of his career, and Braun said that he used the banned substance only at the end of the 2011 season to help with the injury, meaning we should all expect him to return to his MVP level of production.
With this free agent class only having one superstar available, and many teams needing a big bat, teams would have lined up to give Melvin their offers. Plus as we have seen this offseason, players who have been cracked with using PEDs, have not seen their value decrease at all.
Braun is one of the most affordable superstars in all of baseball, and while he brings some negative attention to the franchise, he still possesses great value. Milwaukee is making a huge mistake by not dealing Braun to rebuild their farm system for the future, and this could be a decision that affects them long term with all four NL Central teams continuing to get better.