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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Brewers Approach the Trade Deadline with Some Holes to Fill

(This blog post was written by Scott Maury; this is Scott's first post for Warrior Sports)

The Milwaukee Brewers are a week into the second half of the 2011 MLB season, and there are many questions still to be answered as to where they are headed as they approach the trade deadline. There are still many holes to fill if the Brewers plan on being a playoff caliber team.

The Brewers already filled a hole in their roster with the acquisition of closer Francisco Rodriguez (K-Rod). Acquired from the New York Mets, K-Rod is one of the greatest closers in the game. It’s still unclear whether or not he will share closing duties with already established closer John Axford, but it’s safe to say the Brewers have two of the best National League closers on their roster right now, strengthening a crippled and injury bugged bullpen.

What’s still uncertain is what the Brewers plan on doing with the left side of their infield. The once dependable third basemen, Casey McGehee has fallen out of the spotlight and into one of the worst slumps of any player in the Majors. Casey is hitting a miserable .223 average with only 5 home runs and 38 RBI’s. His defense has also worsened, as he already has 13 errors entering the second half, which is high for Casey given he only had 17 total errors last season.

Joining the slumping McGehee is the Brewer’s shortstop in Yuniesky Betancourt. His defense is also crippling the Brewer’s defense, but what’s more pathetic is his offensive numbers. At first glance it doesn’t seem that alarming, with a .243 average, seven homeruns and 34 RBI’s. What’s alarming is his on base percentage and plate discipline. His on-base percentage is almost a National League worst at an atrocious .260 average. In 90 games, Betancourt has only walked nine times, three of those being intentional.

If the Brewers plan on making the playoffs, and being successful, they need to do something about the left side of their infield. The Brewers don’t exactly have depth within the organization, so they will need to make some trades to help their infield. There are some solid defenders out there such as the Houston Astros’ Clint Barmes and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Jamey Carroll. Both are primarily shortstops with little offensive production, with Jamey Carroll being the more consistent hitter out of the two with a good on-base percentage. It seems as if anything would be better than what the Brewers have right now. An upgrade at shortstop would make more sense than an upgrade at third base. If past seasons say anything, Casey would be more likely to break out of his slump and be more helpful in the long run.

It will definitely be interesting to see what moves – if any – the Brewers make as they approach the July 31st trade deadline.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Possible Packers Trades Post Lockout?

(This article was written by Roberto Ruiz, Sports Editor,, twitter@RobertoRuiz33.)

In no way are any of these trade rumors. Now that we have that out of the way, let's have some fun. Trades are in order of ones that Packer fans would love the most, to ones that they may not love so much.

1) Arizona Wide Receiver Larry Fitzgerald for Quarterback Matt Flynn, Wide Receiver James Jones, Linebacker Nick Barnett or AJ Hawk, and future 2nd and 4th round picks.
Come on now, how awesome would this trade be? The Cardinals are looking for a quarterback and Matt Flynn could be a much cheaper option than Kevin Kolb in the future. James Jones would step into a starting spot with Arizona, and every team can always use more Linebackers. In return, the Packers would get another star receiver to play alongside Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley, and Donald Driver. With Aaron Rodgers at the helm, the window for winning will be a few years, and this trade would help keep it open if we were able to resign Fitzgerald. Now, Fitzgerald's contract does end in a year, so we would need some kind of promise to sign an extension from him. On a lesser note, Fitzgerald does have a no-trade clause, so he would need to approve the trade, but I have a feeling that he would love to come and play for Rodgers and the Super Bowl contending Green Bay Packers.

2) Cincinnati Wide Receiver Chad Ochocinco for Flynn and Jones or future 3rd round pick.
This price may be a bit high for some Packer fans, who think that Green Bay should get more in return for Flynn, but the offers weren't exactly clogging Ted Thompson's voice mailbox before the lockout. Ochocinco is no longer a number one receiver, but he can be a great complement to Jennings. He can run routes over the middle of the field, and take attention away from the deep ball. While Ochocinco may be in the twilight of his career, he likely still has a few more productive years left, which is a lot more than we will get from Jones.

3) Chicago Quarterback Jay Cutler for Flynn.
I know, this is a small reach, but hear me out. Cutler has clearly worn out his welcome in Chicago, and Flynn would be a breath of fresh air, someone that can step in and tell them about the Green Bay offense. Flynn wouldn't be as erratic as Cutler either, so that would be a huge upgrade for Chicago. Packer fans could forever gloat about how we got their starting quarterback for our backup, which just shows how superior Green Bay is. (Obviously this trade was written in jest, there is no way Green Bay wants Cutler.)