For two years, every trade the Milwaukee Brewers made was designed to rebuild the roster by stockpiling young, controllable talent.
That began to change when the Brewers were in contention at the 2017 trade deadline and did an about-face earlier this winter when general manager David Stearns traded for outfielder Christian Yelich and signed free-agent outfielder Lorenzo Cain. Stearns has received well-deserved praise for turning around the Brewers so quickly, but now that the rebuilding process is complete, we can start to judge his work as a deal-maker.
Of course, two of the best trades were made before Stearns took over in October of 2015. At the trade deadline that summer, then-general manager Doug Melvin sent outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitcher Mike Fiers to Houston for outfielders Domingo Santana and Brett Phillips and pitchers Josh Hader and Adrian Houser. The next day, Melvin dealt outfielder Gerardo Parra to Baltimore for pitcher Zach Davies.
Davies, Hader and Santana were major factors in last season's surprising turnaround and Phillips and Houser are ranked as the team's No. 6 and No. 13 prospects, respectively, by MLBPipeline.com.
Stearns has made many other moves, but here is a breakdown of his major trades involving veterans for prospects.
Tom Oates has been part of the Wisconsin State Journal sports department since 1980 and became its editorial voice in 1996, traversing the state and country to bring readers a Madison perspective on the biggest sports stories of the day.
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