Lately, there has been a lot of talk that the Brewers should sell off some of their future free agents. This list includes Jason Kendall, Craig Counsell, Mike Cameron and Trevor Hoffman. The real question is would this help the Brewers franchise?
A lot of writers have labeled it a no brainer to sell trade these players. While it may make some sense, I think it really depends on what you get back.
The Brewers have two type B free agents out of these players. This means that if the Brewers were to hang onto these players until the end of the season, they would receive a sandwich pick (between the 1st and 2nd rounds) in the amateur draft. To get the draft pick, they would have to offer the players arbitration and have them decline and sign elsewhere. The two players are Mike Cameron and Jason Kendall. I have no idea how Kendall is considered a type B free agent. I really think the current system that is in place needs to be examined if a team losing Kendall receives compensation.
Cameron will for sure be offered arbitration, but Kendall certainly shouldn't. Although the Brewers risk losing the compensation pick, they shouldn't risk having Kendall accept and have him for another season.
The other two players are Trevor Hoffman and Craig Counsell.
Hoffman will be a type A free agent. This means that along with the sandwich pick, the Brewers would receive a top pick in either the first or second round.
Counsell, despite have a great 2009 will not make the list as a type B free agent. So if he walks at the end of the season, the Brewers will get nothing for him.
After looking at this, I do agree the Brewers should sell some players. With Kendall, the Brewers could save $1 million this season. He shouldn't be offered arbitration in the offseason, meaning he wouldn't be of any value for the remainder of the season (not saying that he was of value at all this season). I don't know how any contender could have interest in him, but if there is a taker the Brewers should make the deal.
Counsell is not going to get the Brewers any compensation after this season, but only makes $150K for the rest of the year. With his play this season, he could be of value to a contender. He is a very versatile player that could fill a void. Off the top of my head, the White Sox would make sense. Their second base job has been up for grabs with both current players struggling. I do also think that he could net us a semi-decent prospect in return. Even if he does leave, he has always said how much he likes Milwaukee and probably would want to come back as a free agent next season.
With Cameron and Hoffman, the sale doesn't seem as easy as you would think. If the Brewers trade either player, we would lose the draft picks that we could receive for them. With Hoffman's season so far, it is likely that he would be attractive to any team looking for a one year closer this offseason. Cameron seems like a very underrated CF and probably would receive some interest in the free agent market. I am a huge fan of Cameron and I would like to see him back next season. An option could be to trade him and then pick him up in the offseason.
If either Cameron or Hoffman is traded, the Brewers would have to get a good prospect in return. Hoffman is worthy of a player who could match a first rounder and Cameron should be worth at least a player with the caliber of a second round pick. This is what makes a trade for either of these players so tough. What team is going to give up a top prospect for a month of Cameron, or Hoffman.
Although it might look like a no brainer, these trades are so tough to finish. Instead of working with the entire league, the Brewers are working with just the team that claims that particular player. This is why a lot of big players are not moved after the July 31st deadline.
I say we get rid of Kendall and Counsell because it would be beneficial to cut cost, while also maybe getting a prospect. We might as well put Hoffman and Cameron on waivers and see what happens. Worst case scenario, we pull them back and nothing happens. It's really not a no brainer in trading these players, although it is a no brainer to at least see what we might be able to get.