The Milwaukee Brewers entered the All-Star break as the team to beat in the National League (NL) Central, but a lot has changed since then. The team is currently in a slump and they have just suffered their seventh loss in eight games. Now the Brewers are in a virtual tie with the Chicago Cubs for the top spot in the NL Central, though they are one percentage point behind their division rivals in the standings.
If the Brewers want to make the playoffs, they will have to make some significant upgrades before the deadline. Sonny Gray's name has obviously come up in trade rumors concerning the team, but it appears that they are also looking to improve their infield.
According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Brewers are exploring the possibility of acquiring Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler.
Kinsler is an interesting target. He has always been a good defender, but he seems to be struggling at the plate this season. In 80 games, the four-time All-Star has posted a 0.247/0.331/0.400 slash line. He also has nine home runs and 28 runs batted in. In any case, he's still a significant upgrade over Jonathan Villar and Eric Sogard.
"Acquiring Kinsler might allow the Brewers to move Villar back into the utility role he occupied last year. The extension Kinsler signed with the Rangers in 2012 is front-loaded, so it's less of a concern than it might typically be for a payroll-conscious team like the Brewers — Kinsler makes just $11MM this season, plus a $5MM buyout or a very reasonable $10MM option for 2018," MLB Trade Rumors' Charlie Wilmoth said in his report.
It is interesting to note that Kinsler has a partial no-trade clause in his contract that would allow him to block trades to 10 teams. However, it's unclear if the Brewers are on the list of teams he can veto a deal to.