The Brewers aren’t good and it doesn’t seem like additions such as Juan Francisco and the eventual return of Corey Hart will make much of a difference. Which led Brewers GM Doug Melvin admitted to Michael Hunt of the Journal-Sentinel that it’s time to rebuild:
While not prepared to concede the division to the Cardinals and the Reds with two-thirds of the season to play, general manager Doug Melvin gave a general idea of the direction Monday when he told me, “If we make any more trades this year, it’s going to be for two or three years from now instead of now.
“I’m not going to be trading any young players to win games.”
Of course there aren’t a lot of old players worth anything to trade for young players either. Still, this sounds like the right approach for a Brewers team with no real chance to compete with the Cardinals, Reds or the Pirates. And who are behind the Cubs when it comes to rebuilding.
Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.
OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.
It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.