Since David Sterns has taken over as General Manager for the Brewers it is no secret he is on the war path to rebuilding by any means necessary. I mean he has traded just about everyone but Hank the dog. There was a point where the only two major league contracts were Matt Garza and Ryan Braun. Garza is safe because I cannot imagine any one trading for him given the incredible level of mediocrity he has achieved.
Ryan Braun, on the other hand, is a different story. Braun is a lot of things: he is a home run hitter, he is the king of oppo taco, he’s a Milwaukee Brewer, a controversial sports figure, and quite frankly an overall great baseball player. Sterns was close to dealing Braun last year and I was torn about the decision. At the end of the day I was relieved he stayed. I suppose the turmoil for a fan comes internally. Do you deal him because it’s the smart move or keep him because of what he is meant to Milwaukee? Let’s go through both sides and see what others think.
Why Trade Him: You trade Ryan Braun because it is the right thing to do for the future. When you are a team like the Brewers with a limited payroll and are setting up a small window to make a run at a title you need every prospect you can get. You trade Braun because the past doesn’t matter when it comes to winning a World Series in the future. His value should be quite high given his stats especially if he is healthy. If your team is making a playoff push you want a guy who can give you an immediate boost on offense. He gives you that and a team will pay for it. You trade him because it’s a financially savvy move and you will need the cap space and the money later.
Why Keep Him As all Brewers’ fans know Braun has a somewhat checkered past stemming from allegations he used PED’s. Yet we love Ryan Braun. We love him not because we are all indifferent to the use of PED’s but because he stayed. We love him because he is the best player Milwaukee has seen since Yount and has every intention of being a Brewer as long as he can swing the bat. But now there is a new GM in town and he is not nostalgic and he does not know Braun (not to mention he is so many moves ahead he’s already playing the 2019 season). David Sterns wasn’t here when he came up in 2007 and gave Milwaukee their second ever ROY. He wasn’t here to watch the one two punch of Braun and Fielder. He wasn’t here when Braun hit .332 in 2011 and helped take us to the NLCS for the first time in my lifetime. He missed it when Ryan hit a 3 run bomb in 8th against the Marlins to bring us the division title, and before the ball even hit the stands he points his bat at the crowd and starts heading to first. I might just be reliving the best season of Brewers baseball since I have been alive but man, just thinking about it gets me pumped up. I actually had to watch the video of that home run again while writing this (link posted below) and man that was an awesome moment!
At the end of the day I hope they keep Braun because there is no guarantee we get another lifelong Brewer. It took 20 years to find him and I would like to see him finish in Milwaukee. I will always be a Braun fan because of what he has done for our team and for staying in Milwaukee.
Video of clinching the division in 2011 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdPQ1wRFbeA