PITTSBURGH – The Brewers have pitching to be a problem for opponents if they reach the offseason. For the third time since opening day, they shopped Wednesday to add a bat.
The latest addition is the versatile veteran and 2021 National League All-Star Eduardo Escobar, acquired from D-backs to a few Minor League position players. Triple-A negotiator Cooper Hummel and rookie infielder Alberto Ciprian are on their way to Arizona in the deal.
Breweries get: INF Eduardo Escobar
D-back gets: AF Cooper Hummel, INF Alberto Ciprian
The shifting, multi-positional Escobar gives manager Craig Counsell another player who is able to jump across the infield and manning the left field, and who is expected to be particularly helpful at first base – a position he has not yet played in major leagues – against left-handed pitching.
This position has been a problem for the Brewers, who went into the season and expected earlier drafts for the first round Keston Hiura to handle everyday tasks in the beginning. But with Hiura scoring .167 / .258 / .304 and twice being relegated to minor leagues, Brewers’ first basemen is placed in 27th place out of 30 teams with an 84 wRC +.
Escobar, 32, is a free agent at the end of the season. He lowered .246 / .300 / .478 for Arizona this season with 22 home runs and 65 RBIs in 98 games. He has posted some of his best offensive numbers in recent seasons, including a .824 OPS in a 2018 split between the Twins and D-backs and a career-best .831 OPS in ’19 in Arizona.
Hummel, 26, was a draft pick from the 18th round in 2016, having a .942 OPS in 46 games at Triple-A Nashville, where he played left field, first base and catcher. Ciprian, 18, signed with Brewers out of the Dominican Republic in 2019 for a $ 500,000 bonus.
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