The only time they have been to the playoffs since 1982 is in 2008 when they won the National League Wild Card; the year they made the deal for CC Sabathia. It was a quick exit for them however after they lost in 4 games to the eventual World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies.
They remained competitive in 2009 and 2010 finishing third in the National League Central both years.
But in 2011 they are already one win shy of matching their 2010 win total, of 77 games, with 34 games remaining in the regular season. With a 8.5 game lead and a magic number of 25 on August, 22 the Brewers faithful are already making plans for the postseason.
Regardless of how this year finishes the Brewers organization is not in the best of shape. They have spent many resources in their farm system on bringing in talent to compete now the last few seasons.
In 2008 the Brewers made these trades:
|Rob Bryson (RHP, 31st Rd Pick 2006 Amateur Draft by MIL)
Zach Jackson (LHP, 1st Rd Pick 2004 Amateur Draft by TOR)
Matt LaPorta (1B, 7th Overall Pick 2007 Amateur Draft by MIL)
Michael Brantley (OF, 7th Rd Pick 2005 Amateur Draft by MIL)
|CC Sabathia (LHP, 11-2 in 17 starts with MIL)-CLE|
|Steve Hammond (LHP, 6th Rd Pick Amateur Draft by MIL)
Darren Ford (OF, 18th Rd Pick Amateur Draft by MIL)
|Ray Durham (2B, 41 games with MIL)-SF|
|Eric Fryer (C, 10th Rd Pick Amateur Draft by MIL)||Chase Wright (LHP, 22-24 in minors & zero MLB appearances with MIL)-NYY|
|Tony Gwynn Jr. (OF, 2nd Rd Pick Amateur Draft by MIL & 347 MLB games played since trade.)||Jody Gerut (OF, .224avg in 117 games with the Brewers)-SD|
|Roque Mercedes (RHP, FA Signing by MIL)
Cole Gillespie (OF, 3rd Rd Pick Amateur Draft by MIL)
|Felípe López (IF, 82 games with the Brewers)-ARZ|
|Vinny Rottino (LF/3B, FA Signing by MIL in 2003)||Claudio Vargas (4.78 ERA in 74g with MIL)-LAD|
|Bill Hall (3B/SS/OF, 6th Rd Pick 1998 Amateur Draft by MIL & 278g since trade)||Ruben Flores (No MLB experience)-SEA|
|J.J. Hardy (SS, 2nd Rd Pick 2001 Amateur Draft by MIL & .767OPS in 195g since trade)||Carlos Gómez (.652 OPS in 178g since trade)-MIN|
|Matt Treanor (C, 147 Major League Games Played since Trade.)||Ray Olmedo (SS/2B, Zero Major League Games Played since Trade.)-TEX|
|Jim Edmonds (OF, 13g with Reds to finish 2010 season.)||Chris Dickerson (OF, .535 OPS to finish the 2010 season.)-CIN|
|Carlos Villanueva (RHP, 4.24 ERA in 2011 with TOR.)||Cash|
|Brett Lawrie (3B, 16th Overall Pick 2008 Amateur Draft & .983 OPS in 16g since 2011 call-up.)||Shaun Marcum (RHP, 11-3 in 2011 with Brewers.)-TOR|
|Jake Ordorizzi Minor (RHP, 32nd Overall Pick 2008 Amateur Draft by MIL.)
Lorenzo Cain (OF, .348 OBP in 147 at-bats with Royals in 2011.)
Alcides Escobar (SS, 18 SB with Royals in 2011.)
Jeremy Jeffress (RHP, 16th Overall Pick 2006 Amateur Draft by MIL.)
|Yuniesky Betancourt (SS, .277 OBP in 2011 with MIL.)-KC
Zack Greinke (RHP, 12-4 in 2011 with MIL.)-KC
|Chris Dickerson (OF, .321 average with NYY since trade.)||Sergio Mitre (RHP, 3.27 ERA in 33 innings with MIL)-NYY|
|Cutter Dykstra (Hitter, 22 years old.)
|Nyjer Morgan (.350 OBP with MIL since trade)-WSH|
|Jeremy Reed (OF, 30 years old.)||Future Considerations|
|Francisco Rodríguez (RHP, 3.52 ERA since trade.)||2 players to be named.-NYM|
|Erik Komatsu (23 year old hitter.)||Jerry Hairston Jr. (.292 OBP with MIL since trade.)-WSN|
|Wisconsin Timber Rattlers||MIDW||A||22.1||4.48||61||64||.488||4.04|
|Brevard County Manatees||FLOR||A+||22.4||5.16||52||72||.419||4.74|
Considering Prince Fielder is going to be a free agent at the end of the 2011 season, it appears the Brewers are trying to go all in this season because they are not sure if their big bat will be back in 2012.
Fielder’s ideal position is a Designated-Hitter in the American League as well because his lack of range playing first base. Therefore it is even more likely that he will move to a new team. With Rickie Weeks and Ryan Braun needing larger long contracts it is going to be nearly impossible to keep those two and Fielder.
Rebuilding might take some time considering Baseball America’s Midseason Top 50 Prospects list has zero Milwaukee Brewers. These trades and poor Player Development looks to me personally like the Brewers could possibly struggle in the coming years.
Where Are They Now: The Zack Greinke Trade By: Jim Breen
Milwaukee Brewers’ win-now plan is working By: Lacy Lusk
Breaking down the Top 50 Prospects list By: Jonathan Mayo
Mid-Season Farm System Reports: NL Central By: Bradley O’Neill
Milwaukee Brewers 2011 Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review By: John Sickels
Free-agent-to-be Prince Fielder talks DHing
Milwaukee Brewers-Cot’s Contracts