Brewers puzzling deadline ends with deal for Jonathan Schoop

In the waning seconds of the trade deadline, the Milwaukee Brewers finally made a move. Problem was, it wasn’t the move anyone thought they needed to make.

The Brewers didn’t pick up a starting pitcher or another relief weapon. Instead, they acquired infielder Jonathan Schoop from the Baltimore Orioles in a puzzling move.

Schoop, 26, is hitting .244/.273/.447, with 17 home runs in 2018. He still has one more year of arbitration before he can hit the free-agent market following the 2019 season.

What does the Jonathan Schoop move do for the Brewers?

It gives the team a second baseman, which it didn’t have prior to the trade deadline. While that’s good, it creates an infield logjam that puts the team in a tough spot. The team already went through that with Travis Shaw and Mike Moustakas. Following that deal, it was expected one of those players would man third base and the other would move to second. Now, it looks like Shaw doesn’t really have a spot on the team.

By wRC+, an advanced stat that measures offense, Shaw was the team’s fifth-best hitter this season. The Schoop move essentially takes his bat out of the lineup. Shaw can’t play first because he’s blocked by All-Star Jesús Aguilar. He can’t play right field because Eric Thames has been a better hitter when healthy.

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MLB players moved at the 2018 trade deadline
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MLB players moved at the 2018 trade deadline

2B Ian Kinsler

Former team: Los Angeles Angels
New team: Boston Red Sox

(Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)

3B Manny Machado

Former team: Baltimore Orioles
New team: Los Angeles Dodgers

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

RP Zach Britton

Former team: Baltimore Orioles
New team: New York Yankees

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

RP Jeurys Familia

Former team: New York Mets 
New team: Oakland Athletics

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

SP Nathan Eovaldi

Former team: Tampa Bay Rays
New Team: Boston Red Sox

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

SP J.A. Happ

Former team: Toronto Blue Jays
New team: New York Yankees

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

INF Eduardo Escobar

Former team: Minnesota Twins
New team: Arizona Diamondbacks

(Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

INF Asdrubal Cabrera

Former team: New York Mets
New team: Philadelphia Phillies

(Photo by Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

C Martin Maldonado

Former team: Los Angeles Angels
New team: Houston Astros

(Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)

RP Roberto Osuna

Former team: Toronto Blue Jays
New team: Houston Astros

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

RP Jonny Venters

Former team: Tampa Bay Rays
New team: Atlanta Braves

(Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

RP Brad Hand

Former team: San Diego Padres
New team: Cleveland Indians

(Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

INF Brandon Drury

Former team: New York Yankees
New team: Toronto Blue Jays

(Photo by Jeff Chevrier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

RP Brad Brach

Former team: Baltimore Orioles
New team: Atlanta Braves

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

RP Chasen Shreve

Former team: New York Yankees
New team: St. Louis Cardinals

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

RP Joakim Soria

Former team: Chicago White Sox
New team: Milwaukee Brewers

(Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

RP Seunghwan Oh

Former team: Toronto Blue Jays
New team: Colorado Rockies

(Photograph by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

3B Mike Moustakas

Former team: Kansas City Royals
New team: Milwaukee Brewers

(John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)

INF Brett Phillips

Former team: Milwaukee Brewers
New team: Kansas City Royals

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

SP Cole Hamels

Former team: Texas Rangers
New team: Chicago Cubs

(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

RP Eddie Butler

Former team: Chicago Cubs
New team: Texas Rangers

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

RP Ken Giles

Former team: Houston Astros
New team: Toronto Blue Jays

(Photo by Juan DeLeon/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

RP Adam Warren

Former team: New York Yankees
New team: Seattle Mariners

(Photo by Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

RP Zach Duke

Former team: Minnesota Twins
New team: Seattle Mariners

(Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports)

RP Lance Lynn

Former team: Minnesota Twins
New team: New York Yankees

(Photo byJesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)

C Wilson Ramos

Former team: Tampa Bay Rays
New team: Philadelphia Phillies

(Photo by Juan DeLeon/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

RP Brad Ziegler

Former team: Miami Marlins
New team: Arizona Diamondbacks

(Sam Navarro/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images)

RP Ryan Pressly

Former team: Minnesota Twins
New team: Houston Astros

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

OF Tommy Pham

Former team: St. Louis Cardinals
New team: Tampa Rays

(Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)

OF Cameron Maybin

Former team: Miami Marlins
New team: Seattle Mariners

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

SP Kevin Gausman

Former team: Baltimore Orioles
New team: Atlanta Braves

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

SP Chris Archer

Former team: Tampa Rays
New team: Pittsburgh Pirates

(Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images)

2B Brian Dozier

Former team: Minnesota Twins
New team: Los Angeles Dodgers

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

RP Brandon Kintzler

Former team: Washington Nationals
New team: Chicago Cubs

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

RP Jake Diekman

Former team: Texas Rangers
New team: Arizona Diamondbacks

(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

RP Aaron Loup

Former team: Toronto Blue Jays
New team: Philadelphia Phillies

(Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

2B Jonathan Schoop

Former team: Baltimore Orioles
New team: Milwaukee Brewers

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

RP Darren O'Day

Former team: Baltimore Orioles
New team: Atlanta Braves

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

RP John Axford

Former team: Toronto Blue Jays
New team: Los Angeles Dodgers

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

RP Keone Kela

Former team: Texas Rangers
New team: Pittsburgh Pirates

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

SP Tyler Glasnow

Former team: Pittsburgh Pirates
New team: Texas Rangers

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

OF Scott Schebler

Former team: Cincinnati Reds
New team: Atlanta Braves

(Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)

SP Matt Wisler

Former team: Atlanta Braves
New team: Cincinnati Reds

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

OF Preston Tucker

Former team: Atlanta Braves
New team: Cincinnati Reds

(Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SP Lucas Sims

Former team: Atlanta Braves
New team: Cincinnati Reds

(Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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The only place where Shaw is a clear upgrade is shortstop. And while that would be a fun viewing experience for non-Brewers fans, it doesn’t seem likely to happen.

With that said … who knows? Maybe the Brewers are willing to actually give it a shot.

It is possible Schoop could play shortstop. He’s seen a few innings at the position with the Orioles the past few seasons, but hasn’t played there regularly in years. If the Brewers do that, they would be giving up a lot on defense to make sure their best bats are in the lineup. It’s a risky move.

Brewers don’t wind up with any starting pitchers at the trade deadline

The Brewers’ rotation has combined for a 3.85 ERA, which actually ranks ninth in the majors. While that figure is pretty good, the team still could have used a starter in the second half. The Brewers just lost pitcher Brent Suter for the rest of the season. While Suter’s 4.56 ERA wasn’t impressive, he was still the team’s third-best starting pitcher according to fWAR.

While Jhoulys Chacin, Freddy Peralta, Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra all have solid ERAs, the team could have used an upgrade over Wade Miley in the fifth spot. Miley has an excellent 2.01 ERA, but has walked more batters that he’s struck out, making it unlikely that ERA sticks.

In the Brewers’ defense, there weren’t many aces available this year. Still, getting another solid starter to stick in the rotation would have helped keep the Brewers in the race. They’ve gone just .500 since the start of June and have been passed by the Chicago Cubs in the division.

What does the Jonathan Schoop trade do for the Orioles?

In return for Schoop, the Orioles received three players, including infielder Jonathan Villar.

Pitcher Luis Ortiz and infielder Jean Carmona are joining Villar in the deal. Ortiz, 22, has a 3.71 ERA over 68 innings in Double-A. He ranked as the Brewers’ sixth-best prospect coming into the season, according to Baseball America. Carmona, 18, did not rate among the Brewers’ top-30 prospects at the beginning of the season. He’s hitting .239/.298/.406 in rookie ball.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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