Diamondbacks Send Eduardo Escobar to Milwaukee Brewers for Prospects

Eduardo Escobar

Eduardo Escobar is Milwaukee-bound.

Jeff Passan and Mike Hawk reported that the Milwaukee Brewers and the Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to a trade Wednesday afternoon. The Brewers will get All-Star third baseman Eduardo Escobar, while the Diamondbacks will get outfielder Cooper Hummel and infielder Alberto Ciprian. According to Diamondbacks broadcaster Steve Berthiaume, the Brewers will also pay all of the remaining $2.4 million that Escobar is owed in 2021.

What the Brewers Get: Eduardo Escobar

Eduardo Escobar has been one of the few bright spots in 2021 for the Diamondbacks, who have suffered through a disaster of a season. Their lone All-Star, Escobar has slashed .246/.300/.478 (91-for-370) with 14 doubles, three triples, 22 home runs, 65 RBI, 50 runs scored. This has translated into a .331 wOBA and 5.6 wRAA. Escobar, 32, is primarily a third baseman but plays second base just as ably.

The switch-hitter had a monster season in 2019, slashing .269/.321/.511 (171-for-636) with 29 doubles, an NL-leading 10 triples, 35 home runs, 118 RBI, 94 runs scored, a .341 wOBA, and 12.8 wRAA. This made him one of only two switch hitters (Ripper Collins, 1934, St. Louis Cardinals) to notch 20+ doubles, 10+ triples, 30+ home runs, and 100+ RBI in a single season.

Defensively, Escobar has been excellent as a Diamondback. In 2019 and 2020, he had Total Zone Fielding Runs Above Average (Rtot) of three and four runs, respectively. He’s been down in 2021 (-5), however. As a second baseman, he has had three, zero (league average), and two Rtot in 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively.

What the Diamondbacks Get

Cooper Hummel

Hummel, 26, is a switch hitter who throws right-handed. The Brewers drafted him in the 18th round of the 2016 draft. He spent 2017 and 2018 with the Carolina Mudcats of the High-A Carolina League. In 2019, he played for the Double-A Biloxi Shuckers of the Southern League. Hummel did not play in 2020 due to the cancellation of the minor league season, but in 2021, he has been with the Triple-A Nashville Sounds. In 46 games for them, he has slashed .254/.435/.508 (32-for-126) with eight doubles, three triples, six home runs, 15 RBI, 41 walks, 26 strikeouts, and 27 runs scored.

Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen said that he will go straight to the Triple-A Reno Aces. He could be in the majors soon — something Hazen hopes will happen — it is too early to tell.

Alberto Ciprian

Ciprian, 18, is a right-handed-hitting infielder. He has not played much since signing with the Brewers in 2019, since the 2020 Dominican Summer League season was cancelled. In 12 games in 2021, Ciprian is slashing .378/.465/.514 (14-for-37) with five doubles, eight RBI, and six runs scored. Hazen said that the scouts in the Dominican Republic are “high” on Ciprian.

Outlook

Escobar is also a beloved teammate and clubhouse figure, someone whom the players, coaching staff, clubhouse workers, and media enjoy being around. The Brewers and their faithful will thoroughly enjoy the presence of Escobar, who quickly became a fan favorite in Arizona after arriving in 2018.

Hazen said that the team is “very happy” with Hummel and Ciprian, but that trading anyone like Escobar is “bittersweet.” There were several rumors over the last few weeks that involved Escobar, but none involved the Brewers. About those rumors, Hazen said, “Sometimes the smoke gets out there, and there’s some accuracy to what’s being said.” However, “until the last player is agreed upon, there’s no deal.” Hazen also said that the team is discussing other deals, and there is a chance that “a couple of other trades” could happen. However, Hazen said that he cannot go into any specifics until anything is finalized. He also said not to expect “a flurry of trades.”

Hazen had a message for Diamondbacks fans, many of whom are disappointed to see such a beloved player depart. He told them something that he has discussed with Escobar off and on for the past month. “Where we stand right now, over the next two months, this is about acquiring as much talent as we can to build from this point…. This is not the position we expected or desired to be in right now. There are personal feelings for players who have played as well as he has. We’re in last place, and he needs to go play in the playoffs. Now he’s in a position to do that.”

Main Photo

Embed from Getty Images

Players mentioned:

Eduardo Escobar, Cooper Hummel, Alberto Ciprian, Ripper Collins


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