That team was swept by Cincinnati in the NLCS and when Elcaon and Leius refused to re-sign with Milwaukee, the team failed to make the playoffs in Season 13 with just 85 wins. After just 80 wins in Season 14, it was clear this was a re-build project.
The Brewers surprised most observers with their Season 18 playoff berth. They had been targeting Season 19 as the season of re-birth. Here's how the current club came to be.
- Starting pitcher Albert Paronto was chosen with the 22nd pick of the Season 12 draft.
- Starting right fielder Alfredo Henriquez was acquired via trade with San Diego during Spring Training in exchange for Peter Yoon, Chuck Harris and Dan Simpson. (TRADE GRADER: Incomplete; too soon to grade)
- Starting shortstop Bill Riley, a gold glove player in Season 18, was drafted in the 3rd round (90th overall) of the Season 7 draft.
- Backup outfielder Butch Osbourne was acquired via trade with Tampa Bay during Spring Training in exchange for Junior Solano. (TRADE GRADER: Incomplete; too soon to grade)
- Setup man David Woo was acquired via trade with Vancouver (now SF) during Season 15 in a package that included Theo Simmons and Rigo Cordero. (TRADE GRADER: B; Woo is a serviceable major leaguer while Simmons and Cordero have not had any significant role in the majors)
- Setup man Del Estrada was drafted in the first round (19th overall) in the Season 10 draft.
- Starting left fielder Eric LaRocca, a former 8th-overall pick, was acquired via trade with Vancouver, along with Vin Feliz, in Season 13 in exchange for Edgard Espinosa. (TRADE GRADER: B-. LaRocca has been a staple in the major league lineup while Espinosa has been a solid performer and a #3/4 starter throughout his career. This trade still has upside).
- Rookie starting 1B Freddie Cox was acquired via trade with New Orleans along with Yoon and Marty Jensen for future Hall of Famer Zachrey Jerzembeck and Oswaldo Zapata. (TRADE GRADER: B; three very solid major leaguers acquired for one very good player on the downside).
- New closer Harry Beltran was signed as an International Free Agent in Season 14.
- Setup man Harry Long was a first round pick in Season 13 (42nd overall).
- Utilityman Huston Hartley, another former first rounder, was acquired via trade with Detroit in Season 16 along with Alving James for Season 18 Cy Young winner Davey Valdes. (TRADE GRADER: C-; Valdes was a total surprise Cy Young winner, but Hartley and James have yet to show that they'll be anything more than Major League fodder)
- Starting CF Jair Bennett was signed as an International Free Agent in Season 15.
- Starting 3B James Trachsel, a two-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove third baseman, was selected in the first round (25th overall) in Season 8.
- Setup man Jeremi Burnett was acquired via trade with Atlanta in Season 13 for Stephen Fonville. (TRADE GRADER: B+; Burnett has been a good major league reliever while Fonville continues to bounce around).
- Setup man Julian Darr was a first round pick (52nd overall) in Season 14.
- Starting pitcher Larry Browning, another former first round pick, was acquired via trade with Durham in Season 15 along with former first rounder Tino Rupe in exchange for Joaquin Villano. (TRADE GRADER: B+; two contributors at the major league level in exchange for a #4/5 starter that never got over the hump).
- Catcher Mariano Pimentel, a former first rounder, was acquired via trade with Atlanta in exchange for Willie Crosby and Pat Lin . (TRADE GRADER: C-; Pimentel was acquired for his defense. Lin has a decent bat for a C, and Crosby is an excellent platoon player but can only DH - not good for a NL team)
- Starting pitcher Marty Jensen was acquired in the Cox trade (see above).
- Starting pitcher Michael Yamamoto was signed as an International Free Agent in Season 16.
- Reserve catcher Miguel Rivera, an 18th-round draft pick, was acquired via trade with the NY Mets in Season 14 in exchange for Victor Guzman. (TRADE GRADER: C; Rivera is defense-only and Guzman was terrible)
- Starting catcher Phil Redmond was a first round draft pick in Season 13 (47th overall).
- Starting pitcher Reagan Matthews was the first overall pick of the Season 16 draft.
- Starting 2B TJ O'Brien was acquired via trade with the Cubs in Season 13 along with Cy Young Award winners Dwight Johnson and Davey Valdes in exchange for two-time Cy Young winner Donald Satou. (TRADE GRADER: B+; both teams did very well in this exchange)
- Setup man Tino Rupe was acquired in the Browning trade (see above).
- Setup man Vic McPherson was a first round pick (31st overall) in Season 13.
13 Acquired via trade
9 draft picks (8 first round, one 3rd round)
3 International free agents