Benn Sieu/AP
January 04, 2017

One easy way for a rebuilding club to add talent to its system is to let a setup reliever prove his mettle in the ninth inning, then flip him to another team. In 2016 alone, two players who had never notched a big league save entering the season generated solid trade returns for Milwaukee: Jeremy Jeffress had 27 saves for the Brewers before going to Texas and helping sweeten the package from the Rangers in the Jonathan Lucroy deal at the Aug. 1 deadline, while Tyler Thornburg (13 saves) netted third baseman Travis Shaw and two prospects from the Red Sox last month. The Brewers have a few in-house options who could compete for the closer job in spring such as Jacob Barnes, Corey Knebel and Carlos Torres (above), who combined for five saves last season. Alternately, they could sign a retread like Santiago Casilla, Neftali Feliz or Sergio Romo and hope that he pitches well enough to be traded in July.​

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