After collapsing in the second half and narrowly missing the playoffs last season, the Brewers appear dead set on ensuring history doesn't repeat itself.
Milwaukee acquired third baseman Mike Moustakas from the Royals for outfielder Brett Phillips and righthanded pitcher Jorge López.
The Brewers announced the trade shortly after beating the Giants 3-1 on Friday night. The swap comes on the heels of the Brewers' acquisition of reliever Joakim Soria on Wednesday.
Through 98 games, Moustakas is slashing .249/.309/.468 with 20 homers, 62 RBIs and an OPS of .778. He was an unfortunate product of the sluggish offseason, settling for a one-year contract with the Royals after drilling a career-high 38 homers in an All-Star 2017 campaign.
Travis Shaw has served as the Brewers' primary third baseman but it's unclear where he'll move once Moustakas mans the hot corner. Second base has been mentioned as the likely landing spot, yet he's never played there in the major leagues.
On the Royals' side of the deal, Phillips ranked as the Brewers' 10th-best prospect on MLB.com. In his small sample of big league action this year he collected four hits in 22 at-bats (.182 AVG) over 15 games. The 25-year-old Lopez has allowed six runs in his 19 2/3 innings of major league work this season.
Milwaukee currently sports a 2 1/2 game lead on the top Wild Card spot and sits 1 1/2 games behind the Cubs in NL Central race.