The Milwaukee Brewers are currently in first place in the National League Central. Despite their success, the team has a few holes that they will undoubtedly need to fill if they expect to maintain their lead. One of these holes is at first base. Keston Hiura has underperformed, Daniel Vogelbach is on the IL, and Rowdy Tellez has not played well in his limited playing time. So poor has the first base position been that in the Brewers’ first game back from the All-Star break, they started utilityman “On Base” Jace Peterson at the position. One player who may help the Brewers improve the position at the deadline is their one-time first baseman, Jesus Aguilar.
Jesus Aguilar Was a Brewers’ Fan Favorite
Jesus Aguilar was originally signed by the Cleveland Indians as an amateur free agent in 2007. After spending a decade in the organization, however, he was released. The Brewers claimed him off waivers in 2017. It was not long before he reached star status in Milwaukee.
In 2017, as a part-time player, Aguilar slashed .265/.331/.505 with 16 home runs and 52 RBI. The next season, he became the team’s primary first baseman and had a career year. 2018 saw Aguilar hit .274/.352/.539 with 35 home runs and 108 RBI. He was voted to the All-Star team by the fans in the vote for the final NL roster spot. Milwaukee fans stuffed the online ballot boxes using the campaign slogan “We Believe in Jesus.” Indeed, Aguilar was a major reason the Brewers made it all the way to Game Seven of the NLCS that season.
Unfortunately, Aguilar got off to a slow start in 2019. In 94 games with the Brewers, he hit just .225/.320/.374 with eight home runs and 34 RBI. As a result, the Brewers traded Aguilar to the Tampa Bay Rays at the deadline in exchange for reliever Jake Faria.
Success in the Sunshine State
After being traded to the Rays, Aguilar’s bat came back to life. With the Rays in 2019, Aguilar hit .261/.336/.424 with four home runs and 16 RBI in 37 games. After the season, he was signed by the Miami Marlins.
In the shortened 2020 season, Aguilar played 51 games and hit .277/.352/.457 with eight home runs and 34 RBI, the same home run and RBI totals he had in 94 games with the Brewers a season earlier. This season, Aguilar is hitting .273/.335/.480 with 16 home runs and 66 RBI. His 66 RBI lead the National League.
Why the Brewers Could Trade for Aguilar
The Miami Marlins are currently in last place of the competitive NL East. They are 8.5 games back and are 11 games under .500. Aguilar has one more season left of arbitration before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2023.
While Aguilar is certainly a fine player, he does not have the name recognition of many of the other players who are rumored to be on the block. A trade for him would not require the Brewers to part with any of their most desirable prospects.
Finally, the Brewers are in desperate need of a power bat at first base. Luis Urias has proven to be more than capable of handling third base, both offensively and defensively. Aguilar at first may the final piece the Brewers need to have a World Series-caliber infield.
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