After dealing Lucroy, Brewers call up top prospect Arcia

After dealing Lucroy, Brewers call up top prospect Arcia
Posted at 10:21 AM, Aug 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-02 11:21:04-04

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The future started Tuesday for the Milwaukee Brewers.

A day after dealing All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy and their top two relievers, the rebuilding Brewers called up their top prospect, shortstop Orlando Arcia, from Triple-A Colorado Springs.

He will make his major league debut in San Diego against the Padres on Tuesday night. Arcia will start at short, pushing major league stolen base leader Jonathan Villar to third.

Milwaukee dealt away a fan favorite in Lucroy and closer Jeremy Jeffress to Texas on Monday. But the franchise could have the first piece of its future core in the majors in Arcia.

The over-arching goal for general manager David Stearns was to acquire top-flight prospects who could emerge to join Arcia in building a consistent winner. In that respect, there is no timetable yet for a renovation process that started a year ago.

"I don't know if we necessarily pick out finite milestones," Stearns said when asked if the latest deals moved the Brewers closer to the next phase of rebuilding.

But the key is stacking "solid decisions atop of solid decisions" to become a consistent winner again, Stearns said Monday. "We believe that today's decisions will help us get there."

The arrival of Arcia could, too.

The 21-year-old Venezuelan was hitting .267 with eight homers and 53 RBIs in 100 games in his first season at Triple-A. He has 15 steals and been caught eight times. Arcia is a .282 career hitter in the minors.

At 47-57 after a 7-3 loss Monday night in San Diego, the Brewers have played respectably for a team not expected to contend in the top-heavy NL Central.

Lucroy's club-friendly contract and solid all-around game made him an especially valuable trade target all season. Stearns said his cellphone kept buzzing even after Lucroy nixed a deal to the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.

That, Stearns said, was a "pretty good indication that teams wanted to connect and get back in ... We were really able to jump right in where we left off."

The Brewers got back two top prospects from the Rangers in outfielder Lewis Brinson and pitcher Luis Ortiz, along with a player to be named later.

The key in dealing left-handed reliever Will Smith to the Giants was getting back 21-year-old right hander Phil Bickford. Milwaukee also received catcher Andrew Susac, who was sent to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Still unclear is how much more shuffling is left to do among the veterans, most notably the future of outfielder Ryan Braun. He's in the first year of a five-year, $105 million extension signed in 2011 that links him to the club through 2020.

Villar and first baseman Chris Carter could also draw attention from other clubs.

Stearns has been careful not to offer even a hint of a timeline. He's the former assistant GM of the Houston Astros, which has had its own rise from also-ran to contender in recent years, infused with young talent like Carlos Correa and George Springer.