Last night’s near-non-contest notwithstanding, the Braves and the Brewers still have three more games remaining to determine who sits atop the National League for the time being. (The Braves are actually a game behind the Cubs, too, now, but shh.) Given that both of these teams were really poor as recently as 2016, that calls to mind some inevitable comparisons. Those comparisons are the subject of today’s Fanpost Friday prompt: which of these two teams do you think rebuilt the best, and why?
The Brewers last made the playoffs in 2011, but achieved winning seasons in both 2012 and 2014. Their 2015 season was not officially part of the rebuild, and while they shuffled their roster incredibly under new GM David Stearns through 2016 (literally half of their 40-man changed), they barely missed a playoff spot last year. This year, despite various injuries, they’re leading their division.
I don’t need to recap the Braves in detail for you, but their rebuild seems to have taken longer, as they were officially tanking for the last three years before this season’s surprising resurgence. But, while the Brewers made splashy signings (Lorenzo Cain) and trades (Christian Yelich) that reduced their financial flexibility and farm system, respectively, the Braves have done neither and are hanging tough, leading a division of their own.
Notably, the Brewers under Stearns also turned around their farm system, rapidly ascending from one of the worst in 2015 to one of the better systems in the league, before pushing it back down when a lot of prospect wealth was dealt for Christian Yelich.
So, who ya got, and why? Which team do you think has set themselves up better for the future, including this season? What if you ignore this season, and think only for 2019 and beyond?