By Jim Owczarski Sports Editor Published Aug 30, 2013 at 3:27 PM

In light of today's trade of John Axford to the Cardinals for a player to be named later, here are the top five most surprising Brewers moves.

5. Paul Molitor is allowed to leave via free agency

Photo: WikiCommons

After the Brewers re-signed him as a free agent following the 1987 season, Molitor was allowed to walk away after the 1992 season in which he hit .320. He signed in Toronto, where he helped the Blue Jays win two World Series titles. He was the 1993 World Series MVP, appeared in two more All-Star games and collected his 3,000th hit with the Minnesota Twins in 1996.

4. Gorman Thomas is traded to the Cleveland Indians

On June 6, 1983 the fan favorite Thomas is dealt away with Ernie Camacho and Jamie Easterly for Rick Manning and Rick Waits, just a year after Stormin' helped the Brewers reach the World Series.

3. Zack Greinke is acquired

On Dec. 19, 2010 the Brewers traded four top prospects (Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi) to the Kansas City Royals for former American League Cy Young winner and Yuniesky Betancourt. Greinke went 25-9 for the Brewers and helped them reach the 2011 National League Championship Series.

2. Rollie Fingers, Pete Vuckovich and Ted Simmons are acquired

Photo: Dlz28 | WikiCommons
On Dec. 12, 1980 catcher Ted Simmons, pitcher Pete Vuckovich and closer Rollie Fingers in exchange for outfielders Sixto Lezcano and David Green and pitchers Lary Sorensen and Dave LaPoint setting the Brewers up for a playoff appearance in 1981 and a trip to the World Series in '82.

1. CC Sabathia is acquired
Photo: Keith Allison | WikiCommons

The Brewers shocked all of baseball on July 7, 2008 when they sent top prospect Matt LaPorta and two others to the Cleveland Indians for the former AL Cy Young winner. Sabathia went 11-2 with a 1.65 earned run average in 17 starts, tossing 130 2/3 innings in leading the Brewers into the playoffs. After the season, Sabathia inked a seven-year, $161 million deal with the Yankees.

Jim Owczarski is an award-winning sports journalist and comes to Milwaukee by way of the Chicago Sun-Times Media Network.

A three-year Wisconsin resident who has considered Milwaukee a second home for the better part of seven years, he brings to the market experience covering nearly all major and college sports.

To this point in his career, he has been awarded six national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, breaking news and projects. He is also a four-time nominee for the prestigious Peter J. Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, presented by the Chicago Headline Club, and is a two-time winner for Best Sports Story. He has also won numerous other Illinois Press Association, Illinois Associated Press and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association awards.

Jim's career started in earnest as a North Central College (Naperville, Ill.) senior in 2002 when he received a Richter Fellowship to cover the Chicago White Sox in spring training. He was hired by the Naperville Sun in 2003 and moved on to the Aurora Beacon News in 2007 before joining

In that time, he has covered the events, news and personalities that make up the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, NCAA football, baseball and men's and women's basketball as well as boxing, mixed martial arts and various U.S. Olympic teams.

Golf aficionados who venture into Illinois have also read Jim in GOLF Chicago Magazine as well as the Chicago District Golfer and Illinois Golfer magazines.