Well, the day everyone (except for about two of us here at Reviewing the Brew) has been waiting for is finally upon us:
Welcome the Grand Opening of the Milwaukee Brewers fire sale.
The only questions left are who and where. Multiple sources are now reporting that Brewers GM Doug Melvin made the decision that if the Brewers finished this road trip at 1-5, they would officially make themselves sellers on the trading market.
If you haven’t heard – they went 0-6 in a dismal week against division rivals Cincinnati and the Phillies.
So this, Brewers fans, is your new reality:
By this time next week, you will have inherited a completely different team. A team that will likely be stocked by more Minor League prospects than field-ready players, and the conversation will shift from “What will make Milwaukee a contender?” to “When will Milwaukee be a contender again?”
From here, we have to just sit and wait. Wait for Rickie to find his swing again. Wait for the bullpen to straighten up. Wait for Milwaukee to build winning talent around Braun again. Wait for Lucroy to get back in the lineup. Wait for Mat Gamel to get back in 2013. Wait to see which Brewers end up in different uniforms.
I’m not saying this isn’t expected. A front office can only see this kind of season run on for so long before they try something – anything – to get things back on something that looks even remotely like the right track. So, when everything else is run out, your only remaining option is to sell.
It’s the business of baseball, especially in the smaller markets.
I won’t go into speculation about who goes where or what we get in return, there are plenty of outlets
for that. Suffice it to say that it doesn’t really matter at this point. No one that we get is going to legitimately make this team better in the short-term, and anything we give up is going to have a far greater impact in the southward motion of this team in the standings. This isn’t about 2012 anymore, nor would many argue that anything should be at this point.
There’s a lot happening right now in the offices of Miller Park – I suspect deals for Corey Hart, George Kottaras, and Aramis Ramirez are being discussed – and none of it should make anyone very happy. Rebuilding a franchise is a long, difficult struggle that can strain a fan base. It takes time for prospects to develop, and even more time to replace those that don’t pan out. It can free up payroll, but most of that is dedicated to rentals who will eventually pan out poorly financially for the team. The whole thing is an exercise in long-term frustration, filled with the same promises we heard from 1996-2007, most of them unfortunately empty.
For those of you cheering for a fire sale, talk to me in 2014.
For now, however, just hurry up and wait.