We begin this news day with words from GM Doug Melvin, speaking to Fox Sports’s Ken Rosenthal:
"We’ve got to make a decision on what we’re doing overall. We’re hoping we can put a good week together. If we don’t, we’ve got to be prepared to go both ways. A lot more clubs are starting to call now. Clubs are calling on different players.– Brewers Gm Doug Melvin, via MLB Trade Rumors"
So there you have it. We aren’t putting up a good week. We haven’t been putting up good weeks all month. There’s nothing left to say, except that it looks like the Brewers will be sellers after all.
Who, exactly, are these “different players?”
I can give three names right off the bat: Zack Greinke, Zack Greinke, and Zack Greinke.
Sure, there is probably some interest brewing in Shaun Marcum, Randy Wolf, and K-Rod right now but I can guarantee that it is nowhere near the level of the Zack Attack. With the Brewers treading dangerous waters in this division right now, and the two sides still keeping mum on extension talks, it would appear the end of the road for Greinke’s career in Milwaukee is becoming ever clearer as the trade deadline approaches.
I can’t say I’m happy about it – but it’s just business.
For now we must assume that Milwaukee is looking at two things – what they would get if he leaves in free agency, plus what they can get right now on the trade market. The simple logic is that if they feel better suited to a player-prospect deal up front, as opposed to what they could build through compensation, they’re going to take it. Perhaps there’s still time for some kind of crazy half-Christmas miracle to occur where an extension could be reached, but for now that needs to be pushed aside for more rational lines of thinking.
We don’t know for sure if Greinke will be gone after the deadline, and we can say the same for Wolf, Marcum, and Frankie as well. If the Brewers are looking for a prospect-heavy trade season, they could find a plethora of good deals for future talent. That, of course, means selling off this season and a few more seasons to come – leaving only Braun as a centerpiece of the talent that so fleetingly stood in Milwaukee.
Again, not the greatest outlook – but that’s the business of baseball sometimes.
It’s also possible to see a few less-than-noteworthy deals come about that could include such 2012
disappointments as Rickie Weeks and, less so, Corey Hart. Both still have potential and value (though obviously diminishing returns would be part of the deal – caveat emptor.) Would it be possible to replenish the farm system with deals for these two players – well anything’s possible, but it is highly unlikely a lot of talent would come from dealing them off. The only upside is the possible drop in strikeouts, assuming we can shift someone else into second base.
Our only hope is that Doug Melvin has been proactive, farsighted, and a rather shrewd dealer over his tenure in Milwaukee. It’s part of the reason the Brewers are the team they are right now. We have survived trade deadline deals in the past. We have survived free agency before. I just don’t think it’s ever looked this daunting before.
The cold, hard truth is that everything is up in the air right now. Two inexperienced catchers are handling a desperately unfortunate bullpen, three offensive talents are trying to shoulder a lineup, there is a lack of immediate talent in the Brewers farm system offensively, and there isn’t enough money to go around for every one who deserves it. Welcome to small market baseball, folks.
So, yes, finally I have relented. I expect the Brewers to be sellers in the coming weeks. I do not expect it to go well for Milwaukee in the short-term. As you can see, this article poses no “who-for-who” deals, or even any tips on which players I think will be good fits for Milwaukee’s system. That’s because the people who are leaving should fit our system, and many of them fit quite well last year over the course of 96 wins.
It’s rather unprofessional of me to do so, but I’m still fighting against the win-loss record. I don’t like the idea of a mid-season fire sale for a bargain of cheap labor to be sold off piecemeal when those contracts are up. I still want to focus on 2012.
But I guess that’s why I don’t run Major League team. I can’t make those decisions. I have to sit and watch it go like the rest of us.
I’m still mad about it – but it’s just business.