The Brewers were so close to completing what general manager Doug Melvin called a “big,” three-team trade for a pitcher ahead of Friday’s nonwaiver Trade Deadline that Ken Macha tuned into the MLB Network in the visiting manager’s office at PETCO Park and waited to see the news break.
It never did.
The deal fizzled, and the pitcher in question wasn’t traded. Because of that fact, Macha and Melvin refused to talk about the blockbuster that wasn’t — Melvin did assure reporters that the pitcher in question wasn’t Toronto’s Roy Halladay — and the Brewers were left to soldier on with a weakened starting rotation.
Earlier in the week, Melvin thought he might have a shot at Seattle’s Jarrod Washburn, but “I didn’t think we were ever close,” Melvin said.
But Melvin was near to completing, “a much bigger deal,” that was so close to happening that within a half hour of the 4 p.m. ET deadline to trade players without first exposing them to waivers, Melvin had principal owner Mark Attanasio waiting near a phone for final approval. When the three-team proposal fell apart, Melvin had another trade possibility in the works within 10 minutes of the deadline.
“It just didn’t happen,” Melvin said. “Both of them revolved around what another team was doing. Those are always tough.”
So who was involved in the mysterious big one? Macha would only reveal that it was not a pitcher who would have been available to start for the Brewers on Saturday. Melvin wouldn’t say, either, even when a reporter presented him with some possible names. One of the names was Atlanta right-hander Javier Vazquez, who had just pitched on Thursday, but a National League scout offered assurances that the Brewers and Braves weren’t talking about Vazquez on Friday.
— Adam McCalvy
The latest pitcher to be mentioned alongside the starter-hungry Brewers is right-hander Kevin Correia of the Padres, who would be a step down from the other players linked to Milwaukee (Roy Halladay, Jarrod Washburn among them) but at least could help plug some holes.
Correia is 7-8 with a 4.75 ERA and would come cheaply, according to the FOXSports.com blog item that mentioned the Brewers as one of the interested teams. No deal is imminent, the report said.
The Brewers’ rotation is a bit of a mess, with Dave Bush (triceps) on the disabled list and Jeff Suppan (oblique) in limbo for his Saturday start ahead of a Thursday appointment with the doctor. The Brewers have already tried Seth McClung and Mike Burns as in-house replacements before sending them back to the bullpen (now McClung is on the DL with an elbow injury). The team will give another reliever, Carlos Villanueva, one more chance to start on Sunday in San Diego.
As I reported earlier this week, Brewers GM Doug Melvin will be on the team’s chartered flight to San Diego this afternoon, meaning he’ll be out of contact with Trade Deadline buzz for a few hours but will be back in the pocket for the final hours on Friday. The deadline to move players without exposing them to waivers is July 31 at 4 p.m. ET.
— Adam McCalvy
I just called Brewers general manager Doug Melvin to see if the news of
Jeff Suppan’s rib-cage strain — an injury that often sends a pitcher
to the disabled list — changes his plan of attack for Friday’s
nonwaiver trade deadline.
The answer was no.
still looking for guys who are available,” Melvin said. “We’d like to
get a starter. We’ll have to wait a few days before we find out [about
Suppan]. We’ll evaluate then.”
Even if it’s bad news, Melvin will be smart about his aggressiveness on the market.
“I’m not going to go out and give up a better player just because Suppan is out,” he said.
underwent an MRI scan on Tuesday after complaining of tightness in his
side. Right-hander Dave Bush is already on the disabled list with a
triceps injury, and Seth McClung and Mike Burns were tried out as starters
and then bounced from the rotation (McClung is now hurt and Burns is
back in Triple-A). Another new starter, Carlos Villanueva, allowed five
runs in four innings on Tuesday.
“It’s been tough right now even
though we’ve been healthy,” Melvin said. “I have confidence in these
guys getting better, but we haven’t pitched well. When you’re not going
well, you don’t get the breaks, either.”
Melvin confirmed that
he remains in touch with Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik, who holds a chip
in left-hander Jarrod Washburn, who was 8-6 with a 2.70 ERA ahead of
his Tuesday night start in Toronto. Washburn, a Wisconsin native, is a
free agent after the season, and FOXSports.com speculated that
Zduriencik, Milwaukee’s former scouting director, might consider
injured second baseman Rickie Weeks in return. Zduriencik drafted Weeks
Acknowledging that the teams have been linked in
published reports, Melvin said, “We’d like to add a starter, but Jack
hasn’t decided yet if he would move one or not.”
— Adam McCalvy
If the Brewers are indeed “basically out” of the running for Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay, as one national baseball writer wrote on Twitter, it would be news to Milwaukee’s general manager.
“I haven’t been told that we’re out,” Doug Melvin said Friday, when the Brewers began a homestand that takes them to within 24 hours of the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline. “I was never told that we’re in, either.
“I don’t want to get into who we’re talking to and when we’ve talked. It’s all part of the negotiations.”
After acquiring second baseman Felipe Lopez from the Diamondbacks on Sunday — Lopez missed a second straight start Friday because of a hamstring strain but will be installed as the everyday leadoff hitter once he’s healthy — Melvin’s focus is bolstering a shaky starting rotation that ranked 15th of the 16 National League teams and 27th of the 30 Major League teams with a 4.96 ERA entering the weekend.
The Brewers entered their homestand with a 48-47 record, in fourth place in the NL Central but just 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Cardinals, who made a splash on Friday by acquiring outfielder Matt Holliday from Oakland. Brewers officials have debated internally whether it’s worth digging into the farm system for a second straight season — CC Sabathia cost four prospects last year including 2007 first-round Draft pick Matt LaPorta — to acquire a front-line pitcher. That debate is ongoing, Melvin said.
“It depends what you get, and what you give up,” Melvin said. “That’s what it really comes down to. What you get, what you give up, and how you’re playing at the time that you do it. …
“We’ve still got a good team,” Melvin added. “We just have to put it together. We have to put some consistency together and have a little winning streak.”
– Adam McCalvy
During a radio interview on The FAN590 prior to Thursday’s Blue Jays-Indians tilt at Rogers Centre, general manager J.P. Ricciardi shed a little more light on why Toronto is suddenly willing to shop ace Roy Halladay.
“What’s changed is Roy has told us that he’s going to test the free-agent market,” Ricciardi said.
Halladay is under contract for $14.25 million this season and $15.75 million in 2010, which is the final year under his current deal. The Blue Jays originally planned on discussing an extension with Halladay this coming offseason, but Ricciardi’s comments make it clear that’s not going to happen.
The chances of Toronto retaining Halladay seemed slim already, considering the fact that the club has trimmed its payroll and the pitcher has expressed that he wants to have a chance to play October baseball. With the Jays in fourth place in the AL East, and a rotation filled with injuries and young arms, contending soon doesn’t seem realistic.
Halladay is scheduled to start for the Jays on Tuesday in Seattle and Ricciardi doesn’t want the pitcher taking the mound with the thought that he might be traded in the following three days leading up to the July 31 Deadline. Ricciardi said Toronto’s internal deadline of Tuesday is flexible, depending on how close the club might be to a deal.
“If we’re down the road with something, obviously the deadline can fluctuate,” Ricciardi told reporters earlier Thursday morning. “If we’re not down the road by the 28th, nothing’s going to happen.”
The team considered to be the front-runner to land Halladay continues to be the Phillies. Even though Philadelphia is believed to be opposed to including top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek in a possible deal, the Blue Jays sent assistant general manager Tony LaCava to scout Drabek’s latest start on Wednesday.
The Brewers are also considered to have serious interest in trading for Halladay. Other teams who have been tied to Halladay in various reports include the Dodgers, Cardinals, White Sox, Rangers, Red Sox and Yankees. Ricciardi said only a few teams have approached him with serious interest.
“Some are serious and some I would say are delirious,” Ricciardi said during the radio interview.
The Brewers made a lot of headway last year when they pulled off a deal that brought CC Sabathia to Milwaukee and rode the stud left-hander all the way to the postseason. According to SI.com, the Brewers seem to be in good shape to do that again — only this time with Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay.
Many on hand at Rogers Centre on Sunday afternoon wondered if they were watching Roy Halladay’s last outing as the ace of the Blue Jays. If so, Doc did not disappoint, spinning a complete-game gem en route to a 3-1 win over the Red Sox.
“I was hoping he’d have an unbelievable performance, something I could remember when I look back at my time here in Toronto,” Jays catcher Rod Barajas said. “It definitely goes through your head. I hope it’s not the last time. Everybody in this clubhouse hopes it’s not the last time.”
Multiple reports indicated that representatives from the Dodgers, Phillies, Brewers, Tigers, Red Sox, Rangers and Twins were in attendance for Halladay’s latest start, which netted his 11th win and lowered his ERA to 2.73. Former Jays GMs Pat Gillick (Phillies) and Gord Ash (Brewers) were in Toronto for the entire weekend series against Boston.
Philadelphia is still believed to be the front-runner to land Halladay, and the Jays and Phils have reportedly already discussed a few of the Phillies’ top prospects, including outfielder Michael Taylor, shortstop Jason Donald and pitcher Carlos Carrasco. Top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek likely needs to be included to convince the Jays to pull the trigger on any deal with the Phils.
As far as the other clubs in attendance for Halladay’s start, it’s possible some were there to take a look at Boston’s players, or Toronto’s relievers — Doc’s fourth complete game of the year robbed scouts of that chance — and position players. The Red Sox don’t have serious interest in Halladay and the Rangers and Twins appear to be long shots.
It’s worth noting that Ash was at the helm in Toronto when the Blue Jays drafted Halladay. According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, “Rival teams say the Brewers have enough prospects to make a Halladay deal.”
Prior to previous Trade Deadlines, Halladay’s name has been tossed around in rumors and reports. This year, though, the speculation is real and Halladay’s recent comments indicate that he’s more open to the idea of being dealt than he was in the past. On Saturday, Halladay’s wife, Brandy, stepped into the radio booth during the Jays’ game and the talk eventually turned to the wave of rumors.
“This very well could be our last homestand,” Brandy Halladay said on The FAN590. “If something happens before the Trade Deadline, I won’t be back. That’s difficult. That’s more than difficult. I just broke into tears four minutes ago. … It’s very difficult for everybody. … You’re making me cry now.”