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
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