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If The Brewers Become Sellers

Having dropped seven in a row, the Brewers stand at 15-23, seven games out in the NL Central.  Though more than 76% of the season remains, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs points out that Milwaukee's playoff chances already look slim.  Here's a look at who might be available if Doug Melvin opens up shop a month or two from now.

The discussion begins with Prince Fielder, who is signed for $10.5MM this year and arbitration-eligible for 2011.  Fielder's power went missing in April, but he seems to be back in business now.  Though the Brewers could lose Fielder to free agency, there's a case to be made for keeping him until next year's trade deadline in the name of competing in 2011.  If he's dealt this summer, I think the package would have to focus on players who can help next year.

The majority of the Brewers' rotation might be immovable.  Randy Wolf just began a three-year, $29.75MM deal, and his numbers have slipped.  Doug Davis has been lousy, though he's on a one-year, $5.25MM deal.  Dave Bush's ugly peripherals don't back up his 4.27 ERA, and he's being paid $4.215MM.  Jeff Suppan, now working in long relief, is the highest-paid of all.

Trevor Hoffman's $8MM salary is prohibitive, though he's shown signs of life this month outside of a mop-up appearance.  Well-paid relievers LaTroy Hawkins and David Riske are on the DL.

The Brewers do have some attractive trade chips.  Corey Hart is playing better, so he could be dealt assuming the Brewers don't plan to tender him a contract after the season.  It might be tougher to trade Rickie Weeks, who is also arbitration-eligible one last time after 2010.  Lefty Manny Parra had an excellent April, but the Brewers wouldn't have much motivation to trade him.  With Davis hitting the DL, Parra rejoins the Brewers' rotation today.

Veterans such as Craig Counsell, Jody Gerut, Gregg Zaun, Claudio Vargas, and Jim Edmonds would make sense to shop, as all are free agents after the season (Zaun has a club option).








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