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Doug Melvin Rumors
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin spoke to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy about the team's relatively quiet offseason thus far and some other hot stove items…
- The Brewers are the only team who has yet to sign a free agent to a Major League contract, as MLBTR's Tim Dierkes recently examined. Melvin said the Brewers haven't delved into the free agent market is due to both the team's plan to "go with our young guys" and an overall lack of suitable fits for Milwaukee's payroll. “If you look at a lot of the teams that got involved in free agency in the past few years, it hasn’t been that successful for them — and then there are the players whose price range isn’t even close to what we could consider. We’re putting a lot of faith into our system," Melvin said. “We weren’t going to get [Shin-Soo] Choo. We weren’t going to get Robinson Cano,” Melvin said. “We can look at $5-$6MM, but if we think our guys are better or as good at $500K, why would we make a move just to make a move?”
- Melvin is open to adding a veteran reliever to the young arms in the Milwaukee bullpen, implying that such an addition would come in a trade. "Our bullpen is an area that we’ve talked about maybe whether we would add an experienced piece or not," the GM said.
- The Mets have discussed Ike Davis in trade talks with the Brewers (as well as the Pirates and Orioles) and Melvin confirmed that some talks had taken place. "First base, I’ve had ongoing discussions with Sandy Alderson, but we haven’t gotten to anything where we’re comfortable with the deal from our side, and he’s not been comfortable with the deal from his side.”
- While Melvin declined to say whether he found the Mets' asking price too high, Melvin did say that “I think we’ve pretty well stood by — the one thing we’ve done is we do not want to give up pitching.” The Mets reportedly asked for promising young right-hander Tyler Thornburg in exchange for Davis last month.
The GM Meetings begin tomorrow in Orlando and run through Wednesday, but it could be a very quiet three days for the Brewers. "I don't anticipate us being overly active at this point but things could change," GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "There's not a lot of openings in the regular lineup." Budget constraints will also play a role in the Brewers' level of activity, according to Haudricourt, as the club is approximately $14MM under its 2013 Opening Day payroll (not including arbitration and pre-arbitration salaries). Here's more from Haudricourt's piece:
- "There's nothing major on the free-agent market we'll probably get involved with," Melvin said. "Maybe we'll do something with the bullpen, make an addition or two."
- Melvin sees first base as the one position the Brewers need to fill. Re-signing Corey Hart, who is drawing interest from the Mets and a handful of other teams, is the coventional wisdom, but Melvin has only committed to speaking with agent Jeff Berry about Hart's status at some point.
- The Brewers are not believed to have interest in Justin Morneau, James Loney, and/or Mike Napoli at this stage.
- If Hart doesn't re-sign with Milwaukee, one internal option is Juan Francisco, who is showing improvement offensively during Dominican Winter League play (.338/.437/.568 with 18 RBIs – second in the DWL – in 74 at-bats including a .404/.462/.702 slash with 14 RBIs versus left-handers in 47 at-bats, per MLB.com). At the least, Haudricourt sees Francisco providing depth at both infield corners (Francisco has split his time with Licey between third base and DH while appearing in just three games at first).
- Providing middle infield depth will be Elian Herrera, who the Brewers claimed off waivers from the Dodgers on Monday. "He's somebody who can play all over the field, including shortstop if we need it," said Melvin.
Francisco Rodriguez's trade to the Orioles may be the first of several moves for the Brewers before the trade deadline, though Brewers GM Doug Melvin hinted that further moves (if any) would require a very high return. Here are the highlights of Melvin's conference call with reporters, including Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal…
- As many as six teams had interest in Rodriguez but the field narrowed to three bidders, Melvin said. The other two finalists, besides the O's, were also from the American League. The Tigers and Red Sox were known to have interest in Rodriguez, though it's just speculation on my part that they could have been the two mystery AL teams.
- Melvin spoke highly of Nick Delmonico, the infield prospect acquired from Baltimore. Melvin said he asked the Orioles about Delmonico three weeks ago and were turned down, so the deep trade market for Rodriguez helped the Brewers eventually get the prospect they wanted.
- The Brewers are "not shopping" other bullpen pieces like John Axford or Jim Henderson "but if teams have interest, I have to listen," Melvin said. "We've still got a lot of good young players here. People talk about our pitching but if you trade pitching, you're going to need pitching back for this year, next year and the following years."
- Teams have called about Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse but Melvin said he's "not motivated" to move either starter. Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link) reported earlier today that the Brewers "need to be blown away" to consider moving Lohse, and the Giants weren't a fit as a trade partner.
- Melvin made it clear that he isn't under any pressure to move veterans just for the sake of rebuilding the roster. "This isn't where we're selling. I'm not a believer in buyers and sellers; I'm a believer in making a good deal," Melvin said. "Deals that help both ball clubs are the best deals to work. When you're selling, you're just moving players because of salary and we don't have to do that."
- Some teams have called about the Brewers' position players though Melvin declined to provide details.
The Brewers have lost four in a row, used 57 different lineups in 80 games this season, and own the third-worst record in all of baseball. The Brewers are expected to be sellers at the Trade Deadline, a fate further cemented with the news of Corey Hart missing the rest of the year with his third knee surgery in 16 months and Ryan Braun out, at least, until after the All-Star break (per MLB.com's Adam McCalvy) with an irritated nerve in his right hand. Milwaukee's best trade chips are a quartet of relievers (John Axford, Michael Gonzalez, Jim Henderson, and Francisco Rodriguez), who have closer experience. Here's the latest Trade Deadline news involving the Brewers:
- GM Doug Melvin admits to receiving calls about his bullpen, but he isn't quite sure what to expect in return, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Teams have to determine what is important to them and how they value relief pitchers," Melvin said. "Sometimes they don't want to give up a lot to acquire them. They think teams will give up guys just to get rid of their contracts. We're not really looking to do that."
- Axford, the Brewers' highest-paid reliever at $5MM in his first year of arbitration eligibility as a Super Two, is aware his name is being floated in trade rumors. "I'm sure there will be talk about it as we get closer to the trade deadline," Axford told Haudricourt. "Teams probably will test the waters and see what the Brewers' response is. I'll be fine with it. You have to block that out and focus on your job here."
- Manager Ron Roenicke has re-inserted Rodriguez into the closer's role, reports Haudricourt's colleague Michael Hunt. Did the idea of showcasing Rodriguez for a Trade Deadline deal have any role in this decision? "None, not to me," said Roenicke. "Not until I meet with (GM) Doug (Melvin) and Doug tells me something different."
- Teams also are reported to have shown interest in Brewers' starting pitchers Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse, but Melvin told Haudricourt trading either one "is not something we have to do. We're not necessarily looking to sell. But if somebody steps up (with a big offer), I'd have to listen."
Brewers GM Doug Melvin indirectly shed some light on the philosophical differences which led to trading Brett Lawrie to the Blue Jays. Lawrie's name came up when Melvin told Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the plan is to keep second base prospect Scooter Gennett in Triple-A for the full season instead of being promoted because of the struggles of Rickie Weeks. "The plan worked for (Prince) Fielder and Corey Hart and all those guys," Melvin said. "Spend your time at each level. That's the part I couldn't get through with Brett Lawrie. He wanted to go past everybody. That model works if you're a freak like Ryan Braun, but he did play at every level. I always say to go out and prove you're too good for the league. If you do that, we'll consider moving you up." Instead Melvin, moved Lawrie out to Toronto. In other news from the the NL Central:
- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told reporters, including MLB.com's Adam McCalvy, there is no plan to send Corey Hart, recovering from right knee surgery, on a minor league rehab assignment before June 1. This means Hart, who is eligible to be activated from the 60-day disabled list on May 30, will not join the Brewers until mid-June, at the earliest.
- The number of years and not money will be the issue for the Reds in trying to re-sign Shin-Soo Choo, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Choo ranks second on MLBTR's 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings.
- If Choo does re-sign with Cincinnati, a payroll casualty could be Bronson Arroyo. In a second tweet, Fay says the Reds' payroll is a big puzzle and there are lots of factors involved in trying to retain both Choo and Arroyo.
- Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch opines merit is not behind the Cardinals' decision to replace the injured Jaime Garcia with fellow left-hander Tyler Lyons, but a desire to delay the service clock of their top pitching prospect, Michael Wacha. This is the second time Wacha, owner of an 1.89 ERA in eight Triple-A starts, has been bypassed to fill a rotation opening. Miklasz further believes the Cardinals, owners of the best record in the National League, don't have the best 25 players in their system on the active roster citing top prospect Oscar Taveras toiling away in Triple-A while Shane Robinson and Ty Wigginton are struggling offensively.
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak disagrees with Miklasz's assessment. "I’m not worried about the clock," Mozeliak was quoted as saying by the Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold (via Sulia). "The media is making a lot of the clock. Other people who read the media are making more of it. To me it’s like that’s not what is making our decisions. It’s managing our decisions for what’s best for the club and what’s best for the individuals in their own silo of development."
- Chris Carpenter is continuing to make progress in his recovery from nerve trouble in his neck and back soreness and could make a rehab start in early June, Goold reports. "I’m not going to push myself back," Carpenter said (as quoted by Goold on Sulia). "I’m going to make sure that I’m healthy and that I know everything is going to work and that I can go out there and take that grind of the amount of pitches and innings it takes to go the rest of the year." Carpenter threw three simulated innings Saturday, will throw a side session Monday, and throw another four simulated innings Thursday, according to MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch and Chad Thornburg.
If Ryan Dempster signs with the Red Sox, the Brewers might not pursue other free agent starters, Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Melvin indicated free agent starters have shown limited reciprocal interest, according to Haudricourt. "This may be one of those years when we don't do too much,” the GM said. “We're still looking at relievers but we might see if we get a surprise in Spring Training.” Here are the details on the team’s search for starting pitching…
- Though Shaun Marcum recently indicated he’d consider returning to Milwaukee, Melvin said he hasn’t talked to the right-hander’s agent. Marcum hadn’t been on the Brewers’ radar, Haudricourt reports. “I always thought he'd engage in talks with a team and get something worked out, and he probably will," Melvin said.
- Melvin confirmed that he offered Dempster a two-year contract and said he hasn’t heard back from the right-hander’s agent. "It doesn't appear that he'll be coming to Milwaukee," Melvin acknowledged.
- There’s “some intrigue” with respect to right-hander Edwin Jackson. The Brewers spoke with Jackson’s agent, though it doesn’t sound as though talks developed from there.
The Brewers announced that they have extended the contracts of their general manager and field manager. Doug Melvin, the club's GM since 2002, receives a promotion to president of baseball operations under his new contract, which runs through 2015. Manager Ron Roenicke obtains an extension runs through 2014 and includes a club option for 2015.
Brewers owner Mark Attanasio explained that the team's recent postseason berths give him confidence in Melvin, "one of the most respected leaders in the industry." Melvin said Roenicke's leadership has also been instrumental to the team's success. “He and his staff have worked tirelessly to put us in a great position to win, and he has been very supportive of everything we are looking to accomplish," Melvin said via press release.
MLBTR's Transaction Tracker offers a look back at the moves Melvin has made since joining the Brewers a decade ago. Melvin, Baseball America's 2011 Executive of the Year, became the Rangers' GM following the 1994 season and has been running teams ever since.
Roenicke led the Brewers to the NLCS last year, his first full season as an MLB manager. The club won 96 games in 2011, but is off to a 12-17 start this year. The club appeared to be nearing extensions with Melvin and Roenicke over the weekend.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin said he talked to Casey Close about Zack Greinke yesterday and will speak to the agent again Monday. There's no deadline for talks between the Brewers and Greinke, Close's new client.
- Melvin doesn't see "major weaknesses" on his team.
- Owner Mark Attanasio suggested the club will have the flexibility to add payroll midseason if necessary.
- Attanasio said the club is progressing nicely toward extensions for Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke. Melvin's contract expires after the 2012 season and the Brewers hold a 2013 option for Roenicke.
- Melvin confirmed extension talks will also continue with closer John Axford, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports.
Brendan Bianowicz continues to update the GM Trade History series, covering the NL Central today. Click below to download Excel spreadsheets chronicling trades, free agent signings, and top draft picks for each GM.
Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has the latest on the Brew Crew's off-season maneuvering….
- As reported earlier today, the Brewers are expected to pursue veteran starters Jarrod Washburn and Doug Davis. Scott Boras, Washburn's agent, said that he hadn't met with Brewers management yet, but expected the team to "resume their interest" (via Twitter).
- Haudricourt tweeted that the Brewers have already made contact with Davis' agent. Milwaukee could be battling with (among other teams) the Mariners over Davis' services, as FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi noted that Seattle "may be keen" on Davis themselves.
- Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin said he didn't ask the Red Sox for Clay Buchholz or Daniel Bard in exchange for the now-departed J.J. Hardy, but those names did surface in trade talks with Boston last summer (via Twitter).
- Melvin said the club may go with prospect Jonathan Lucroy at catcher next season, either as part of a platoon or perhaps as an everyday player should Lucroy perform well in spring training. Lucroy hit .267/.381/.418 in 506 plate appearances at Double-A Huntsville last season, and has an .844 OPS over his three minor league seasons. Another catching prospect, Angel Salome, will be given a long look in the spring as well.
- Lucroy's elevation could spell the end of Jason Kendall's time in Milwaukee, though Haudricourt noted that Melvin met with Kendall's representatives to see if the free agent catcher would be willing to return. If the veteran does come back to the Brewers, it will surely be at a lower price than Kendall's $5MM salary in 2009.