Doug Melvin Rumors
All but eliminated from the playoffs, the Brewers are focused on 2010. A few notes about their future...
- Speculation about GM Doug Melvin being fired is "ridiculous," owner Mark Attanasio told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Attanasio added that he's not pressuring Melvin to make significant changes. He'll also leave the decision on manager Ken Macha up to Melvin.
- Attanasio said trading Prince Fielder for pitching "seems like a cop-out." He's right in saying it makes for "great Internet fodder and speculation." Realistically, Fielder will not be on the market this winter.
- When Braden Looper made his 30th start on September 11th, his mutual option for next year increased to $6.5MM. His 4.89 ERA matches his 4.87 xFIP, so there's no hidden story about Looper's performance. Still, MLB.com's Adam McCalvy thinks the Brewers "will almost certainly exercise their half of the option." Looper said returning to Milwaukee is his first choice, but notes that "the option gives me a little bit of leverage."
- My opinion: for a net of $5.5MM guaranteed, the Brewers should seek a pitcher with more upside than Looper. Erik Bedard, Brett Myers, and even Brad Penny might fit the bill. Looper didn't sign until mid-February this year, and the guarantee was only $4.75MM. The Brewers can find another Looper if they need an innings-eater, so why not decline the option and see how the market plays out?
Some food for thought, even though you shouldn't be snacking so close to bed...
- With Jesus Flores undergoing surgery for a torn labrum, putting his 2010 start date into question, Washington manager Jim Riggleman said the Nationals may have to seek another catcher. According to MLB.com's Bill Ladson, Rod Barajas may be a good fit, "because he is an excellent handler of pitchers." Barajas also has a bit of power, and would be a decent fit. Phil Wood of MASN speculates that Brian Schneider could return to Washington, noting that Schneider is "just 32, and would likely have multiple offers", though anyone who has seen Schneider hit this season would assume those offers won't be to play baseball. A shame, since Schneider is one of the best clubhouse guys in the game, has been a tremendous mentor to the younger Mets' players, and will be a tremendous manager if he pursues it.
- Brewers' owner Mark Attanasio strongly denied that General Manager Doug Melvin's job is in jeopardy. "It seems like a cop-out to me to blow everything up and start from scratch," Attanasio told MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. "We've built this team around a good core of players now for five years and we took a step back [this year]. We'd like to take two steps forward next year."
- Dan Uggla is sad that the Marlins are likely going to trade him this offseason.
- Carl Crawford and Pat Burrell "had words" in Tampa Bay clubhouse, and not polite ones like "please" or "thank you."
A nice helping of links to get us going here Wednesday night...
- According to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago, Jake Peavy is doubtful to make his White Sox debut on Saturday. The newly acquired right-hander was unable to throw a scheduled side session Wednesday afternoon due to lingering elbow soreness.
- Anthony Witrado of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel agrees with Dave Cameron's philosophy that the Brewers should trade first baseman Prince Fielder if they have no intention of improving their starting rotation through free agency this offseason. "I understand the team would take a PR hit if they traded a star like Prince," writes Haudricourt,"but for the betterment of the organization, it makes sense to deal him if you can't improve around him."
- FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal says evidence suggests that the Mets, who have sent 19 men to the DL this season, are not taking care of their players. "The Mets can say what they want, writes Rosenthal. "After a while, the disabled list does not lie."
- Larry LaRue of the Tacoma News Tribune thinks the Mariners are finally moving in the right direction, and gives a good chunk of the credit to general manager Jack Zduriencik. "Wait 'til next year now means something again for Mariners fans," says LaRue.
Tom Haudricourt at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel got word from Brewers GM Doug Melvin that the team is not prepared to go into "selling mode" as the August 31 waiver deadline approaches. The Brewers have fallen to 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Cardinals in the NL Central. Says Melvin:
"Teams aren’t interested in giving up good players at this point on waiver claims...I don’t see getting anything back in return that would make it worth doing."
Haudricourt mentions Mike Cameron, Jason Kendall and Trevor Hoffman as pieces that could potentially attract teams. Cameron is the most expensive of the three, with a base salary of $10MM this season and a number of incentives that are likely to vest before he's a free agent after this year. He seems like a piece that could have some value to other teams as the deadline approaches and represents a solid chunk of salary that could ease up Melvin's payroll.
Links for Wednesday...
- You can hear me on Lenny Melnick's radio show at about 7:15pm CST.
- The Marlins could be an interesting long shot for Raul Ibanez, but he'd have to leave significant money on the table.
- Indians manager Eric Wedge really wants the team to bring in a closer.
- George King likes Jason Giambi for the Rays; Cork Gaines imagines the negotiations.
- Jesse Spector talking to Brewers GM Doug Melvin, who wasn't in a revealing mood.
- Tony Massarotti expects the Red Sox to make a huge offer to Mark Teixeira.
- Padres outfielder Brian Giles doesn't expect to be traded this winter. If the team is in the tank next summer he might approve a deal, perhaps contingent on a contract extension.
- Jacob Jackson says Kevin Towers has handled the Jake Peavy negotiations poorly so far.
- Former Reds GM Wayne Krivsky could end up in Baltimore's front office.
- Bernie Williams is still not ready to retire.
- Derrick Goold believes the Cardinals have $17-21MM to spend.
- At least six clubs are in on Joe Beimel. The Tigers are one, while the Cardinals, Rockies, and Mets may be others.
Doug Melvin is the latest entry in our GM Trade History series. Click here to download the Excel spreadsheet chronicling his work as GM of the Rangers and Brewers. Thanks to Brendan Bianowicz for putting this together.
Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that the Brewers have decided to let interim manager Dale Sveum go after his 12-day tenure following Ned Yost's firing.
GM Doug Melvin, however, has been extended for three years.
According to Haudricourt, the Brewers are considering Buck Showalter, Bob Brenly and Ken Macha.
Alejandro A. Leal writes for UmpBump.com and can be reached here: alexo05 -at- umpbump -dot- com.
According to Tracy Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News, "Doug Melvin is finalizing details on a new three-year deal in Milwaukee." Melvin is already signed through 2009.
Non-Manny notes from Jon Heyman's latest...
- The Angels and Mets "appear hesitant" to give Francisco Rodriguez five years. There's not an obvious suitor to overpay K-Rod, but the Mets are the closest.
- Heyman sees Brian Fuentes getting about $11MM per year. Ken Rosenthal recently suggested even more money.
- Doug Melvin could become a candidate for the Mariners job if the Brewers aren't able to extend him. Doesn't seem to make sense since Melvin is signed through 2009.
- Heyman believes Chris Antonetti in Cleveland is contractually guaranteed the GM job in the future.
- The Dodgers will try to re-sign Rafael Furcal, no surprise there.
- A scout sang the praises of Hank Blalock's second-half hitting (.281/.324/.532 after the break). Blalock may be on the trading block.