COMMENTARY | In the world of antiquing, a "not for sale" sign often indicates an item's sky-high value, as opposed to its permanent unavailability.
The same paradigm reigns in the world of professional sports, where a sweet enough trade offer can pave the way for a deal involving a player previously thought to be "untouchable."
Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently reported general manager Doug Melvin as saying there was "absolutely nothing" to recent rumors about a rumored trade between the Brewers and the Mets potentially including Ryan Braun.
Melvin's clarification on this particular deal certainly gels with the team's stated intent to keep Braun in the wake of the Biogenesis scandal. However, much like a prized material possession, it seems likely that a deal for Braun could be executed if an extremely aggressive package was offered to Melvin and the Brewers.
Meanwhile, recent activity in Major League Baseball suggests that Braun's value in such a trade would still be fairly high, even considering his tarnished reputation.
Shockingly, it was one of the Brewers' biggest rivals that may have bolstered Braun's value on the open market. According to ESPN.com, the St. Louis Cardinals recently signed free-agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta to four-year deal worth over $50 million.
The deal shores up a crucial position for the already strong Cardinals, an action that would not normally help a rival. However, in this specific case, ripples from the move do indirectly lift the Brewers' half-sunk spirits.
The reason for this unexpected benefit is the fact that Jhonny Peralta was also suspended in 2013 for his association with the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic. The notion that a decorated team such as the Cardinals could look past Peralta's reputation flaws in trying to assemble the best team possible, sets a definitive precedent for the rest of the league.
Although Peralta would have arguably landed a larger contract had he never been touched by the scandal, the value and length of his new deal are still substantial. And his career numbers are nowhere near that of Ryan Braun, one of the better offensive players of his generation.
Prior to the Peralta deal, the Brewers may have believed the only way to unload Ryan Braun and his somewhat sizable contract would have been a firesale. Now, that possibility has been completely removed from the table.
If nothing else, Peralta's deal suggests that Ryan Braun still has some hefty value in the trade market. For the Brewers, that simply means the team has more options -- whether they choose to exercise any of those remains to be seen.
Another side benefit of the Peralta deal is that it may help Brewers fans more quickly accept and overcome the Braun scandal. There's simply no doubt that sitting in the stands will be a little easier going forward.
Should any Cardinal fans try and sling abuse at Braun for the Biogenesis deal, Brewer fans can simply give it right back -- in the form of Peralta.
Normally, when a team improves their roster during the offseason, there aren't too many positives for a division rival to hang their hat on. In this rare case, the Brewers appear to have collected some indirect benefit from the Cardinals' recent splash in free agency.
For a team and its fans struggling to find positives for the 2014 season, one can only hope this is just the first of many upcoming pleasant surprises.
Andrew Prochnow is a derivatives trader by day and a follower of Wisconsin sports by night. He is a regular contributor at Yahoo Sports and The Bleacher Report. Tweet him @AndrewProchnow.
- Sports & Recreation
- Ryan Braun
- Jhonny Peralta