COMMENTARY | Well, the MLB non-waiver trade deadline is here and to steal a page from the book of the great Elvis Presley, the Milwaukee Brewers needed a little less conversation and a little more action.
That's not how general manager Doug Melvin views it, but the Brewers are one of the five worst teams in baseball and have some pretty good trade bait. They parted ways with one big-leaguer (Francisco Rodriguez), but that's been it for a team involved in all sorts of rumors throughout the month of July.
Melvin isn't compelled to move players like Norichika Aoki, Yovani Gallardo or Kyle Lohse, according to Tom Haudricourt of JSOnline. Aoki is under team control for another year, Gallardo has underachieved -- and exited Tuesday's game with hamstring tightness -- and Lohse still has over two years left on his deal.
These are all viable reasons why Melvin wouldn't want to move the aforementioned players, especially if he believes the Brewers can bounce back and contend next season. To be fair, a bevy of injuries, bad starting pitching and the suspension of a certain perennial All-Star are plenty responsible for Milwaukee being one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball.
Lohse and Aoki figure to be players that could help teams fighting for postseason berths. So could left-handed relief pitcher Michael Gonzalez, whose contract is up at season's end. In Melvin's mind, however, he isn't receiving worthy offers in return.
One name that fans have been clamoring to see pop up in trade news is Rickie Weeks, who is mired in another slump and has seen his average drop down to .211. The Kansas City Royals, who need an upgrade at second base, have reportedly had discussions about acquiring Weeks (via Danny Knobler of CBS Sports). Another position of weakness for the Royals? Right field.
As with Lohse, money becomes an issue with Weeks, but at least Lohse is living up to his deal thus far.
Melvin did an excellent job of acquiring Nicky Delmonico, a third baseman who became Milwaukee's No. 5 prospect, according to MLB.com, in exchange for K-Rod, who wasn't even on the Brewers' radar on opening day. But unless something drastic occurs, that's the only deal Melvin will be able to swing for prospect(s) before the non-waiver deadline.
It's too bad, as the Brewers need to reload the organization by strengthening their farm system.
On the bright side, there's a chance Milwaukee brings back Hart on a cheap, incentive-laden one-year deal. First base has been a disaster this season, and questions remain as to whether first-base prospect Hunter Morris will be ready to be the man in 2014.
Ramirez and Ryan Braun (sorry) should be healthy and ready to go next season as well. The bullpen is a strength, and injuries have provided opportunities for the Brewers to get a look at unproven talent, position players and pitchers alike. If Milwaukee is to falter once again next season, Ramirez and Hart -- assumed healthy -- can hit the trade block.
Melvin's approach has shown he believes this team can compete next season and that 2013 was more of a freak accident than anything. The danger in this belief is that it wasn't, and if that's the case, Melvin has missed a chance to build a brighter future.
It's a chance that may present itself once again in a year's time.
Dave Radcliffe is a resident of a little known Milwaukee suburb who is an avid follower of Wisconsin sports. He has contributed to JSOnline, as a featured columnist on other sites and publications, and been a guest on multiple sports talk radio shows.
You can get the discussion going and follow Dave on Twitter @DaveRadcliffe_.
- Sports & Recreation
- Milwaukee Brewers
- Doug Melvin
- Kyle Lohse
- Norichika Aoki