The Milwaukee Brewers eliminated any uncertainty regarding their intentions with pitcher Zack Greinke when general manager Doug Melvin stated that Greinke will be traded before Tuesday's trading deadline, USA Today reported Thursday.
Making it public that a team intends to trade a player is rare, because it tends to hurt their negotiating power with potential trade partners.
However, the Brewers haven't had contract discussions with Greinke since spring training, and the team has been informed that Greinke wants to test the free-agent market at the end of the season, according to the report.
Melvin said the Brewers made the decision to trade him after his team went winless on their last road trip. Now, with the Brewers entering Thursday's play 13.5 games out of first place in the NL Central, they have decided to make it clear Greinke is on the market, which had been suspected anyway.
"I'm very fond of him,'' Melvin told USA Today. "He's one of my favorite players I ever had. Really, he's been like a son to me. I enjoyed talking baseball with him. He's very passionate. He follows the game. It's been a great experience having him for a year and a half. There are so many good things about him, it's going to be difficult when we trade him.''
"We were hoping to have him for two years,'' Melvin said, "we just haven't finished off games like last year.''
Greinke is 9-3, with a 3.44 ERA, which makes him attractive to teams shooting for the postseason.
"If you're in a pennant race,'' Melvin said, "this guy is a difference maker."
---Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco was placed on the 15-day disabled list with back inflammation.
Polanco had hoped to play through the injury, but hadn't improved enough by Thursday. The 36-year-old is batting .255 with 19 RBI in 82 games.
---The Milwaukee Brewers activated catcher Jonathan Lucroy from the 15-day disabled list, and designated George Kottaras for assignment.
Lucroy, 26, missed nearly two months with a fractured right hand.
Kottaras, 29, was batting .209 with 24 strikeouts in 116 plate appearances this season.
---The Los Angeles Angels were turned down in their pursuit of Tampa Bays Rays starter James Shields, according to a USA Today report.
The Angels reportedly offered outfielder Peter Bourjos, and were told it wasn't enough.
Shields, 30, has a 4.39 ERA and this season for Tampa Bay. He comes with an affordable $9 million club option for 2013 and a $12 million club option for 2014. The Dodgers, Rangers and Cardinals are also reportedly interested.
---The New York Mets released pitcher Miguel Batista. The righty was designated for assignment Sunday and passed through waivers. The 41-year-old righty posted a 4.82 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP in 30 appearances with New York this season.
---The Los Angeles Dodgers recalled pitcher Shawn Tolleson from Triple-A Albuquerque. The righty has posted a 5.40 ERA in 12 appearances this season for the Dodgers, and will pitch in middle relief.
---A policeman who allegedly used a racial slur in reference to Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford has been fired, the mayor of Leominster, Mass., announced Thursday.
In his letter to John Perrault to announce Perrault's dismissal, Leominster mayor Dean J. Mazzarella said, according to the Boston Herald, "Your actions are so egregious that severe discipline is warranted. There is simply no place for your behavior in the workplace and there is no place for someone who exhibits such objectionable behavior in the Leominster Police Department, or any city department, for that matter."
Leominster Police Chief Robert Healey had recommended on Wednesday that Perrault be fired for comments made at a July 5 minor league game in Manchester, N.H.
Officials said Perrault, who was off-duty at the time, called Crawford a "Monday," a racial slur.