Brewers must "sell" at the deadline
The Brewers have reached the unofficial halfway point of the baseball season with a disappointing 40-45 record. The first half of the season was filled with underachieving hitters, average starting pitching, and complete bullpen collapses. What does that all add up to? Trade deadline sell off. The Brewers have been major players in trade deadline deals in years past. The team has always looked to add a player or two. This year, however, the Brewers should look to move players and build for the future. Although the team is merely eight games behind the division-leading Pittsburgh Pirates and six games out of the Wild Card, it doesn’t seem likely that the Brewers have the makeup to climb back into contention.
Zack Greinke will be at the heart of any trade deadline moves that the Brewers will make. The right hander will be a free agent at the end of the season and the Brewers will most likely be unable to resign him. The situation with Greinke is not unlike what the Brewers encountered with Prince Fielder in the offseason. The market value of both players exceeded the amount of money that the Brewers would be able to devote to one player. Resigning Greinke to the contract that he and his agent desire would prevent the team from allocating money to fill other roster needs. If Doug Melvin is comfortable with Cody Ransom or Cesar Izturis at shortstop, than resigning the Brewer’s ace makes perfect sense. However, Melvin is far too savvy as a general manager to make that mistake. He didn’t bite on signing Prince Fielder to a long term deal and certainly won’t with Greinke either.
Unfortunately for Brewer fans, the team must trade Greinke before the July 31 st deadline. His departure after the season is inevitable and the Brewers desperately need prospects to reload their farm system. In exchange for Greinke, Melvin should look to obtain a Major League-ready shortstop and at least two pitching prospects. Ironically, when the Brewers acquired Greinke from the Kansas City Royals, they gave up one of baseball’s best young shortstops in the form of Alcides Escobar. If the Brewers commit to becoming trade deadline sellers, than almost every player on the roster should be made available for the right price. The only exceptions would Ryan Braun, Yovani Gallardo, Jonathon Lucroy and to a lesser extent Norichika Aoki.
The months ahead won’t be pretty for the Milwaukee Brewers. Attendance at Miller Park reflects the support from the team’s loyal fan base. It will difficult to watch the Brewers play out the season with minor league call ups and career backups assuming starting roles. That attendance, which currently ranks 11 th in all of baseball, will dwindle as the summer turns into fall. Come August, Brewer fans will turn their attention towards the Green Bay Packers. Hopefully, Melvin and owner Mark Attanasio will have made the necessary moves to build a roster that will become a contender in 2013. Until then, “Batting eighth and playing shortstop, Cesar Izturis…”
By: Scott Kasten
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