Trade talks? Brewers' Groch in town with Melvin
Ah, to be a fly on the wall in the lobby of the Brewers’ hotel in Detroit on Friday morning, when manager Ken Macha met with GM Doug Melvin and Dick Groch, head of the team’s pro scouting operation. The men talked over coffee for nearly two hours, a sort of “State of the Brewers” discussion.
“We covered just about everything,” Macha said. “The bench, position players, starting pitchers, bullpen.”
They talked about Manny Parra, who was demoted to Triple-A last weekend and made his first start there on Wednesday. Then they discussed the options to take Parra’s place in the rotation when the Brewers need a fifth starter again.
And yes, the conversation turned to what Macha deftly referred to as, “what may be going on out there in baseball at this time.” Translation: Free agents or trade targets who could help the first-place Brewers, most likely to bolster the pitching staff.
“For you guys,” Macha told reporters, “There’s a lot of club’s still in it. That’s the way they feel. Every team in the National League Central feels like they’re in it, as in the American League Central.”
Another translation: Few teams are willing to talk about trading away the type of top-flight arm the Brewers are seeking.
Did Macha and Melvin discuss specific targets?
“He did mention a few names,” Macha said. “Are you going to get me in trouble with tampering?”
One name that wouldn’t get the manager in trouble is Pedro Martinez, a free agent who reportedly worked out for teams on Friday. SI.com’s Jon Heyman wrote on his Twitter account that the Brewers were among the teams in attendance, but Melvin has consistently downplayed his interest in Martinez to this point.
Does Macha feel good that Melvin will make a move?
“Let me put it this way: [Melvin] is keenly aware of avenues that would make our ballclub stronger,” Macha said. “But almost every Major League team is still either buyers or they consider themselves [contenders]. There’s no fits, like a jigsaw puzzle, where ‘You guys need X, we’ve need Y. You have Y, we have X. Let’s do it.’ There’s not a whole lot of that.”
It’s still early in the season for serious trade talks. Last year, the Brewers struck very early to get CC Sabathia, and that deal wasn’t official until July 7.