Minus Suppan, Melvin still shopping

I just called Brewers general manager Doug Melvin to see if the news of Jeff Suppan’s rib-cage strain — an injury that often sends a pitcher to the disabled list — changes his plan of attack for Friday’s nonwaiver trade deadline.

The answer was no.

“We’re still looking for guys who are available,” Melvin said. “We’d like to get a starter. We’ll have to wait a few days before we find out [about Suppan]. We’ll evaluate then.”

Even if it’s bad news, Melvin will be smart about his aggressiveness on the market.

“I’m not going to go out and give up a better player just because Suppan is out,” he said.

Suppan underwent an MRI scan on Tuesday after complaining of tightness in his side. Right-hander Dave Bush is already on the disabled list with a triceps injury, Seth McClung and Mike Burns were tried out as starters and then bounced from the rotation (McClung is now hurt and Burns is back in Triple-A). Another new starter, Carlos Villanueva, allowed five runs in four innings on Tuesday.

“It’s been tough right now even though we’ve been healthy,” Melvin said. “I have confidence in these guys getting better, but we haven’t pitched well. When you’re not going well, you don’t get the breaks, either.”

Melvin confirmed that he remains in touch with Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik, who holds a chip in left-hander Jarrod Washburn, who was 8-6 with a 2.70 ERA ahead of his Tuesday night start in Toronto. Washburn, a Wisconsin native, is a free agent after the season, and FOXSports.com speculated that Zduriencik, Milwaukee’s former scouting director, might consider injured second baseman Rickie Weeks in return. Zduriencik drafted Weeks in 2003.

Acknowledging only that the teams have been linked in published reports, Melvin said, “We’d like to add a starter, but Jack hasn’t decided yet if he would move one or not.”

Melvin will travel with the team to the West Coast on Thursday evening.  

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