Brewers general manager Doug Melvin shot down his first trade rumor of the year on Tuesday, denying that Milwaukee was one of the teams interested in left-hander Dontrelle Willis. The Tigers were reportedly close to trading him to the D-backs.
Detroit designated Willis for assignment over the weekend and the Palm Beach Post reported earlier Tuesday that the Brewers, D-backs, Marlins and Mets had all shown interest.
“We were laughing about that on the bus,” Melvin said. “We have not contacted him. … I asked my people about [Willis]. We said we would pass. We’re left-handed now [with Chris Capuano, Chris Narveson and Randy Wolf in the starting rotation].”
They might not have been interested in Willis, but Melvin and his staff are on the lookout for available pitching in the wake of a series of recent promotions that have mined Triple-A Nashville of much of its staff. A more likely target for the Brewers is right-hander Brian Bruney, a reliever who was released by the Nationals on May 25.
Melvin has also reached out to fellow general managers about right-hander Claudio Vargas, who was designated for assignment by the Brewers on Saturday to clear a spot for Capuano. That move gave the Brewers 10 days to work out a trade involving Vargas.
“We’ve contacted a number of teams,” Melvin said. “They said they would look into it but we haven’t heard back.”