Results tagged ‘ Winter Meetings ’

Melvin still on hunt for pitching

The Brewers’ talks with the agent for second baseman Rickie Weeks might have been the big news on Day 2 of the Winter Meetings, but Milwaukee officials also continued the search for another starter. It could lead in any number of different directions, but general manager Doug Melvin indicated Tuesday that he was not ready to dip into the pool of players looking to bounce back from injury.
That list includes some known names like Jeff Francis, Brandon Webb, Chris Young, Rich Harden and Brad Penny.
The Brewers have been linked to Francis this winter, but on Tuesday Melvin said, “I haven’t even called his guy.” Ditto for Webb, though the Brewers scouted Webb in the instructional league. 
“I think some of those guys have a chance of bouncing back, but how many of them have?” Melvin asked. “There may be a point where we get involved later on. … I’m not saying we won’t go back that path, but we’re not focusing on it now.” 
Melvin would prefer a pitcher without the immediate injury past, and didn’t rule out looking at his unproven, in-house options. He’d like prospects Mark Rogers, Wily Peralta and Amaury Rivas to report to Spring Training aiming for a spot in the Opening Day rotation. Jeremy Jeffress is more likely ticketed for relief. 
The Brewers plan to meet Wednesday or Thursday with Michael Moye, the agent for left-hander Chris Capuano. The Brewers have already extended Capuano an offer to return in 2011. 
But Melvin is also looking at trades. The Brewers have had contact this week with two teams in a position to trade young pitchers — Atlanta and Baltimore — but Melvin downplayed those talks. The Orioles have already traded away two pitching prospects to get third baseman Mark Reynolds from Arizona, lessening the chances of a deal with Milwaukee. Talks between the Brewers and Braves have not gone very far. 
“We’ve had talks with them, but it doesn’t seem to be a fit for us,” Melvin said. “I’m not sure they have guys that they’re really pushing to move, other than the Japanese guy [Kenshin Kawakami].” 
The Braves are willing to assume a large part of the $6.67 million owed Kawakami next season in the final year of his contract. Melvin said he “couldn’t say” whether he was interested in the right-hander. 
“We don’t have anything ongoing with” the Braves, Melvin said. 
The Chicago Tribune cited sources in reporting the Brewers had asked the Rays about right-hander Matt Garza, who earned $3.35 million during a 2010 season that included 15 wins, a 3.91 ERA and a July 26 no-hitter against the Tigers. He’s arbitration-eligible for three more seasons. 
Garza would fetch a high price, but that’s nothing new for Melvin this winter. He’s not surprised that other teams are hanging tightly to their pitching. 
“Teams aren’t motivated to move the pitchers,” Melvin said. “For them to move them, I have to overwhelm them with something. Teams don’t have excess pitching.” 
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Some execs surprised Lawrie was available

The Shaun Marcum-Brett Lawrie was met with some surprise in the lobby of the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin resort by a handful of rival executives who didn’t know Lawrie was available. The Langley, British Columbia native is coming off a solid season at Double-A Huntsville in which he batted .285 with eight home runs, 63 RBIs and 30 stolen bases. Sixty of Lawrie’s 158 hits went for extra-bases including 16 triples.

Some scouts compare Lawrie to Jeff Kent, and Lawrie indeed could turn out to be that good. But the Brewers need starting pitching, and the fact they were willing to part with Lawrie shows just how urgent that need is. 
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Quiet start to the meetings

By now, everyone has a feel for the set-up here at the Marriott and the adjoining Westin, which along with a convention center across the street are serving as the setting for this year’s Winter Meetings. The Starbucks have all been identified and so have the bars. Now all we need is some action to occupy the dozens of scribes, scouts and baseball officials milling around the lobby.

Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik and fellow former Brewers associates Tony Blengino and Tom McNamara spent some time in the lobby this morning, as did Cubs skipper Lou Piniella (who probably has Milton Bradley on his mind) and his White Sox counterpart, Ozzie Guillen. No sign of the Brewers’ crew this morning.

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