Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin is not yet ready to declare his team an outright seller. But clearly, Melvin is moving closer to such a decision.
The Brewers, who were swept by the Cincinnati Reds this weekend, went 4-5 in a critical stretch against the three teams that they trail in the NL Central.
At 44-50, the team is 10 1/2 games out in the division and 7 1/2 games back in the race for the second wild card.
“Coming off the games this weekend, obviously we have to take a look and just be prepared,” Melvin said. “We’ve put ourselves in a position where it’s a tough hill to climb. Teams have come back from being down — look at last September — but situations are different.”
The Brewers’ biggest potential prize, right-hander Zack Greinke, pitches Tuesday night in Philadelphia after an 11-day layoff that Melvin said was intended to “recharge his batteries.”
Teams interested in Greinke want to see him pitch and pitch well — the right-hander has allowed 14 runs in 14 innings in July. But if the Philadelphia Phillies sign lefty Cole Hamels to a contract extension, Greinke would be the biggest difference-maker left on the trade market. He rejected an offer of $100 million-plus from the Brewers, according to CBSSports.com, and is likely to become a free agent at the end of the season.
The Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels, Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals are among the teams that have shown varying levels of interest in Greinke, according to major-league sources.
Greinke, though, is not the only player who could be traded by the Brewers. Left-hander Randy Wolf, right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez and catcher George Kottaras are among the others who would be in play.