Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Doug Melvin Says The Brewers Are Thinking About The Future

Milwaukee Brewers General Manager, Doug Melvin, had the following to say to Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel...
"If we make any more trades this year, it's going to be for two or three years from now instead of now. 
I'm not going to be trading any young players to win games."
Although Melvin didn't make it sound like the Brewers were just going to sit back and allow the Cardinals or Reds to run away with the National League Central division, it is clear that the Brew Crew are open to trades that can help the team in 2015 and beyond.

"Unlike last time, when we rebuild this time we're going to win."

Therefore Jean Segura, who is currently hitting .344/.382/.541 and is under team control through 2018 (arbitration eligible after 2015), is not available. Carlos Gomez, who is signed through 2016 and batting .323/.367/.577, is also most likely off the table. Although Ryan Braun is signed through 2020, his contract does get expensive starting in 2016 (it'll jump from $12 million in 2015 to $19 million in 2016), so he may be available for the right price. Although by "right price", that means he'd cost a ton.

But there are other Brewers that could pique the interest of teams looking to improve while making a run at the postseason and more this season. Players like Yovani Gallardo, Aramis Ramirez, Rickie Weeks, John Axford, and so on. I've heard some Yankees fans talk about Axford, as he could be brought in as the heir to Mo after saving 105 games between 2010 and 2012, but I'm not sure about that. He's having a rough 2013, as he's seen a drop in velocity (96.1 mph in 2012 to 94.9 mph in 2013), drop in strikeout rate (12.1 K/9 in 2012  to 9.9 K/9 in 2013), and big jump in home runs given up (1.3 HR/9 in 2012 to 2.2 HR/9 in 2013). And Milwaukee isn't even using him in their closer-by-committee while Jim Henderson is on the DL.

I might as well point out that the Yankees do not need Gallardo (full rotation, along with Pineda coming back), Weeks (Cano), or Ramirez (Youkilis/Adams). But one player on the Brewers that catches my eye is Corey Hart.

I first wrote about the Yankees trading for Hart back in January, as his power would be a welcome addition to the team. And that was before Curtis Granderson went down with a broken arm in his first Spring Training plate appearance, leaving the team with very little power in the outfield. In fact, the Yankees outfielders currently have hit 22 home runs, which is 21st in MLB. And that's with Vernon Wells blowing away expectations and having 10 home runs so far this season.

Of course, the team just got back Mark Teixeira, who has some pop in his bat (see last night's grand slam for evidence). But it's not like Lyle Overbay is a slap hitter, as he's hit 8 homers this season. David Adams showed a bit of power in the absence of Kevin Youkilis.

What I'm saying is, that even when the team is healthy (and seeing how things are going, they may not ever get healthy this season), they are still going to be missing the 45 combined home runs that left with Russell Martin and Nick Swisher during the offseason. That's where Hart could fit in.

"He said 'when the team is healthy'"

Although it's no guarantee that Corey will come back from knee surgery and be the hitter he was before (between 2010 and 2012 he hit .279/.343/.514 while averaging 29 home runs a season), I think it's worth the risk for a few reasons.

  1. Grady Sizemore had microfracture surgery on his left knee in June of 2010, and has not had any more issues with that knee since. Others in professional sports, such as Jason Kidd and Steve Yzerman, have also come back from microfracture surgery.
  2. Due to Hart coming off of surgery, and 2013 being his last season under contract, he shouldn't cost much. 
  3. Since Doug Melvin is looking for players that could contribute in 2-3 years, the Yankees would be a fine fit as most of their good prospects are 2-3 years away from being MLB-ready.
I was originally thinking Hart could fill the role currently held by Lyle Overbay (outfielder/first baseman), but I could see a bit of a log-jam when Granderson returns from his second broken bone, seeing as how the outfield would have Curtis, Brett Gardner, Vernon Wells, and Ichiro Suzuki in it already. But Hart could get some playing time when Teixeira either DHs or gets a full day off, thus opening up an OF spot then. 

But having too many hitters is not much of a problem. No, a problem would be not having enough of them. And if Hart could be had relatively cheaply, then sitting him every once in a while (particularly against right-handed pitchers, who he doesn't hit as well as lefties) would not be a huge deal. 

How long did it take you to realize that I wasn't talking about the "I Wear My Sunglasses At Night" guy?

I'd love to hear what you think, whether that was here or in our forums.

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