Make the Deal, Doug
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Milwaukee Brewers will be hard pressed to make the playoffs with their pitching rotation as currently constituted. The questionable return this season of injured righthander Dave Bush casts that prospect even more in doubt. The struggles of the Chicago Cubs have left the National League Central division unexpectedly up for grabs. That makes it incumbent upon Brewers’ General Manager Doug Melvin to explore every option in order to secure pitching help for his team.
It has been well established that the market for available pitching this year is notoriously thin. One potential candidate has already been eliminated with the season ending injury of San Diego’s Jake Peavy. Another pitcher on the market is Toronto’s Roy Halladay, though it’s open to debate how much they really want to deal him. Halladay has a no-trade clause in his current contract and the Blue Jays have prohibited teams from negotiating with him prior to having a trade agreement in place. Any team that acquires him would have to give up a lot in players and salary. Still, if Melvin could pull off such a deal, it would be just as big as the trade for CC Sabathia last year.
Just because things are tight right now doesn’t mean that something can’t come up before the July 31st trading deadline. Melvin might find a trading partner in former Brewers scouting director Jack Zdurenciek, who is now the Seattle Mariners General Manager. Seattle remains in the playoff hunt for the moment but a sudden downturn in their fortunes could make Wisconsin native Jarrod Washburn available. Presumably, Washburn would have no problem coming back to play for his home state team.
Another possibility could be Arizona, where starters Doug Davis and Jon Garland are reportedly on the trade block. Melvin is on the record as saying he regretted the deal that sent Davis to the Diamondbacks in the first place and no doubt would like to have him back under the right circumstances. Davis would be more than a viable replacement for Bush and would have the added benefit of giving the Brewers a second lefthander in the starting rotation.
Any of the above pitchers would provide the Milwaukee with a much needed veteran presence in their push for the playoffs. Melvin is understandably reluctant to part with his best prospects, especially after dealing so much away the last two years. But prospects can also be suspect. Anyone who remembers Billy Jo Robideaux and Joey Meyer should know that. With the Brewers on pace to draw another 3+ million fans through the turnstiles at Miller Park this season, they need to do something to justify their faith. Brewers fans have waited over 10 years for this playoff window to be opened. It would be a shame if it were closed before any fresh air was allowed to rush in.