Happened to see a tweet that Doug Melvin was going to be on WSSP in Milwaukee while I was in the car this morning so I tuned it and it was actually worthwhile.
Some interesting stuff from Melvin, including:
Admitting that they'd inquired about Derrek Lee and that Lee seemed interested, but that there was a difference in opinion on Lee's value.
Saying that they hadn't called on Roy Oswalt since Narveson's injury. Said that in the offseason Oswalt let it be known which two teams he was interested in playing for and that Melvin called, but never got a call back and he took that to mean that Oswalt had no interest in playing for the Brewers and so he's never pursued it further.
When asked about which move he's made that still makes him smile, he said it was the CC Sabathia trade. He said that was partly because it was in-season, versus the offseason acquisitions of Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum. He also said that the Sabathia move basically put the Brewers on the map in terms of other teams' perception of the club.
The key to the Sabathia answer was that he pointed out how Mark Attanasio has created a shift in the way the front off thinks about moves. He said it used to be that folks in the front office would say "Sabathia would never come here" and they'd never make any overtures. Now, with Attanasio, they know nothing is off the table initially and therefore they are making calls they'd never had made before. It's a total shift in club philosophy.
Extension came with additional title: President of Baseball Operations. Was asked what is one area of baseball operations he'd like to see improved. Mentioned first that he'd like to see the draft moved outside of the season, but admitted that was probably never going to happen.
Said that internally, the area they most need to improve and focus on is Latin American scouting and development. I know a lot of people around here agree, so it was nice to see him talking about that and it does seem that the team as a whole is making a commitment to make this more of a priority.
When asked about Rickie Weeks' slumping, dropped some metrics including that Rickie is not swinging at pitches outside the zone. Also mentioned walk rates and on-base.
Admitted that the season-ending injury to Alex Gonzalez is the one that really hit him and his team the hardest and had them hanging their heads for a day or two. Said that finding a SS in the offseason was a very difficult task, so trying to find one now is impossible. Said that we have outfield depth and options to cover first, but that finding a way to cover for Gonzalez is going to be the hardest for them.
Everyone on Twitter made the joke last night that Albert Pujols and Cesar Izturis now have the same amount of home runs. Melvin made it too. Not original material, but I always love when he shows he has a sense of humor and irony about the position we're in.
Asked about which moves/trades he wishes he hadn't made. He side-stepped that question, but did give some information about trades and signing he chose not to make. Mentioned not trading for Brian Wilson, who ended up getting hurt. Also talked about "walking away from" guys they liked or who did well here. Specifically mentioned Felipe Lopez and Mike Cameron. Said his people basically concluded that Lopez would never replicated what he'd done for us, so it didn't make sense to re-sign him. He hit .300 here and was exactly what we needed at that time, but that wouldn't continue. Mentioned that Red Sox offered Cameron two years and Brewers didn't want to make that commitment.