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Trade Deadline thoughts

In my many years of following baseball, I can't remember a team that was so irrelevant to the July 31st trade deadline as the Brewers are right now.

True, the picture would be very different if Doug Melvin made a few calls and announced that Lyle Overbay was available. But he has insisted that Lyle will stay put through the rest of the season. Ben Sheets is locked up with a long-term deal, and the Crew just released the one generic-veteran-reliever on the roster. So it's no surprise that Melvin says the phone isn't ringing.

This article suggests that Melvin may have chatted about Manny Ramirez a bit, which is weird for just about every conceivable reason: the Brewers aren't about to stock up on $20M players; Manny is hardly known as a "good clubhouse guy," a characteristic Melvin and Yost value highly; and the Brewers have one of the few leftfielders in baseball who is producing at a nearly Ramirez-like level. And Lee is less trouble, and a heck of a lot cheaper.

In other news, though: we won't be seeing Yorvit Torrealba in today's game. He, along with Jesse Foppert, was just traded to the Mariners for Randy Winn. So the long-lasting Winn-to-the-Yankees rumors ended up unfounded. And the Red Sox just acquired Jose Cruz, Jr., from the Diamondbacks, so if the Yankees are to make a deal for a centerfielder, as has been so long speculated, they'll have to keep looking.

The inclusion of Torrealba in the Winn deal, as well as another backup-catcher swap the Mariners just made with the Padres is a lingering effect of Pat Borders being designated for assignment last week. I haven't heard any news of where Pat is headed since the Mariners DFA'd him, but I'd imagine some team, maybe even a contender, views him as a valuable third-catcher-type of bench guy as he was for the Twins last year. If no contender jumps at the chance, I wouldn't be surprised to see Borders back at Nashville in a week, and in Milwaukee in September when the rosters expand. Certainly, if the Crew carries three catchers in September, as they probably will, there aren't many guys (short of Ivan Rodriguez, anyway) I'd rather have on the bench than Borders.

It's been a quiet last week of July, with Billy Beane sticking with what he's got in Oakland and seemingly everyone frustrated with Chuck Lamar's high demands for Devil Rays players. But nowhere is it quieter than in Milwaukee.