The Brewers and Mets, unsurprisingly, are still talking about a possible trade involving first baseman Ike Davis being sent to Milwaukee.
Asked if the Mets were being unreasonable in their demands, Doug Melvin told Adam McCalvy the following:
"Everybody makes the deal that they feel is the best deal for them. I don’t ever consider whether asking prices are too high on [trades] or not, because you don’t know until after the deal and you’ve seen players perform. I think we’ve pretty well stood by — the one thing we’ve done is we do not want to give up pitching."
It had been previously reported that the Mets wanted Tyler Thornburg from the Brewers. That kind of deal struck most Brewers fans as laughable. Thankfully, it appears Doug Melvin feels more or less the same way.
At this point though, there's either no chance the Brewers and Mets make a deal or there's an air of inevitability that Davis will be a Brewer at some point. I'm not sure which. The Brewers don't really have anything the Mets need anymore. New York has fixed their outfield (and Milwaukee already traded Aoki). It's not like Milwaukee has many prospects that are viable trade assets, even for someone like Davis. Trading Jim Henderson is about the only thing I can see that would help the teams match up, but that doesn't seem like something the Mets will do.
Still, the fact that Melvin and Sandy Alderson are still talking indicates that there is something there. If there weren't, both teams would say "Maybe another time" and hang up the phone. That hasn't happened. So at least one side is willing to nudge a little bit. Maybe Melvin won't give up a Thornburg, but could be convinced to give up a Hellweg.
Melvin also gave some other good news on Monday, saying that earlier in the offseason the team made the decision to "go with our young guys" rather than sign an overpriced veteran. That's what most fans would prefer, I think. If they compete next year -- and they can, if things really go right -- then awesome. If they don't they see what they've got in Khris Davis and Scooter Gennett and Thornburg and so on and so forth. Bringing in some veteran player to fill a hole won't change their projections enough.
Melvin says the team could sign someone for around $5-6 million next year, or a similar deal to what the team offered Corey Hart. It's also notable that the Brewers offered James Loney a similar deal as he signed with the Rays, around $7 million per year for three seasons. There aren't really any players out there that can fill first base and deserve that kind of money, though, and the team won't spend for the sake of it.
In fact, the only place the Brewers could invest that money is likely to be in the bullpen at this point. If they are content going young, the bench is probably fine. And Melvin told McCalvy he would like to add some relief experience. There are still plenty of good veteran relievers on the free agent market, enough that it makes no sense guessing who the Brewers could target. We do know they are interested in re-acquiring Francisco Rodriguez, though, and Doug Melvin does love players with whom he already has a relationship.
For now, a dead Brewers offseason is showing no signs of picking up. It's at least somewhat comforting knowing that's sort of kind of according to plan, though.