Usually Doug Melvin is pretty tight lipped about potential trades. That's not really changed, but he did recently admit to "aggressively" calling clubs about available players. Still, here we are a mere 4 days before the trade deadline and nothing has materialized. It's not uncommon for deals to happen in the last minutes before the deadline, but one has wonder what's taking so long and if a deal will happen at all?
For one thing, apparently Melvin didn't start actively pursuing the trade avenue until about a week ago. I find that timing curious as it's been pretty apparent that the team needed an upgraded bench and could have benefited from an addition to the bullpen for quite some time. Also because of that, any potential deal was postponed due to the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Melvin mentioned that teams have a lot of officials there and they wouldn't be available to begin or continue trade talks until today.
Another reason nothing has happened yet has to do with acquisition costs. Melvin said that a lot of the "so called available" players are only available for a steep price and that teams have been asking for Brewers prospects that they aren't willing to part with. As the deadline approaches it's possible those prices will come down, which could be why Melvin is waiting.
Even though Melvin didn't commit to a specific player he's interested in or even a specific area he's looking at, I think we can make some educated guesses. He mentioned that the Rockies appear content to keep LaTroy Hawkins and that the Astros Chad Qualls was unavailable. It's still very possible if not likely that Melvin doesn't acquire a reliever, but since he asked about those players we can at least surmise he'd be interested in the right reliever.
In the interview with McCalvy, Melvin points out that he doesn't think a single player makes all the difference. And there's also this quote: "There's probably one or two players who could be difference makers, and the others just provide you the depth. They fill a small hole or a small gap or may be an incremental improvement." Basically, what I think he's saying is: Don't expect a big trade.
This makes sense and it's what I think most of us having been hoping for. Trading for a starter like Justin Morneau (before he got hurt) would have cost a lot of prospects and probably not moved the needle very much or at least not enough to justify the cost to acquire. A smaller deal for a guy like Mike Carp (who by the way wants to be traded) who could replace Overbay is an "incremental improvement." He plays first and left and has hit RHP better than Overbay. That's just an example of course.
We can't know for sure if the Brewers are zeroing in on any specific players. I've not heard anything except for the times when they've been reported to have scouts at games, but they probably have scouts at all games. Regardless of who they might get, another McCalvy article posits that Melvin's history as the Brewers GM suggests that he will make a deal and I'm inclined to agree. The Brewers are in a good position to make the playoffs and the small cost to acquire a complimentary player is well worth it.
Time is short though so if it's going to happen, we can expect it in a matter of days which makes this one of the more interesting weeks of the season. What do you think? Are the Brewers going to get someone? Who, or less specifically what, do you want the Brewers to get? Will they get anyone at all?