We're a little more than a week away from the MLB trade deadline, and it feels like there are two camps developing among Brewers fans -- those who would like to see a big splash trade to take advantage of the team's unexpected run in first place, and those who might have some concerns about dipping into the prospect reserves. Milwaukee's recent six-game skid has deepened that divide.
It looks like a similar split in mentalities may be developing in the Brewers' front office, according to the latest "Rumors and Rumblings" post by John Perrotto at Fanrag Sports:
However, a bit of philosophical difference has developed within the organization in recent weeks, according to a Brewers person. Owner Mark Attanasio wants the Brewers to go all in to make a playoff push, while general manager David Stearns and the baseball operations staff would prefer to take a more conservative route.
"It’s not a rift or anything like that, just a difference of opinion," the source said. "Mark loves to win, and everyone loves and appreciates that. On the other hand, David is trying to build a team that can be in position to contend for a number of years, and he’s hesitant to give up half the farm system."
Some will probably try to spin this into "MARK ATTANASIO IS MEDDLING AGAIN," part of the weird trigger-happy reputation he gained in national circles after firing Ned Yost in the closing weeks of 2008, but this seems pretty mild.
Attanasio has always been the biggest fan of his own team, showing the same geeky enthusiasm we all have when the team does well. With that in mind, of course he would think it's cool if the Brewers could land Sonny Gray or Justin Verlander or Ian Kinsler or any of the other names the Brewers have been connected to over the past couple weeks. He'd also recognize trading for those names as a multi-year investment, not just selling the farm for a one-year roll of the dice.
Still, this might be enough to make some people uneasy, given Attanasio's history with the Doug Mevin regime, whether it's strongly suggesting bringing back Francisco Rodriguez time and time again or signing Kyle Lohse and Matt Garza in spring training.
To this point, though, Attanasio has been extremely hands-off when it comes to David Stearns' rebuilding effort. He's been so pleased with the sudden success this year, he recently gave Stearns carte blanche to do whatever he thought best during trade season. For that reason, it's hard to believe he'd suddenly turn into an authoritarian owner, ordering his general manager to throw out the long-term plan.