Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently spoke with Brewers’ GM David Stearns, and while Milwaukee’s head personnel man didn’t exactly claim that signings of Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish or a trade to acquire Chris Archer are imminent, neither did he rule out further moves to upgrade the club.
The Prince of Darkness asked Stearns about several areas of interest, including the recent news that the Brewers have shown interest in Lorenzo Cain, the erstwhile (and future?) Kansas City Royal. Haudricourt asked about the possibility that the Brewers were checking in on Cain as a hedge against dealing some of the outfield prospect depth they have accumulated. Stearns’ answer:
“If we’re going to make a transaction, we have to be comfortable with that transaction on its own,” he said. “I don’t know that we can group transactions together.
“Any time we are exploring a transaction, whether it’s a trade or free-agent signing, we have to make sure if it’s the last move we make, it benefits our club. That’s the view we take when evaluating any potential addition.”
That could be GM speak, or it could be true. You’d hate to get stuck doing one thing and then end up finding out that your next move doesn’t actually exist.
Pitching remains the main focus of this off season, and the long-time Journal Sentinel beat writer asked about the recent additions of Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo, as well as whether the Brewers are done on the pitching front or not:
“We’ve added guys who complement our current staff very well,” Stearns said. “It does give us a level of comfort.
“We’re always looking to get better. We remain interested if the right opportunities are presented to us. But I am comfortable with our group, as is, if that’s how we head into spring training.”
As to whether future moves are possible:
“There are plenty of free agents out there, so we’re making sure we understand where the market is on those players. There’s also a lot of trade discussion. I do think at some point over the next month there will be a flurry of activity that will involve trades and signings...
”Things will begin to move. We’ll see if the right opportunities arise for us to be a part of that.”
I guess Stearns is referring to baseball in general with this quote, but maybe I’ll just take it to mean that the Brewers have a flurry of activity upcoming.
Haudricourt has provided us with a bit more information than we have lately been getting. Asked about why this offseason was so slow in developing, with relatively few signings outside of relief pitchers, Stearns gave the only answer that he could:
“I don’t (know). Until there’s a trend over multiple off-seasons in a row, I tend to look at it as an aberration. Two years ago, we had an incredible active off-season from the very beginning. Last year, it was more normal.
”This year, it has been an off-season where the activity has been delayed. It seems to work at a different pace this winter, depending on how aggressive teams are willing to be.”
I figure that we’ll ever know the real reasons why this off season has been so aberrant, although it does seem very odd.
So there your have it, more words that amount to nothing...or next to nothing. We will know what will happen when it happens. As I’ve said before, the main thing that Doug Melvin seems to have taught David Stearns is that you never tip your hand. Of course, that may have been learned in a course at Harvard.