After disastrous trip, Brewers are ready to sell

Third baseman Aramis Ramirez could be among the Brewers on the move. (US Presswire)

The Brewers are ready to sell.

In fact, according to sources, they could start trading players away as soon as today (Wednesday), after a disastrous road trip that began with three straight losses in Cincinnati and ended with three even-worse losses in Philadelphia.

When the trip began last week, general manager Doug Melvin told his staff, "If we lose five out of six, we're selling."

They lost six of six.

The first trade or trades will likely be smaller ones, but the Brewers are also talking to teams about Zack Greinke, perhaps the best starting pitcher available this month. As has reported for the last several days, the Rangers, Angels, Braves and White Sox have been the teams showing the most interest in Greinke.

Other Brewers players who could draw interest include third baseman Aramis Ramirez, first baseman-outfielder Corey Hart and catcher George Kottaras. The Brewers would love to move starter Randy Wolf and reliever Francisco Rodriguez, as well, but neither has much value.

The Giants were one team that did have interest in Rodriguez, but he had two more terrible outings in Philadelphia, with Giants scout Pat Burrell in attendance. The Giants, sources said, decided against pursuing him.

As for Wolf, he said the other day, "I don't know how many guys are interested in a 5-plus ERA guy."

Brewers owner Mark Attanasio is ultra-competitive, but he also understands the position his team is in. Wednesday's 7-6 loss left the Brewers 13 games behind the first-place Reds in the National League Central, pending Cincinnati's game in Houston Wednesday night.

The Brewers would like to use the trades to set themselves up to compete next year. They could use a young shortstop, but also need major-league ready pitching to replace Greinke, Wolf and Shaun Marcum, all of whom are free agents and are unlikely to be part of the 2013 rotation.

Marcum would be a trade possibility himself, but he has been on the disabled list. He just threw a bullpen session Tuesday, and won't be ready to make a big-league start until after the July 31 non-waiver deadline.

Greinke's value should be as high as ever. He was outstanding in a Tuesday night start against the Phillies, and a few hours after that game the Phillies signed Cole Hamels to a new six-year contract, removing Hamels from the trade market.

Even after their disappointing first half, the Brewers were hoping to get in the race in the second half. Some of their people pointed to the recovery the Cardinals made a year ago.

But as Brewers manager Ron Roenicke pointed out, the Cardinals made that recovery after adding Edwin Jackson, Octavio Dotel and Marc Rzepczynski at the deadline. The Brewers, whose horrible bullpen has sabotaged any chance they had of competing, aren't in position to add.

Instead, they'll sell.

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