MILWAUKEE -- As the rumors began to fly and the Brewers prepared to move on from their dismal four-game series against the Giants, general manager Doug Melvin insisted he is not going to hang a "for sale" sign outside Miller Park.
"I don't get into 'buyers' or 'sellers,'" Melvin said. "We're always looking to improve the team any way we can. I'm looking to win some games right now. That was a rough series [against the Giants]."
Published reports are not so judicious, and universally describe the Brewers as sellers. Multiple reports said the Giants have shown interest in Brewers right fielder Corey Hart, though no deal was struck this week, when San Francisco swept Milwaukee by a cumulative score of 36-7. FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal said the Giants would rather part with prospects to acquire a bat than with a pitcher the Brewers could covet, like left-hander Jonathan Sanchez.
MLB.com's Peter Gammons passed along a rumor Thursday that the Brewers had discussed sending Hart to the Braves for Triple-A left-hander Mike Minor. The Braves have been connected to Hart since last winter.
Then came a report from AOL Fanhouse that said the Brewers were "ready to sell" and were offering Hart, first baseman Prince Fielder and second baseman Rickie Weeks. That those players are appearing in trade rumors is no surprise; all three have one season of arbitration-eligibility remaining before reaching free agency in the winter of 2011-12.
"I'm not going in one direction or the other. The direction I want to go in is winning some games," Melvin said. "I'm always fielding calls, and everything we do is looked at [in terms of] what does the deal do for the short term, what does it do for the long term?"