Melvin not inclined to trade veterans

Melvin not inclined to trade veterans

MILWAUKEE -- The metaphorical buzzards are starting to circle above Miller Park.

Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said he has been receiving calls from rival GMs interested in some of Milwaukee's veterans, assuming that Melvin and the Brewers have given up on a return trip to the playoffs. Melvin has mostly avoided discussing trade rumors this year, but it's a safe assumption that pending free agents such as closer Trevor Hoffman, center fielder Mike Cameron, second baseman Felipe Lopez and catcher Jason Kendall could draw some interest from a contending team, and perhaps starter Braden Looper (mutual option for 2010) or reliever David Weathers (club option).

Indeed, the Brewers placed at least six players -- Hoffman, Cameron, Lopez, Kendall, Looper and infielder Craig Counsell -- on waivers Tuesday, according to a report by FoxSports.com.

The deadline for placing claims on those players, according to the Web site, is noon CT on Thursday.

A loss to the Reds in Tuesday's series opener coupled with the Cardinals' win in Houston left Milwaukee a season-worst 11 games out of first place in the National League Central with only 37 games to play. The Brewers and Reds will continue their series on Wednesday night, with Looper on the mound for the home team seeking his fourth win against the Reds this year.

Melvin reiterated what he said over the weekend, that he isn't inclined to start selling off.

"I've gotten calls, but they don't want to give much up at this time of year," Melvin said. "They'll give you cash, but they don't want to give me a player. ... I can't imagine that a team would give up a good player for one month, unless there is a key injury. I don't anticipate anything."

Melvin may be more inclined to hold his free agents, offer some or all of them arbitration after the season and then either bring them back for 2010 or reap Draft compensation should they sign elsewhere. Hoffman is a "Type A" free agent who would net a first- or second-round pick, plus a "sandwich" pick between the first and second rounds. Cameron, Kendall, Lopez and Weathers all project as "Type B" free agents who would bring the sandwich pick.

Melvin must weigh whether he could get more in a trade today or via the Draft next June. In most cases, this late in the season, Draft compensation wins out.

There's also the matter of the Brewers' grueling September, with every series but two (Sept. 11-13 at Arizona and 18-20 vs. Houston) against a team that enters the final month with legitimate postseason aspirations. The slate includes nine games against the Cardinals -- six at Busch Stadium -- and seven games against the Cubs.

Pitching matchup
MIL: RHP Braden Looper (11-6, 4.95 ERA)
Looper has already faced the Reds four times this season and is 3-1 in those games despite a 5.40 ERA. The ERA was skewed by a bad outing on May 7 at Great American Ball Park in which Looper surrendered five runs in 3 1/3 innings.

CIN: RHP Kip Wells (0-3, 5.91)
Wells is filling in for Aaron Harang, who is out for the season after he had an emergency appendectomy over the weekend. Wells will be making his first start in the Majors since July 21, 2008. With the Rockies in that game vs. the Dodgers, he lasted only one-third of an inning and allowed eight runs and seven hits while facing 10 batters. He started two games last season. He last pitched for the Reds in relief on Friday vs. the Pirates and tossed two perfect innings with three strikeouts.

Tidbits
The Brewers optioned infielder Hernan Iribarren to Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday to make room for right-hander Jeff Suppan's return from the disabled list. Iribarren went 3-for-13 for Milwaukee this season, and it remains to be seen whether he plays for the team again. The Brewers burned the versatile Iribarren's final Minor League option earlier this spring and will have to expose him to waivers next year if they want to send him down. ... Manager Ken Macha expressed to Melvin on Tuesday that he would like to see an extra third base option promoted on Sept. 1, when rosters expand from 25 to 40. Macha worries that the right knee pain Craig Counsell has played through all year could make for a sour finish to an outstanding season, and said it's "evident" that Casey McGehee's sore right knee is limiting his mobility. Third-base options at Nashville include Mat Gamel and Adam Heether. ... Macha will continue to use rookie shortstop Alcides Escobar slightly less than every day because, "I think it's unfair to bring a young kid up here and throw him to the wolves." Macha rested Escobar on Tuesday against Bronson Arroyo, who is tough on right-handed hitters because he throws from various arm angles.

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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
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•  Official game notes

On television
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On radio
• WTMJ 620

Up next
• Thursday: Brewers (Dave Bush, 3-4, 5.67) vs. Reds (Justin Lehr, 2-1, 3.77), 1:05 p.m. CT
• Friday: Brewers (Manny Parra, 8-10, 6.54) vs. Pirates (Zach Duke, 10-11, 3.38), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Saturday: Brewers (Yovani Gallardo, 12-10, 3.51) vs. Pirates (Kevin Hart, 4-3, 4.14), 6:05 p.m. CT

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.