Yesterday afternoon, Brewers GM Doug Melvin was quoted in his end of year press conference saying that Rickie Weeks will be the Brewers second baseman in 2010. Not surprising. We haven't seen Weeks potential, so maybe 2010 will be his year.
What was surprising was the fact that Melvin said that he will do almost anything to acquire starting pitching. When asked by Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel if that meant he would deal either Prince Fielder or Ryan Braun, his response was as follows:
So, I asked point blank if that meant either Braun or Fielder might be sacrificed and Melvin seemed taken aback by the idea.
"That would be a tough one," said Melvin. "I didn't mean it that way. I don't see that happening."
Melvin and assistant Gord Ash also said that Casey McGehee "has taken the bull by the horns at third base". So where does that leave 3B prospect Mat Gamel?
So, if McGehee is the third baseman, might Gamel be traded in a deal for a pitcher? Maybe so, when you look at these comments by Ash:
"We've been highly reluctant to trade top prospects in the past but we might have to do that. There is a risk-reward scenario in play. We're going to probably have to be higher risk taking than we have been in the past."
So it appears that Gamel and also shortstop J.J. Hardy will be dealt this offseason. Regarding Hardy, here is what Melvin said when asked about Hardy:
Asked if there was any way to keep both rookie shortstop Alcides Escobar and former starter J.J. Hardy on the roster, Melvin said, "That would be very difficult."
In other words, bye-bye Hardy. Melvin told me that Hardy's trade value did diminish somewhat with his poor season but added, "There are still teams looking for a shortstop. He's a good player who just had a bad year. J.J. will bounce back."
So there you have it. Some good time trade rumors on the first day of the baseball playoffs. So where does Gamel get traded? He more than likely will have to go to a team with a 1B opening or a DH. The following teams have an opening at 1B in 2010: Mets, Marlins, and Braves in the National League.
Out of those three teams, I would think the Braves have the surplus pitching to trade for a Gamel and/or Hardy package.