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Brewers kick closer search up a notch

Brewers intensify closer search

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LAS VEGAS -- The Brewers look to be stepping up their pursuit of a closer.

A day after general manager Doug Melvin said he had initial sitdowns with the representatives for free-agent relievers Brian Fuentes, Trevor Hoffman and Kerry Wood, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Melvin planned to meet again with Rich Thurman, whose Beverly Hills Sports Council advises both Fuentes and Hoffman.

Wood appears set to sign a two-year pact with the Cleveland Indians, though by midday Wednesday that deal was not officially in place. Another top free-agent closer, Francisco Rodriguez, was close to finalizing his own three-year contract with the Mets.

That left Fuentes and Hoffman as the leading available options on the free-agent market, and a second meeting in as many days would seem to indicate that Melvin is doing more than just gauging those players' interest.

Of course there is always a possibility that the Brewers could find a closer on the trade market, with the Mariners' J.J. Putz and the White Sox's Bobby Jenks most often mentioned as available. Or, the Brewers could fill from within with a first-time closer like Seth McClung, Carlos Villanueva or perhaps David Riske.

Melvin has been meeting with reporters for a daily update at 6:30 p.m. CT. He could provide some details of his discussion with Thurman at that time.

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

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{"content":["winter_meetings" ] }
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