Crew quiet as Trade Deadline passes

Crew quiet as Trade Deadline passes

Crew quiet as Trade Deadline passes

CHICAGO -- The 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline came and went Wednesday with no more moves by the Brewers, who did trade reliever Francisco Rodriguez to the Orioles last week.

The inactivity did not bother general manager Doug Melvin, even as his team sat in last place in the National League Central with the league's second-highest loss total. He said the Brewers' recent pitching surge had reinforced his belief that a sell-off was not necessary, especially considering the Brewers' two most valuable trade chips -- right-handers Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse -- were controllable for the next two seasons.

"I'm OK," Melvin said. "After you look at proposals we made and things like that, I'm OK. The one thing on our club that has improved over the second half of the year has been our pitching. Do you agree that St. Louis and Washington have pretty good pitching staffs? In the month of June, we were better than the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals. In the month of July, we were better than the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals.

"So with the younger guys that we have [alongside] Gallardo and Lohse, I'm encouraged by our pitching and how it's improved. I can't defend April and May, but I'm seeing some improvement."

At the same time, Melvin sees right-hander Johnny Hellweg, acquired from the Angels last July with shortstop Jean Segura and another pitching prospect for Zack Greinke, carving up the Triple-A Pacific Coast League to the tune of a 2.28 ERA, including a 9-0 record with a 1.16 ERA in his last 10 starts. Hellweg struggled badly in a brief stint with Milwaukee, but will be back later this season, Melvin said. The Brewers also expect to take a look at top pitching prospect Jimmy Nelson, who started for the Sounds on Wednesday.

Against that backdrop, Melvin was content to stand pat Wednesday when he was not wowed by any offers.

"Does that mean we won't look at it again in the offseason? Well, no. We'll look at it in the offseason again," Melvin said.

Now that the non-waiver Trade Deadline has passed, deals involving players on the 40-man roster cannot be made unless the players already have cleared waivers. In other words, the player must be offered to the other teams in reverse order of the standings, and if he is claimed by one of the teams, he cannot be traded. The club that placed the player on waivers can either withdraw the request and keep the player, or let the player go to the claiming team, which would then have the rights to the player. As long as a player is acquired by Aug. 31, he is eligible for postseason play with his acquiring team. Possible candidates to be moved by the Brewers in August are left-hander Michael Gonzalez, a free agent after this season, or third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who is signed through 2014. Ramirez has to get healthy first. He is on the disabled list with a sprained left knee.

Melvin said Gallardo's hamstring injury had no impact on Wednesday's lack of action. Melvin had previously made clear he was not motivated to move Gallardo.

Gallardo will earn $11.25 million in the final guaranteed year of his contract and has a $13 million option for 2015, with a $600,000 buyout. Lohse is earning $11 million base salaries every year through 2015.

Manager Ron Roenicke was not surprised that the Brewers made no further trades.

"I didn't expect any," Roenicke said. "I talked to Doug the last few days, and he didn't think there was going to be anything happening, and that's fine with me. I know with just moving [Rodriguez] how it's changed what I need to do with the bullpen, that it's hard when you lose guys."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.