Brewers apparently interested in Rob Mackowiak.

Say what? (Scroll down to the 4th paragraph.)
I guess this makes sense in that he’s the kind of utility player that Melvin and Yost seem to love. With Graffy set to start the year at 3B with Braun in the minors, they now feel they need another bench man who can play darn near everywhere. Mackowiak is not that good; though the article states that he hit .350 as a pinch-hitter last year, it’s probably not far from the truth to say those were all singles.
While I was kind of wondering how Melvin would respond to being spread thin in the infield now with Braun [momentarily] set down, I’d rather have Vinny Rottino stick around for a few weeks. If they trade for a guy like Mackowiak, they might be more inclined to keep rotating Graffy, Counsell, and Macko, trying to get the “hot bat” in at the hot corner. Meanwhile, one of the top two or three bats in Brewer control festers in the minors. Melvin and Yost might feel like they’ve committed to too many guys and let Braun sit with they try to obtain value in their “investment.” Of course, that investment wouldn’t be much — the article says Brady Clark, and that’s the most reasonable, and not very much to give up. And they haven’t been afraid to make way for prospects when they felt those prospects were ready. It would also, by default, loosen up the OF clog a bit. Still, I’d much rather see them stand pat and realize by the end of April that Braun is the best option. Anything that might get in the way of Braun getting 400 PAs this season, I’m against.
In additional trade rumors, there’s still some ideas flying around about Jon Leiber. (Scroll to very bottom.) Depending on the salary exchange — i.e. if the Phillies picked up the difference in salaries — I’d definitely swap out Mench or Jenkins for Lieber, which would make the Crew absolutely stacked in league average (or above) pitchers, and position them to trade mid-season for whatever they need.
It’s funny that this Mackowiak thing came up now, because I was just thinking of possible solutions to the Ryan-Braun’s-bat-will-play-anywhere-but-his-glove-won’t-fly-at-3B problem. The Red Sox continue to scout Derrick Turnbow, and while it’s probably a long shot, a swap for Kevin Youkilis would give the Crew a seriously needed shot of OBP, and an able 3B whose relatively young, thereby allowing Braun a move to an OF corner. I might rather try to involve the other Sox, and see if we can pull Joe Crede — who’s proported to be on the trading block because he’s soon to be a free agent — off Kenny Williams. While Crede isn’t the best player, he’s an excellent defender and has developed some nice power in the last year and a half. He can reach 60 XBH for the next couple of seasons and add a win or two with his D. It wasn’t long ago that Melvin and Williams worked out a big trade for a 29-year-old that benefitted the Brewers. While this deal might not be nigh, I don’t think it is out of the realm of possibility. It’s mostly a matter of how creative Melvin and Co. will get in solving yet another “nice problem to have.”
One way or another, if the middle of the order is not some variation of Fielder-Hall-Braun by June, I’ll be disappointed.

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