Even if we’re not going to see Lorenzo Cain dangled for more pitching, we did get at least one juicy tidbit of information on the first day of the winter meetings. Tom Haudricourt says that made two (seemingly legitimate) attempts to trade for Royals ace Zack Greinke. Kansas City’s asking price was too high, and the Brewers went on to trade for Shaun Marcum instead.
I don’t need any convincing that the Marcum deal was a good one, but hopefully this soothes some of the concern out there that the Brewers got less than they could for Brett Lawrie or settled for Marcum when they could’ve made a push for Greinke. At the very least, this shows that Doug Melvin isn’t messing around this winter. I personally wouldn’t have liked a Greinke deal (mostly because of what it would do to the organization’s farm system), but at least he didn’t just make a call because he felt like he had to for PR reasons.
As for the Cain rumor, that went just about as quickly as it came this morning. It’s the type of thing you’ll hear every day at the Winter Meetings — someone says teams would be interested in trading for Player A, the headline becomes Player A’s team is shopping him, but then Player A’s team comes out and says it would have to be overwhelmed to trade him. The connection that developed with the Atlanta Braves makes sense, as they enter the Meetings with Nate McLouth as their starting centerfielder again, but I’m not sure the Brewers would want to deal Cain if they’re going to try to contend in 2011.
While centerfield is a spot of depth in the minors — guys like Logan Schafer, Caleb Gindl, and minor league player of the year Erik Komatsu will be reaching the upper levels shortly — trading Cain now would mean going with Carlos Gomez and/or Chris Dickerson in center, unless they add a stopgap. It’s at least an interesting idea, since I’m not sure Cain’s value will ever be much higher, coming off a hot 6 week stretch and still being under team control for 5 more years.
UPDATE: Sounds like Cain took the rumors a bit hard, and the Brewers aren’t happy about it, according to Jerry Crasnick: “A little tension between the Brewers and Braves, who thought center fielder Lorenzo Cain was available, and are now hearing he wasn’t. Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin said Cain called a team scout and was “all worried” after hearing his name in trade rumors. ‘We have to be open to any players,’ Melvin said. ‘But we feel very good about Lorenzo Cain being our center fielder.'”
(By the way, this week would probably be a good time to start following me on Twitter if you aren’t already — @BrewersBar. Odds are I’ll comment on any and all Brewers rumors there first before I can sit down and write something coherent here. If you “like” us at Facebook.com/TheBrewersBar, you’ll get the same deal — I’ll post relevant rumors there and you can all comment on them freely.)