Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Gaby Sanchez might be available, but he wouldn't really represent an upgrade over Milwaukee's current first base platoon of Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Trade Rumors: Milwaukee Brewers Shopping Carefully

The Milwaukee Brewers are looking at who is available for the stretch run, but general manager Doug Melvin continues to insist the club won’t make a deal just for the sake of making a deal.

Melvin told MLB.com that while he’s talking to people, he likes what he has.

“I’ve been pretty aggressive as far as contacting teams,” Melvin said. “I’ve been doing it for over a week now. There’s just not the so-called availability without asking for people we don’t want to give up.”

One potential target for the Brewers is now off the market. The Boston Red Sox dealt right-hander Jake Peavy to the San Francisco Giants on Saturday.

Milwaukee reportedly had scouts at Peavy’s last start in Toronto on Tuesday.

Melvin isn’t afraid to make a big deal—he acquired CC Sabathia a few weeks before the non-waiver trading deadline in 2008 and Sabathia was a big reason the Brewers returned to the postseason that October after a 26-year absence.

But Melvin isn’t sold on the value of a single player.

“I don’t always think one player separates thems,” Melvin said. “The rest of the team still has to play well. You’re going to have games where you have good starting pitching for seven innings and if you don’t hold the lead or don’t score runs [it doesn’t matter]. … There’s probably one or two players who could be difference makers and the others just provide you the depth. They fill a small hole or a small gap and may be an incremental improvement.”

One area of perceived need for the Brewers is to add a bat at first base.

The Brewers are tied for last in the National League at first base with a .221 batting average this season, primarily using a tag team of veterans Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay.

Milwaukee first basemen are 13th in the NL with a .309 on-base percentage and 12th with a .386 slugging percentage.

However, the position has provided 1.5 wins above replacement, according to FanGraphs, eighth among National League teams at first base.

Reynolds has started 50 games at first, Overbay has been in the lineup 49 times and Jonathan Lucroy has made six starts at first while taking a break from catching duties.

Reynolds is hitting .212/.305/.417 with 17 homers and 37 RBI in 87 games overall and has 96 strikeouts. He has three home runs on the current homestand and is tied with Khris Davis for the team lead with 17.

Overbay, meanwhile, is hitting .234/.316/.340 in 77 total appearances, with four home runs and 28 RBI.

But there’s also not a lot of buzz involving available first basemen. The most prominent name in rumors is Gaby Sanchez of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who would not be a significant upgrade over Milwaukee’s current platoon.

Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies might be able to be had, but he’s got the enviable combination of a heinous contract (three years and $78 million remaining, although the $23 million in 2017 is a team option with a $10 million buyout) and being the left-handed counterpart to Reynolds.

Howard is hitting .226/.307/.378 with 15 home runs in 98 games and has struck out 120 times.

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Tags: Milwaukee Brewers MLB Trade Rumors

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