MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers made a call about versatile veteran Mark DeRosa before the Indians traded him to St. Louis on Saturday and have had "conversations" with the D-backs about the potential for trades, Milwaukee assistant general manager Gord Ash said.DeRosa went to the Cardinals for reliever Chris Perez, who could develop as a closer, plus a player to be named later. It's not clear what Brewers general manager Doug Melvin would have given up for DeRosa, a right-handed hitter who can play all over the infield and outfield.
"Doug had a conversation [with the Indians], but they didn't feel like we had the type of player or players they were looking for," Ash said.The Indians wanted Major League-ready pitching. The Brewers are very thin in pitching prospects. Ash believes the player to be named will be a good one and wondered aloud whether it might be one of the Cardinals' recent Draft picks. Baseball rules stipulate that picks cannot be traded until one year after they sign. St. Louis got a good player, Ash said. DeRosa, 34, is hitting .270 with a .342 on-base percentage and a .457 slugging percentage. He mostly played third base for the Indians and is expected to do the same in St. Louis. If Troy Glaus returns from a shoulder injury before the end of the year, DeRosa could play second base or the outfield. "Their interest in him is similar to ours, the fact that he can play all over," Ash said. "It does make [the Cardinals] better. There's no doubt about that." Had they landed DeRosa, the Brewers would have faced some interesting infield decisions. Rookie Mat Gamel could have been returned to Triple-A Nashville but the real odd man out might have been Bill Hall, who, like DeRosa, bats right-handed and has some power, and, like DeRosa, can play multiple infield and outfield positions. Hall started Saturday against Giants left-hander Barry Zito, but has just 44 plate appearances this month. He entered Sunday's game batting .199, including .178 against right-handers. With DeRosa off the market, the Brewers continue to look for trading partners. It's no secret that Milwaukee's top need is for pitching, particularly starting pitching. "There's still too many buyers and not enough sellers, so the prices remain artificially high," Ash said. "And I think that when you really look at it, there's not that many buyable difference-makers available. Making the proverbial 'tinkering' deals, that's something you can do later on [closer to the July 31 nonwaiver Trade Deadline]. The difference-maker deals, they're not there right now." The Brewers made one last season when they traded for Cleveland's CC Sabathia on July 6. Besides Cleveland, one of the teams likely to "sell" this summer is Arizona. The D-backs face a particular decision with left-hander Doug Davis, a former Brewer who is eligible for free agency after the season. Davis has allowed only one earned run in 14 innings over his last two starts but has a pair of no-decisions to show for that effort. For the season, Davis is 3-8 despite a 3.38 ERA. Not naming Davis in particular, Ash said there had been "conversations" between the Brewers and D-backs about potential matches. "I think it speaks to what I talked about earlier, that because they are one of the few clubs that have available pieces, the asking price is way too high," Ash said. "So they don't have to make a deal yet."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.