Fielder rumors as Trade Deadline nears
First baseman has been linked to teams like White Sox
PITTSBURGH -- The trade market for Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder could be heating up, at least according to some of the national pundits.A number of reports this week have linked the White Sox to Fielder, including a Tweet on Wednesday from FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal claiming Chicago was trying to "accelerate talks" between the teams. But before you start thinking of replacing that Fielder jersey, there was another report late on Wednesday from MLB Network's and SI.com's Jon Heyman, who, citing "sources close to the Brewers situation," wrote that Fielder "is unlikely to be traded." So, will he be dealt or not? The answer will come by July 31, the deadline for teams to trade players without being forced to expose them to waivers. Brewers general manager Doug Melvin doesn't comment on trade rumors, a policy he has more strictly enforced in recent seasons. He has been particularly quiet about Fielder, who is under club control for one more season after 2010 before qualifying for free agency. If the Brewers-White Sox rumors are true, the player most often mentioned as garnering interest from the Brewers is 23-year-old right-hander Daniel Hudson, who beat the Mariners on Monday for his second Major League win. According to Rosenthal, the Brewers only view Hudson as a middle of the rotation-type pitcher, and a separate report from ESPN.com's Buster Olney says that Chicago "probably can't make a deal unless they include Gordon Beckham in the package." Beckham, also 23, is Chicago's starting second baseman. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said the Brewers had two scouts on hand for Hudson's last start, and also identified 21-year-old corner infield prospect Dayan Viciedo as a player of interest to Milwaukee. Beckham is batting .237 this season with a .294 on-base percentage and a .630 OPS but had a fine rookie season in 2009, when he finished with a .270 average, 14 home runs and 63 RBIs in 103 games as a third baseman. He would give the Brewers a ton of depth on the infield, with third basemen Casey McGehee in the Majors and top prospect Mat Gamel currently playing for Triple-A Nashville, and Rickie Weeks a fixture at second base in Milwaukee. Any of those players could be attractive to teams in a separate trade. Fielder, Weeks and outfielder Corey Hart are drawing interest from clubs because all three players are on track to reach free agency during the winter of 2011-12.
Sore Achilles slowing Edmonds
PITTSBURGH -- A sore right Achilles cost veteran outfielder Jim Edmonds a chance at his first career cycle in Tuesday's loss to the Pirates.Edmonds already had a three-run home run, a double and a single by the time he batted with two out and none on in the top of the ninth. Edmonds hit a fly ball to the deepest part of PNC Park, a section of left-center field that's 410 feet from home plate. But instead of trying to stretch a triple, Edmonds trotted into second base. "It never even crossed my mind," Edmonds said. "I didn't even look. I didn't even realize I had a chance [for the cycle], to be honest with you." The reason he didn't think about stretching toward third base was that sore Achilles, a problem that's bothered the 40-year-old Edmonds since before the All-Star break. The official diagnosis is tendonitis. "Some days are better than others," Edmonds said. "But the days that are better are still pretty much unbearable." He will play through the pain. "That's all I can do right now," he said. "I feel good at the plate, I just can't run at all. I can run a little bit in the outfield from time to time, but on the bases it's ridiculous. I don't know why the dirt makes it so much worse." Only two Major Leaguers have hit for the cycle this season, and both were extremely unlikely candidates. Milwaukee's Jody Gerut, who has only started 11 games in 2010, did it against the D-backs on May 8. Texas' Bengie Molina, one of baseball's slowest players, did it last week against the Red Sox.
Brewers may be cautious with Hawkins
PITTSBURGH -- Brewers manager Ken Macha would like to see rehabbing right-hander LaTroy Hawkins find a few more miles per hour on his fastball before considering him for a promotion back to the big leagues.Hawkins, on the disabled list with right shoulder weakness, threw 1 1/3 scoreless, hitless innings in his debut for Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday night, but his fastball topped out at 91-92 mph, according to Macha's report. That's 3-4 mph slower than Hawkins' heat registered early this season. For now, the plan calls for Hawkins to make three more appearances for Nashville, culminating Monday. That would put him in line for a return to the Majors as early as July 28, when the Brewers finish a series against the Reds. "Maybe coming back for the Cincinnati series is a little optimistic," Macha said. "Let's see how he throws his next one. He's got to feel good about himself."
Right-hander Marco Estrada, on the disabled list with a sore shoulder, reported to the Brewers' year-round facility in Phoenix to continue his rehabilitation. He had been sent home before the All-Star break after an extended period of little improvement with the injury. ... Catching prospect-turned-outfielder Angel Salome was activated from the DL at Class A Brevard County. He had been dealing with a sore hamstring. ... The Brewers introduced a "Brewers Win, You Win!" promotion for the upcoming homestand against the Nationals and Reds. Every Brewers victory during that stretch will result in $6 off a field outfield ticket (regularly-priced at $40) for any game of the August 9-12 series against the D-backs.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.