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07/26/05 7:59 PM ET
Melvin: Overbay won't be dealt
Brewers GM says first baseman not available
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- Memo to Major League general managers: Lyle Overbay is not available. Brewers general manager Doug Melvin has been making that clear in the days leading up to Sunday's non-waiver trade deadline. A number of teams have called the Brewers on their 28-year-old first baseman, assuming he is on the trading block because the Brewers have super-prospect Prince Fielder on a home run binge in the Minors. "I've told clubs we're not moving him," Melvin said. Said Brewers owner Mark Attanasio: "I think a lot of people would like to have Overbay. But they're not going to get him." That would be welcome news to Overbay, if the first baseman were paying attention. He entered Tuesday's game on a nine-game hitting streak including multiple hits in four straight and did not seem fazed by trade rumors. "I'm sure if the right deal came along, Doug will do something," Overbay said. "I don't see that happening. Usually at the end of the year is when everybody acts on it. I don't see anybody needing a first baseman now that they didn't need two weeks ago." Melvin is banking that the market for Overbay will be better in winter, when teams are restructuring and are more likely to part with Major League players. With so many clubs currently in the hunt, GMs seeking a player like Overbay are usually only willing to part with prospects. That worked for the Brewers of the past, but with depth in their own farm system, not any more. "We're different than when we were a couple of years ago," Melvin said. Overbay, whose $466,000 salary makes him a bargain, is aware a decision is looming. "Prince is killing it at Triple-A," Overbay said. "It's either him or me. You're not going to have two first basemen, especially considering we both hit from the left side." Melvin said what other GMs have echoed: the trade market is extremely tight this year. Going into Tuesday's games, 22 of the league's 30 teams -- including the Brewers -- were either leading a division or within single digits of a playoff spot. When everybody's a contender, it's difficult to swing deals. "I've made calls, haven't received many," Melvin said. "It seems to be very quiet. I don't anticipate anything happening." The team has only three players heading into free agency: reliever Ricky Bottalico and infielders Jeff Cirillo and Wes Helms. Bottalico's recent slump (9.00 ERA in July) likely has cooled teams' interest, Cirillo is on the disabled list with a fractured hand and Helms' $2.7 million salary makes him unattractive. Melvin may have been hoping to get some calls on right-hander Tomo Ohka, acquired in June for infielder Junior Spivey in a deal that opened second base for rookie Rickie Weeks. In fact, none of his pitchers have drawn serious interest, including Triple-A veteran Rick Helling, who has nine wins for Nashville. "No, which surprises me," Melvin said. "They're all looking to try to get the No. 1 or 2 guys. The trading deadline is a lot about perception. Everybody wants the 'name' guys." Attanasio is with the team in Milwaukee this week, and admitted he would have liked to jump into his first trading deadline with some more options. "Sure, you'd love to get in there and do something," Attanasio said. "Really, what have I done? Doug has made all the great moves. Players are playing great. [Brewers skipper Ned Yost] is managing his [backside] off. I'd like to get in there and do something. "But Doug runs the show on all the baseball stuff and he's going to obviously have discipline and not make trades just for trades' sake."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.