12/04/07 10:37 PM ET
Brewers keep shopping at Meetings
Riske takes physical in Milwaukee; trade talks for Rolen halt
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
If the Brewers are unable to find a fit, they would leave Braun at third base and use some combination of left-handed hitters Gabe Gross and Tony Gwynn, Jr. and right-handed hitter Joe Dillon in left field, Melvin said.Braun traveled with his father, Joe, to Nashville on Tuesday for a Baseball America reception in which he was named the magazine's Major League Rookie of the Year and Brewers scouting director Jack Zduriencik was named Major League Executive of the Year. Braun confirmed that he is open to making a move. "Honestly, for me, it's about winning," said Braun, who said as much to Melvin last month. "We had an honest discussion. I am certainly aware of the situation. I have confidence in my defensive ability and I know I am going to be a good third baseman, but I know it's a process and it's going to take a couple of years. If we can do something to make the team better defensively right away, I'm all for it." Do the Brewers have any other trade in the works? "We've got two or three that we're talking about, but they're not at a level where I think they'd get done here [in Nashville]," said Melvin, who returns to Milwaukee on Thursday night. Brewers officials spent much of Tuesday at scheduled events, including the Baseball America reception and a dinner with representatives of Milwaukee's Minor League affiliates, leaving little time to talk specifics with Nez Belelo, who represents Riske. The Brewers have been close with the right-hander since last week, but were waiting to iron out some incentives and for Riske to undergo the requisite health check. "We don't anticipate problems," Melvin said. Balelo said other teams remain "absolutely" in play for Riske, but wouldn't say whether he and his client were pondering any other concrete offers. Four teams, including the Brewers made a strong push for Riske, according to Balelo. "We feel really comfortable with the situation in Milwaukee and we're trying to do everything we can to make the situation right so we can move forward and possibly make him a Brewer," Balelo said. The possibility to close helped woo Riske, Balelo said. The Brewers were unable to re-sign All-Star closer Francisco Cordero and are prepared to enter the season with Derrick Turnbow in that role. Riske would be a logical Plan B. A baseball source said Tuesday that the Brewers had also called the A's to inquire about the availability of closer Huston Street. But Oakland GM Billy Beane plans to meet with Street's agent before the end of the Winter Meetings to discuss a contract extension. Melvin said the Brewers will probably pass on selecting a player during Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, but they apparently were considering Jon Baker, a catcher in the Marlins system.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.