Brewers Melvin reflects, looks ahead
Milwaukee Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin addressed the media for the final time this season on Wednesday. A portion of the press conference was reflection on a franchise record-setting 96 win season.
"I keep trying to tell myself what a great year we had," Melvin said. "We accomplished a lot. It's a grind to get to a World Series. Out of all those games we had a lot of exciting moments and a lot of exciting times and memories I'll never forget."
Moving forward, Melvin understands big changes are to come with this roster, but he feels great about the quality of talent that resides in the players coming back.
"I feel good about the club, the organization. When you've got a closer like John Axford, a young catcher like Lucroy. You've got Rickie Weeks signed, Braun signed, Hart signed. You've got all five starting pitchers back. Those are major holes."
It is widely anticipated that incumbent first baseman Prince Fielder will leave the club via free agency - it's just a matter of when. Melvin will be meeting with Manager Ron Roenicke and Mark Attanasio later this fall to evaluate the entire roster and develop a strategy moving forward.
"I want to meet with Ron to get his opinion on each individual player on the club. We've always done a pretty good job of having a game plan before we go to the winter meetings," Melvin explained. "That's part of what we're doing right now is creating a strategy and a game plan of who's available, who's not available. You've gotta have a plan A, a B, and C."
Included in that strategic development will be a game plan to handle Fielder. The Brewers will likely make Fielder an offer, but it's expected they will not have the funding available to keep him in Milwaukee. The question is, how much of what they would be willing to give to Fielder will they spread to another player or players if he indeed leaves the team?
Whatever develops from Melvin's discussions, one thing is for certain, he likes to get to work quickly. Both Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke were acquired via trade before Christmas last year, and Melvin's staff, after a couple of days off, are back at work looking ahead to next season.
"We've already begun work in that regard. We're two days off, and we're back at work. We've got a lot of energetic people in the baseball staff. We had a plan in place going into the winter meetings last year to try and acquire pitching. But that doesn't happen too often that you'll get two quality pitchers available in the same off-season."
Just because the season is over, it certainly doesn't mean the Brewers will be out of the news. It figures to be an incredibly interesting off-season.