Braun not focusing on latest trade chatter

June 14th, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ryan Braun has been hearing his name pop up in trade conversations since early May, so when Milwaukee arrived at AT&T Park on Monday, the Brewers' career home run leader certainly wasn't surprised with the latest rumors that he could be headed to the Giants.

With the Trade Deadline more than a month away, Braun doesn't expect the talk to go away, either.

"It seems regardless of which team we're playing, that's the team I'm getting traded to," Braun said before the start of a series vs. the Giants, whom USA Today reported had engaged in "preliminary talks" with the Brewers about a trade for the outfielder. "It started when we played the Angels, I was getting traded there. Then we played the Cubs and I was getting traded there, so I'm assuming by this weekend I'll be getting traded to the Dodgers and not the Giants."

Braun has spent his entire 10-year career with the Brewers. A first-round pick in 2005, the 32-year-old is in Milwaukee's Top 5 for career RBIs, extra-base hits, triples and total bases. By the end of the month, he's expected to crack the Top 5 for games played, too.

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While his name has come up in trade talks previously, the rumor mill has been particularly active with regard to Braun this season.

The Brewers entered Monday in fourth place in the National League Central, 14 games behind the Chicago Cubs. And the Giants seem like a logical destination, given San Francisco's pressing need for outfield help now that Hunter Pence is sidelined for two months following surgery to his right hamstring.

Braun, who was suspended 65 games in 2013 for performance-enhancing drugs, entered Monday's game with San Francisco batting .316 with 11 home runs and 36 RBIs.

Braun's contract with Milwaukee includes a partial no-trade clause that allows him to veto a trade to a number of teams. The Dodgers and Giants aren't among them, meaning Braun could be dealt to either club without his permission.

"It's impossible not to pay some attention to it," Braun said. "It's impossible to completely avoid it, but I just don't waste much energy thinking about it because obviously most of it's out of my control. I focus on the things I can control like trying to stay healthy, trying to stay on the field and continue to be productive."

On Sunday, Brewers general manager David Stearns spoke to MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM and addressed the rumors regarding a potential trade involving Braun. While no deal seems imminent, Stearns said he would keep both Braun and catcher Jonathan Lucroy -- also the subject of trade talks -- up to date about any potential trade.

Braun appreciated the gesture and said he understands why the Brewers would be shopping him around.

"I have a great relationship with (management)," Braun said. "We've had conversations. As far as I know I don't think that there's anything that's that close. But if it was up to me, if I was running an organization there would never be anybody that was off-limits. I would be open to anything, I would listen to any proposals anybody else has. Certainly they should be doing that with every player on our roster, as should every other team."

Brewers manager Craig Counsell didn't seem concerned about the trade rumors becoming a distraction for his six-time All-Star outfielder and 2011 NL MVP.

"Every player, especially every great player, is saddled with distractions all the time," Counsell said. "They know how to handle them; they know how to put them in the right place and the right perspective. And they know when also they're just made-up distractions. That's what players deal with all the time, and the better the player you are, the more attempts there are to distract you.

"Ryan's more than capable of dealing with that. It's not going to affect his performance."

Braun said his only concern about potentially being traded would be getting his family prepared for a move. He and his wife have a 21-month-old daughter and are expecting a son in September.

"That would be my biggest concern, just to make sure we'd be prepared if anything does happen," he said.