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Melvin says health may dictate trade activity

Brewers general manager isn't seeing major needs in advance of Deadline

TORONTO -- The calendar has flipped to July, but Brewers general manager Doug Melvin senses it may be some time before trade activity heats up. Teams can swap players until July 31 without first exposing them to waivers.

"I would say very minimal phone calls, very minimal activity," Melvin said. "It's not that we're overly aggressive at this point looking at something. We've stayed healthy. If we're healthy, we like our ballclub.

"And I think the other thing is there's so many teams that feel they're not out of it. It changes week to week."

Melvin plans to gather his baseball operations staff at Miller Park next week, with the team's pro scouts on speakerphone, to finalize assignments and continue reviewing opponents' rosters. That meeting is on top of Melvin's and assistant GM Gord Ash's ongoing conversations with pro scouting director Zack Minasian. All three are on the Brewers' current road trip.

The bullpen appears the most likely area the Brewers would look to improve, though the progress of right-handers Jim Henderson (shoulder) and Tyler Thornburg (elbow), both of whom are currently on the disabled list, will have an impact on Melvin's plans. Since swinging the surprise July 2008 blockbuster for CC Sabathia, Melvin and the Brewers can never be ruled out for acquiring a front-line starting pitcher, though Melvin has expressed a strong aversion to parting with top prospects. He also cast some doubt on the possibility the club will seek a more established utility man for the bench, a la the 2011 acquisition of Jerry Hairston.

The Brewers' current pinch-hitters entered Tuesday second in the National League with a .739 OPS.

"I don't know what you would do," Melvin said. "You're not going to change Rickie [Weeks] and Scooter [Gennett at second base]. You're not going to change [Lyle] Overbay [and Mark] Reynolds [at first base]. One piece, maybe, but it's got to be somebody who can play center field. I don't know where [a player like Hairston] would play if we had him now. Where would be play? ... We don't pinch-hit for our outfielders."

Melvin added; "Right now, if we stay healthy, I don't see a major need."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy.
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