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Counsell responds to Machado trade talk

O's eyeing Crew's top pitching prospect; Suter takes step in rehab
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

MIAMI -- As Manny Machado trade talk continued to fly Tuesday, Brewers manager Craig Counsell had this message: Embrace the rumor.

"Rumors are a part of this time of the season," said Counsell, whose club is among at least seven teams with offers out for the Orioles' All-Star shortstop. "It's a fun part for fans and for everybody in the organization when you're a part of a team that's doing well and looking at acquiring Major League players.

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MIAMI -- As Manny Machado trade talk continued to fly Tuesday, Brewers manager Craig Counsell had this message: Embrace the rumor.

"Rumors are a part of this time of the season," said Counsell, whose club is among at least seven teams with offers out for the Orioles' All-Star shortstop. "It's a fun part for fans and for everybody in the organization when you're a part of a team that's doing well and looking at acquiring Major League players.

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"So you see stuff, but I've learned that the best way to look at it is we've had a lot of conversations internally, and it's [Brewers general manager David Stearns] and the staff's job to parse through everything that's going on. Then, if something happens, we'll figure it out, and we'll be a better team for it."

Stearns declined comment on the record when asked about Sunday's Baltimore Sun report that delivered an unusually specific list of the teams in on Machado, and a ranking of the desirability of those offers. According to the newspaper, that list, from best to worst offer, went Dodgers, D-backs, Brewers, Phillies, Braves, Indians and Cubs.

Video: LAA@BAL: Machado crushes a 2-run homer to deep left

MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, writing for The Athletic, also added the Yankees to the list of Machado suitors and said Baltimore wants the Brewers' top pitching prospect, Corbin Burnes, who was just called up to the Majors over the weekend, as the centerpiece of a deal with Milwaukee. The Brewers, according to Rosenthal, prefer a package that begins with Triple-A outfielder Brett Phillips and Double-A right-hander Luis Ortiz, who on Tuesday was named as a replacement in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Nationals Park.

Interest in Burnes jibes with other reporting that the Orioles want Major League-ready pitching in a deal for Machado, who will be a free agent at season's end.

The Brewers would have a home for Machado at his preferred position, shortstop, as Orlando Arcia remains in the Minor Leagues trying to work out of a deep slump. The Brewers have used a combination of Tyler Saladino, Brad Miller and Nate Orf at the position lately, and Machado, the American League's starting shortstop in next week's MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, would represent a dramatic upgrade for a team that is last in the National League in OPS at that position.

Stearns prefers players under club control for multiple years, which he showed in January when he sent four premium prospects to the Marlins for five years of Christian Yelich. But Stearns made a less significant trade last season for free-agent-to-be Anthony Swarzak, who played a critical bullpen role for the Brewers as they chased a postseason berth until the next-to-last day of the regular season.

"Whatever happens is when it happens," Counsell said. "We've certainly got enough challenges here on a daily basis to keep our minds busy. … Nobody is immune to seeing names and stuff like that, though."

Progress for Suter
Don't rule out Brent Suter rejoining the Brewers' starting rotation before the All-Star break just yet. The left-hander, sidelined by a forearm strain, took a significant step forward during a flat-ground throwing session on Tuesday and remains an option to come off the DL to start one game of Saturday's doubleheader in Pittsburgh.

Video: KC@MIL: Suter strikes out the side in the 2nd inning

"That's always been the hope and the goal," Suter said, "but today definitely kind of solidified that in my mind as a possibility, for sure ... Trying not to get too hyped up or excited, but I'm encouraged by today."

Suter expects to throw off the mound on Wednesday in Miami or Thursday in Pittsburgh, after which the Brewers would face a decision.

"That spot is still open. We're going to wait a little longer on it," Counsell said. "We'll see how Brent is doing. He's still in the conversation."

Careful with Cain
After watching him run extensively in the outfield on Sunday and on the basepaths on Monday, Counsell and Milwaukee's athletic training staff decided Tuesday was the right time to give Lorenzo Cain a day off.

He returned from the 10-day disabled list for a left groin strain on Sunday.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers