LOS ANGELES -- Brewers owner Mark Attanasio isn't certain what the next two months will hold for his team, but he does know this: He's not taking any vacations.Attanasio is famously superstitious, and laments a family trip to Hawaii in August 2014 that coincided with the Brewers' on-field collapse. A
LOS ANGELES -- Brewers owner Mark Attanasio isn't certain what the next two months will hold for his team, but he does know this: He's not taking any vacations.
Attanasio is famously superstitious, and laments a family trip to Hawaii in August 2014 that coincided with the Brewers' on-field collapse. A team that spent 150 days in first place in its division missed the postseason entirely, and by the following May, the Brewers were diving headfirst into rebuilding.
Club officials don't see that happening this year, not after investing in Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich over the winter, and trading for 30-homer threats Mike Moustakas and Jonathan Schoop, plus veteran closer Joakim Soria, within the past week.
But just in case ...
"I shouldn't have left for Hawaii. I'm not doing that this year," Attanasio said, tongue in cheek. "I think we've all learned that it's going to come down to the wire. You don't know how it's going to come down to the wire. But it's going to come down to the wire.
"And by the way, you hope it comes down to the wire."
Attanasio left the baseball decisions ahead of Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline to his baseball operations team, led by GM David Stearns, who came onboard as a direct result of the rebuild that followed the Brewers' 2014 collapse. Stearns acknowledged that he tried to trade for a starting pitcher but was unable to meet sellers' demands, and opted instead to bolster the infield and the bullpen.
While Stearns worked behind the scenes, the team on the field rode a roller coaster to the Deadline. The Brewers lost seven of eight going into the All-Star break, then rebounded to win seven of the first 11 games afterward through the morning of Deadline Day.
"There were a couple other moves he had on the table," Attanasio said. "It's interesting. I called David -- unsolicited, by the way -- and I told him my perspective from business. He's investing in players and I'm investing in companies. When things are really great, you sometimes take too much risk because you think it's always going to be great. And when things are really bad, then sometimes you don't take any risk because you're scared when you should be taking risks.
"If you translate that to what he was looking at, we were still at the end of that bad stretch. But probably the message from me would be, 'As a result of this, don't go do a bunch of things you wouldn't do because you think we need it, and don't pull back and not do anything because you're worried about [whether] we're real or not. You should probably just trust your plan and trust your process and do what you would otherwise do without looking at those last 10 games.'"
Attanasio believes Stearns did just that.
"I think he stuck completely to the plan," Attanasio said. "All these players we got were all on our radar screen. There were other guys that were on our radar screen that we didn't get, either because they weren't traded or they ended up somewhere else. We're delighted, because in addition to their ability as players, they seem to be three terrific guys."
But the Brewers did not add a starter, bucking outside expectations once again. They remain open to the idea, said Stearns, who expects August to be busy with waiver trades.
Asked whether he was surprised by the performance of the Brewers' in-house starters, who quietly lead the National League in quality starts, Attanasio said, "I will tell you, I do not think David and Matt [Arnold, Milwaukee's assistant GM] would think it's a surprise, because they felt the rotation was deep enough to focus on best available players within their parameters this whole offseason. They got LoCain and Christian Yelich, and everybody was scratching their heads. Now we add [Moustakas] and Jonathan Schoop and Soria as an arm in the bullpen, and if we can upgrade our team, we'll upgrade our team.
"I don't want to jinx anything here, but the pitching has been the strong suit, back to the last All-Star break."
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.