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Davies' return delayed after short rehab start

Brewers face pitching quandary as Trade Deadline looms
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

CINCINNATI -- What might have been Brewers starter Zach Davies' final Minor League rehab start was cut short Friday, reportedly by a lower back ailment.

Davies was knocked around to the tune of six earned runs on 10 hits in three innings for Class A Wisconsin. He exited after 48 pitches, well short of the 80 pitches or seven innings expected, and did not address the media. Brewers manager Craig Counsell told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that Davies would not rejoin the team Saturday in Cincinnati, as originally planned.

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CINCINNATI -- What might have been Brewers starter Zach Davies' final Minor League rehab start was cut short Friday, reportedly by a lower back ailment.

Davies was knocked around to the tune of six earned runs on 10 hits in three innings for Class A Wisconsin. He exited after 48 pitches, well short of the 80 pitches or seven innings expected, and did not address the media. Brewers manager Craig Counsell told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that Davies would not rejoin the team Saturday in Cincinnati, as originally planned.

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The Brewers were more optimistic, meanwhile, on left-hander Wade Miley, who began his rehab assignment Thursday. He's not eligible for reinstatement until July 9, about three weeks before the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Add those moving pieces to the factors that Milwaukee GM David Stearns must consider, as he weighs whether to trade for a starter to bolster the Brewers' postseason hopes.

"If we're going to go and add to this starting staff, we're going to want it to be somebody who can really impact the team," Stearns told reporters on hand for Davies' outing in Grand Chute, Wis. "We think we have really good depth in our starting rotation, so for us to go out and trade some young talent to acquire a starting pitcher, it's not going to be just to add to that depth. It's going to be a guy who we think can help lead the rotation."

There are options in the trade market for teams willing to pay a high price in prospects. The Mets have said they would listen to offers on Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, who certainly qualify as No. 1 starters. The Rangers' Cole Hamels is another. Stearns conceded the club faces some tricky calls in the days and weeks to come.

"We are going to have some options, and that's a really good place for a Major League team to be in the middle of the summer," Stearns said. "Assuming everyone stays healthy, we're going to have some decisions to make, and those are good decisions to have to go through at this point."

Draft update
MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo reported that Brewers ninth-round Draft pick Arbet Cipion signed for $138,200, leaving first-rounder Brice Turang as Milwaukee's only unsigned selection from the first 10 rounds. The Brewers selected the prep shortstop from California at No. 21 overall.

Tweet from @PS2Baseball: Game time for our boy @arbertcip21 still can't believe it. Do the deed kid! https://t.co/Ur4ZALxfi6 pic.twitter.com/EeE6ikoMJ7

The deadline for Turang to decide whether to sign with the Brewers or take his scholarship to LSU is July 6, and now the financial landscape is in focus.

According to data compiled by Mayo and fellow MLB.com prospect guru Jim Callis, the Brewers have spent $2,928,800 so far of their $6,611,900 pool, which included the $3,013,600 assigned to the 21st overall pick. That means they can go about $670,000 over slot to land Turang without paying any penalty for exceeding their pool.

If teams exceed their pool by 0-5 percent, they pay a 75 percent tax on the overage, but don't surrender future picks. So, the Brewers conceivably could go as high as $4 million to dissuade Turang from going to LSU and not be penalized in next year's Draft. But if Milwaukee signs any players from Rounds 11-40 to bonuses in excess of $125,000, that overage counts against the pool. Such deals remain a possibility, and would affect the amount available to Turang.

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

Milwaukee Brewers, Zach Davies