GM: Brewers unlikely to trade Fielder or Braun for pitching

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Asked yesterday whether the Brewers will look to trade Prince Fielder or Ryan Braun for pitching help, general manager Doug Melvin said: “I don’t see that happening.”
Milwaukee finished next-to-last in the NL with a 4.87 ERA, including a league-worst 5.37 mark from the rotation that lost CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets from 2008, but Melvin smartly seems to realize that trading MVP-caliber hitters isn’t the solution for those problems, especially when Fielder is under team control through 2011 and Braun is signed through 2015.

In fantasy baseball, you can dream about what you could get back for Prince or Ryan Braun. In reality, there’s not too many teams that can give up the package that we would really want that would guarantee you to be competitive.

Melvin also added that keeping both Alcides Escobar and J.J. Hardy next season “would be very difficult,” which makes it pretty obvious that the Brewers will be shopping Hardy for pitching help this offseason. Hardy had a very disappointing year, losing his starting job to Escobar down the stretch, but he’s still a 26-year-old shortstop with a good glove and .267/.325/.441 hitting line over the past three seasons. Milwaukee should be able to get at least a solid mid-rotation starter for Hardy.

Brandon Morrow injured his back taking off his pants

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The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.

We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”

Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.