MILWAUKEE -- Brewers general manager Doug Melvin wasn't aware that rumors were swirling around Internet fan sites on Thursday and Friday that he was close to a deal for a front-line pitcher.
He offered a two-word response: "Absolutely false."
Chalk it up as the opening salvo of what figures to be a busy two months for Melvin, who showed with last summer's CC Sabathia trade that he's not afraid of a blockbuster. Many believe that Melvin will go shopping again this summer unless he sees improvement from left-hander Manny Parra, who is 0-3 with an 11.90 ERA over his last four starts entering Saturday's Interleague matchup with the Chicago White Sox.
A national television audience will get to watch Parra try to turn it around. The game will be broadcast on FOX, with **** Stockton and Eric Karros calling the action.
Melvin, who was not aware of the trade speculation of the previous two days until a reporter asked him about it during batting practice on Friday, said it's too early to talk about making significant deals. He did admit that he's talked to some fellow GMs lately, but wouldn't name them and also wouldn't say whether he would seek pitchers or position players.
The Brewers also could be in the market for a second baseman if they decide against their current platoon of Craig Counsell and Casey McGehee. But pitching seems to be the priority.
"There's not one team that's saying, 'I'm ready to trade my players,'" Melvin said. "As of today, there's not one starting pitcher that I know of who's available."
Melvin pointed to the Mariners, with a 30-30 record entering play Friday, as an example. If Seattle GM Zack Zduriencik traded away a big-name player, "their fans would go wild," Melvin said.
There goes Erik Bedard, at least for now. A few hours later, the Mariners announced that Bedard would miss his start on Saturday because of shoulder inflammation.
Melvin hasn't talked to Cleveland's Mark Shapiro "in a while," so that would seem to eliminate the Indians' Cliff Lee for the moment.
On the Jake Peavy front, Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman said he had not spoken to his old San Diego teammate lately. Hoffman would surely be a huge part of any Brewers effort to acquire the right-hander. Ryan Braun, who played with Peavy in the World Baseball Classic, also hasn't spoken to Peavy, who was placed on the disabled list Friday with an ankle injury.
Melvin has been meeting with his assistants to run through possible trading partners and also to rule out the clubs that aren't a fit. But Melvin's patience for trade rumors is growing a bit thin.
"I'm open to talking to you guys in April and May, but I'm not going to respond to every rumor after June 1," he said. "There's too much stuff. I can't answer every day. Today, I didn't even know there was anything."
GM refutes recent trade rumors | MLB.com: News