Here's the best reason yet to think the Brewers will try hard to trade first baseman Prince Fielder or second baseman Rickie Weeks.
The team won't aggressively pursue a starting pitcher through free agency, said a source with knowledge of the club's thinking.
The reason: The Brewers have fared poorly in their free-agent pitching decisions in recent years and don't want to get burned again.
Also, the market beyond left-hander Cliff Lee is thin. Righty Carl Pavano and lefty Jorge De La Rosa, a pitcher the Brewers once traded for Tony Graffanino, are among the top remaining choices.
Trades, then, would be the only way for the club to improve its rotation, which last season ranked next to last in the NL in ERA.
Fielder and Weeks are eligible for free agency at the end of next season. The Brewers also are open to trading other players such as third baseman Casey McGehee and prospects such as second baseman Brett Lawrie.
The interest in Fielder, in particular, might not be what the Brewers desire. Fielder stands to earn a significant raise from $10.5 million in his final year of arbitration, and his agent, Scott Boras, almost always seeks market value in free agency.
The Brewers plan to explore a contract extension with Weeks, who's represented by Greg Genske. But Weeks, like Fielder, might prefer to determine his value in free agency.