After a rough road trip seemingly knocked the Brewers out of contention, GM Doug Melvin acknowledged that the team is fielding inquiries for ace RHP Zack Greinke, and he likely will be traded before Tuesday's deadline.
"There are so many good things about him, it's going to be difficult when we trade him," Melvin told USA Today on Thursday.
Melvin did not detail how many teams have expressed interest in the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner, saying only that the trade market always heats up with the nonwaiver trade deadline approaching. Melvin had been told by Greinke's agent that the pitcher wanted to test free agency after the season.
Greinke, 9-3 with a 3.44 ERA this year, is scheduled to pitch Sunday against Washington, but Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he'd be surprised if that happens. "If a ballclub's intent on making a move, they're not going to pitch him two days before the deadline," Johnson said.
Despite losing Prince Fielder to free agency in the offseason, the Brewers expected to be contenders in the NL Central. Instead, they trail the division-leading Reds by 14 games.
More Brewers: Reliever Tyler Thornburg left the game against the Nationals for undisclosed reasons in the eighth inning. He had a 3-and-2 count on a batter when manager Ron Roenicke and a trainer went out and later removed Thornburg.
Suzuki to debut in Bronx: New OF Ichiro Suzuki will make his home debut as a Yankee tonight against the Red Sox, an atmosphere he did not experience with the Mariners and one he is looking forward to.
"When I watch it, sometimes I thought of it kind of like a fight," Suzuki said through his Japanese interpreter. "A physical, fighting atmosphere type of game …"
"Now that I'm on the home side, I'm not sure what to expect, what the reaction would be. But I'm definitely excited."
Sidelined 3B Alex Rodriguez said he knows what's ahead: "I think he's going to love New York and I think New Yorkers are going to love him."
Ripken kidnapping: Police in Aberdeen, Md., are still investigating the curious circumstances surrounding the kidnapping and release of Cal Ripken Jr.'s 74-year-old mother, Violet. She was found bound but unharmed in her car Wednesday morning, a day after being abducted at gunpoint at her house, blindfolded and driven around by her kidnapper, police said. He left her in her silver Lincoln Continental near her house in Aberdeen.
Police spokesman Lt. Fred Budnick could not explain how the man could have driven back into the neighborhood to drop off Ripken in her car at the same time officers were already in the area investigating. Investigators said the kidnapping was peculiar, especially since there was no ransom demand. It was also unclear whether the abductor, who has not been found, has any ties to the Ripken family.
Blue Jays: Manager John Farrell said LHP Ricky Romero, who has lost six consecutive starts, will make his scheduled start Monday at Seattle.
Cubs: The team offered to send RHP Ryan Dempster to the Dodgers for RHP prospect Allen Webster, but the Dodgers rejected the proposal and instead seem to want former Ray Matt Garza, CBSSports.com reported.
Pirates: RHP Kevin Correia was sent to the bullpen to make room in the rotation for newly acquired LHP Wandy Rodriguez. Rodriguez, who was traded from the Astros on Tuesday, will pitch against his former team Saturday. Erik Bedard, who was scheduled to start Saturday, will be pushed back to Monday. Correia, who is on a six-game winning streak, is unhappy with the move, but says he will "have to live with it."