While the Jake Peavy talk is certainly not going to die down any time soon, I did my bit on that. I then left you with an idea on someone else to possibly look for - Erik Bedard.
A lot of people around Milwaukee have been talking about why fix what isn't broke. "The starting pitching is pitching great". Well, after last night's game against the Marlins, the buzz around the forums and message boards seem to be picking up in regards to making a move for a starting pitcher. Manny Parra dazzled us in the first inning with his (going to go all Bostonian on you) 'wicked stuff' by striking out the side. He got shelled the next 3 innings, but it appears that it is all in his head, certainly with "stuff" as good as his, he would still make for a valuable trading piece.
The Mariners, who are possibly looking to ship off Erik Bedard and Jarrod Washburn for some younger prospects/players, might be the type of candidate who would gladly take a Manny Parra type of pitcher. A guy they can work with and could potentially become lights out for them in just a year or two's time.
Bedard has a 50-40 career record, while that doesn't sound that great, think about the teams he has pitched for, woeful Baltimore and Seattle teams. His career ERA is respectable at 3.7, but he seems to be pitching this year (2.37 ERA) more like his 2007 season (3.16 ERA). In 2008 (3.67 ERA) he only started 15 games due to injuries. For the record, Peavy's career ERA is 3.29, and much of that can be contributed to PETCO Park.
Aside from his solid numbers and Ace like "stuff", AL pitchers generally thrive on NL lineups. One reason for Peavy's refusal to go to the White Sox is because he wanted to stay in NL, the lineups in the AL are non-stop, you have to pitch your best stuff to batter 1-9, as opposed to pitching the bottom of the order differently in the NL.
Of course then if Bedard was to become a Brewer, the Brewers essentially have five guys they can depend to keep them in the game and get through 5-7 innings. Of course there are the occasional blowup games, but the overall reliability does wonders for the bullpen and also for the psyche of the batters who will always feel like they are going to be in the game every day.
Aside from maybe Parra, what would be the overall cost? Bedard is scheduled to be a free agent after this year, and will likely command a pretty big contract for whichever team is to sign him, so it could very well be a situation similar to CC Sabathia. Bedard is there for one reason and one reason only, to reach the postseason and beyond. If the Brewers fail to reach the postseason, they will have possibly given up prospects with nothing to show for it. If Bedard were to come and be successful, he won't be getting a CC like contract though, so if the Brewers were serious about the $100 million contract offered to CC, a contract smaller than that, I would have to assume, might not be unreasonable for Doug Melvin to negotiate. As I said before, in a couple year's time Bill Hall and Jeff Suppan's contracts will likely be off the books, perhaps giving Melvin wiggle room to make a deal.
Aside from contract, of course are the prospects. Mariner's GM, Jack Z. knows the Brewer's farm system well, as he should, he created it. As talked about, Manny Parra could be a likely target, and I am sure Jack would love to have Escobar on his team as well. However, I think the Brewers might be able to work a deal for Bedard without moving Escobar. Probably younger arms again as what team wouldn't want as much pitching as they can get, once again Jeffress' name has to come to mind. Another name I mentioned before, Taylor Green, would probably be mentioned in any talks. Then with Jack knowing the talent so well, might try to make a deal to capture some of the low A talent, with Brett Lawrie moving to 2B position as well as Cutter Dykstra, Jack might seize the opportunity to try and get Dykstra to Seattle, assuming Lawrie is off limits.
So, assuming Gamel and Lawrie are untouchable, and if the Brewers want to try and keep Escobar, it would probably take 3 players. Assuming the Mariners would take an arm like Parra's, look for Green and another pitcher probably one with a little less buzz than a Jeffress. If the Mariners like their up and coming pitchers and don't want Parra, then once again Escobar's name would have to be mentioned (maybe Escobar, Dykstra, and a low level pitcher).
Trading for a free agent can be a gamble, but if the Brewers can (and I think they could) make a serious run at resigning Bedard, then this is definitely a trade I think most Brewer fans would like to see happen.
Next possibility - Cliff Lee