Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 7/14/12

The Milwaukee Brewers are currently buried in 4th place in the NL Central, but they remain the hunt by a slim margin. They have a lot of catching up to do and must decide in the next few weeks if they are going to sell off some of their key trade deadline candidates or are they legitimate playoff contenders.

ESPN’s Buster Olney had this to say about Milwaukee:

“The Brewers intend to wait a little longer to decide whether to be sellers, and they’ll get a strong indication about whether they can climb back into the race right after the All-Star break. Their first nine games are against NL Central leaders — the Pirates, Cardinals and Reds. About a third of Milwaukee’s remaining games are against teams from Pennsylvania — Phillies (seven) and Pirates (12) — and the Reds (seven).”

The first and most obvious name in this discussion is Zack Greinke and there are no shortage of teams that would love to add him to their rotation. He would seem a natural fit for either the Los Angeles Angels or Texas Rangers and could conceivably vault one of those two teams ahead of the other in the division race. Greinke has also stated he would like to play in Atlanta.

Greinke told brewers.com that he trade rumors just business. “The Brewers need to do what’s best for the Brewers,” he said. “And that’s just how things go. Hopefully nothing happens and we start playing better. That would be the best-case scenario for everyone.”

Another, more surprising, name popped up recently – Aramis Ramirez. Tim Brown of Yahoo sports said this on Twitter: If Brewers decide to sell, Dodgers have identified Aramis Ramirez as possible 3B upgrade. Prefer Chase Headley, however.

Ramirez is signed to a lucrative contract through 2014 with an option for 2015. That contract might limit who could pursue the Brewers 3B. It also means he wouldn’t be a rental player.

The Brewers are in a critical stretch right now and how they fare will determine what Doug Melvin decides to do. “As players, ultimately, we dictate our own fate as a team,” Ryan Braun told Brewers.com. “If we go out there and have success and do well, every team can become buyers. And if you don’t play well, there are going to be results, there are going to be consequences.”

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