Brewers’ Melvin taking offers for Greinke

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — After losing their last six games, Brewers’ general manager Doug Melvin acknowledges that the team is listening to offers for starting pitcher Zack Greinke.

“I think people know that,” Melvin said Thursday.

Melvin did not specify the number of teams who have stated their interest in the Brewers’ ace, only saying how intense the trade market becomes near the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Greinke’s next scheduled start is Sunday against the Washington Nationals at Miller Park, but Nationals’ manager Davey Johnson said he would be surprised if that happens.

“I’d be real surprised,” Johnson said. “If a ballclub’s intent on making a move, they’re not going to pitch him two days before the deadline. That’s probably why they’ve got eight pitchers in the bullpen. I’m surprised he’s still here.”

The Brewers had high hopes for this season, and hoped to contend for the NL Central crown again. Instead, they are 9 games under .500 and 9.5 games behind the Cincinnati Reds, the division leaders.

Melvin never expected to talk about dealing away an ace that won the 2009 AL Cy Young Award, and was one of the key reasons for the Brewers winning the division in 2011 and reaching the NLCS.

“I didn’t think so,” Melvin said. “Didn’t plan on it.”

Greinke is 9-3 with a 3.44 ERA this season.

He pitched three consecutive starts for the Brewers around the All-Star Break, getting ejected in the first inning of a game July 7 against Houston, starting again the next day, and then in the first game after the break.

The team then took Greinke off of his next start, saying the odd stretch ruined his routine and wore him down.

He returned to pitching against Philadelphia Tuesday, going seven innings while giving up just one run and three hits. The Brewers still lost the game when the Phillies scored six runs in the bottom of the eighth.

Milwaukee is back from its road trip, going 0-6, and they will look to stop the skid against the Washington Nationals tonight, with Yovani Gallardo getting the start against Edwin Jackson.

AP’s Chris Jenkins contributed to this report.