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Are Tony Gwynn, Jr.’s days in Milwaukee numbered?

Brewers’ AAA outfielder Tony Gwynn, Jr. is likely on the trading block, if Adam McCalvy’s recent article on Brad Nelson is any indication.

McCalvy is forecasting that Nelson, 26 and left-handed, is edging out Gwynn, 26, for the 5th outfield spot, behind starters Ryan Braun, Mike Cameron, and Corey Hart, and also Chris Duffy, who is also left-handed and 28 years old.

In Cactus League play, Nelson, as of Tuesday, was hitting .367, with a .474 OBP in 30 AB’s, while Gwynn, who was injured early on, has only gone 2-for-9, .222 thus far this spring.

Also, Gwynn is more of a center fielder, like Duffy…Duffy is hitting .341 this spring.  Nelson’s power (18 HR’s in 132 games in AAA Nashville, with a .286 BA and .380 OBP) is a better compliment to Duffy.  Nelson can also play first on days that Prince Fielder needs a rest…or, more likely, can be used as a pinch-hitter to replace Russell Branyan’s bat off the bench.

Gwynn, theoretically, could be dealt to the Rays, as the Brewers have released Rule 5 pitcher
Eduardo Morlan
, giving the Rays the option to re-claim him back from the Crew for $25,000.

Gwynn is out of options and, I think, would be exposed to waivers if not on the 25-man this year, meaning a trade is likely if he does not beat out Nelson.  Given Nelson’s success over the past year, his versatility, and his power, Gwynn seems to be headed elsewhere.