By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Nov 10, 2010 at 9:06 PM

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the Brewers' potential trade prospects and wondered aloud if the team might consider trading All-Star outfielder Ryan Braun.

Most of you thought I was some kind of lunatic but as the off-season goes on, I am starting to think that it is more and more likely that Braun's name starts getting mentioned in trade rumors.

Apparently, I'm not the only one, either. Peter Gammons, appearing on an NESN Hot Stove League show, said he's heard the Brewers might be willing to move Braun and the Boston Red Sox would be an interested suitor.

Of course, it's nothing more than off-season scuttlebutt but aside from Yovani Gallardo, nobody on this team should be untouchable.

Sure, Braun is arguably the most popular player. But T-shirt sales don't win championships; pitching does. And there is just no way that any team is going to offer up the kind of pitching the Brewers are seeking -- and need -- for a player, represented by Scott Boras, who hits the open market next winter like Prince Fielder.

As I mentioned at the end of September, Braun is locked into a very affordable contract for the next few years. Losing him would be a blow on the PR front, but if trading him brings back the kind of pitching the Brewers so desperately need, it shouldn't even be a debate.

I won't argue that Braun is a top-notch offensive player. But his defense struggles at times to even be average. His willingness to "call out" the GM or tune out a manager makes you wonder how much of his persona is confidence and how much is arrogance.

It's easy to say that general manager Doug Melvin should ship Prince Fielder to San Francisco for one of the Giants' young arms, but if you're San Fran GM Brian Sabean, would you break up that staff for a guy unlikely to be around in 2012? Highly unlikely.

No, trading Braun wouldn't really endear Doug Melvin to fans already looking to strap him to the back of a high-speed train, but when it comes to upgrading the pitching staff to a respectable level, it might be the only option.