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Milwaukee Brewers to hire new general manager

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers have announced that GM Doug Melvin will move into an advisory role. MLB.com's Adam McCalvy reports that the team has hired a search firm to begin the process of looking for a new GM, and they'll focus on younger, analytically oriented candidates.

Melvin's transition has been in the works for awhile, so none of this is any surprise. It's been a fairly good run for them, and not just because they had the Pirates' number for so long -- Melvin took the GM job near the end of the 2002 season and has presided over five winning seasons, many of them coming in a time when small-market success wasn't nearly as common as it is now. The Brewers also made the playoffs twice in Melvin's tenure, and the going-for-it trades he made in those seasons (getting C.C. Sabathia in 2008 and Zack Greinke prior to the 2011 campaign) were very exciting in the short term but helped lead to the Brewers' recent downturn. The Brewers parted with Michael Brantley, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and Jake Odorizzi in those trades. Under Melvin, the Brewers drafted Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and Yovani Gallardo, among others, and traded for Carlos Gomez.

Anyway, going with an analytically oriented candidate to replace Melvin is the way to go. The Brewers have a rapidly improving farm system (their acquisitions of Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana when they traded Gomez to the Astros really helped in that regard). They're likely to struggle for at least a couple more years, but they could become interesting again beginning in 2018 or so.