It's no longer a matter of whether Zack Greinke will be traded. It's a matter of when and to where.

General manager Doug Melvin took the rare step Thursday of saying that Greinke will be dealt before Tuesday's 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline, a declaration that removed any lingering hope that the team might be able to extend the pitcher's contract beyond the end of this season.

Melvin told USA Today that he hasn't had any formal negotiations with Greinke or agent Casey Close since the end of Spring Training, and said the Brewers had been informed that Greinke intends to test the free-agent market.

That means last week's report that the Brewers had extended a five-year offer in excess of $100 million -- a report Greinke himself confirmed -- was slightly inaccurate. More likely, Melvin and Close informally discussed parameters of a potential deal, and the Greinke camp decided the sides' expectations were too far apart.

"I'm very fond of him," Melvin told USA Today. "He's one of my favorite players I ever had. Really, he's been like a son to me. I enjoyed talking baseball with him. He's very passionate. He follows the game. It's been a great experience having him for a year and a half.