What a busy day at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee.
Busy, but not all that productive for the Milwaukee Brewers.
After expressing their interest in Sean Burnett, Jason Grilli, Randy Choate, Ryan Dempster, and others this week, the Brewers have lost out on a couple of those names.
Burnett is reportedly going to the Angels on a two-year deal worth “just south of” $9.5 million total.
#Angels have signed LH RP Sean Burnett to a 2-year deal with a club option, source said. Pending physical.
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) December 5, 2012
Mike DiGiovanna has since confirmed the cost for Burnett, which is higher than I was told the Brewers wanted to offer.
#Angels deal for Sean Burnett two years and $8 million.
— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) December 5, 2012
Jason Grilli tweeted that he was headed to the Winter Meetings for a “full day” (which isn’t over yet) and his agent Gary Sheffield reportedly told Nick Cafardo that he was closing in on a deal. While I’ve been told that Sheffield isn’t as close as he made it seem, it could still come together quickly. Also, Doug Melvin now tells the media that he hasn’t spoken directly to Sheffield this week despite telling those same reporters on Monday that they had talked about Grilli.
CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman tweeted about why the market for Grilli might be bigger than the Brewers had anticipated when discussing the offer idea I mentioned yesterday.
Grilli market heating up (weak pun). 10 teams in. Good pitcher.Oddity: chose gary sheffield as his agent
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 5, 2012
Not that it’s not understandable to a degree, but Melvin seems to change his story to keep himself from looking bad if his advances are rebuffed by free agents. Manager Ron Roenicke confirmed the team’s interest in Grilli as well, but not in the $5-$7 million AAV range. If you press me to remember specific examples I’ll try, but it’s just a feeling that has been in my head for a while. This new Grilli talk feels no different to me.
For what it’s worth on Grilli, this came in just prior to my posting this early evening recap and I doubt that the Brewers are in play despite being so earlier this week:
Sheffield: Grilli still wading through all the offers presented to him. #pirates
— Tom Singer (@Tom_Singer) December 5, 2012
Randy Choate, reportedly on the Brewers radar as a left-handed reliever agreed to a (are you sitting down) reported three-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Source: Choate’s deal with #STLCards is three years.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 5, 2012
It’s becoming quite apparent that the market for relief pitching is inflated right now. Melvin may be better of simply biding his time until cheaper options start to sign their deals once the market is set.
The latest on the Ryan Dempster situation is that he still wants three years and the Brewers still don’t want to go over two years. That’s not a secret anymore, but either discuss compromises or simply move on at some point.
More on the Brewers starting pitching desires come from Danny Knobler:
Brewers have considered trading Corey Hart to free up money for pitching search. Without some type of move, can’t play on bigger pitchers.
— DKnobler (@DKnobler) December 5, 2012
Would the Brewers be willing to trade Hart? They’d listen. Hart isn’t signed past next season and the long-term future at the position is something which the Brewers need to make a decision about. Plus Hart could always ask for way more money than the Brewers want to pay him and he could leave town anyway for no return. Now, should they trade Hart and reinsert Mat Gamel as the team’s every day first baseman? That would depend on what the Brewers would get back beyond the $9.5 million or so in salary relief.
In minor league news, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel passed along that the Brewers have resigned shortstop Hainley Statia to a minor league deal.
#Brewers re-sign minor-league INF Hainley Statia to contract for 2013. No invitation to big-league camp.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) December 5, 2012
Also as I reported earlier, the Brewers signed someone new to the organization in right-handed relief pitcher Chris Jakubauskas:
— The Brewer Nation (@BrewerNation) December 5, 2012
Doug Melvin did tell the media that he is keeping an eye on a specific player as it relates to the Rule V Draft tomorrow but he doubts the player will reach them with the 16th pick of said draft.
Finally, Gord Ash was a guest on a Toronto-based radio program broadcasting from Nashville. He confirmed the team’s mutual interest in Josh Hamilton and laid out some reasons that Hamilton was drawn to the Brewers but said that it simply comes down to a matter of dollars and Milwaukee’s not having enough of them given the way the market appears to have been shaping up for the free agent former AL MVP.
***UPDATE: Adam McCalvy indicated that Doug Melvin said he met with the agent who happens to be the representative of free agents J.P Howell and Edwin Jackson but wouldn’t divulge what was discussed.***