My annual countdown to Opening Day will return for another season!
There has been some decent 40-man roster turnover since Spring Training. I mark the passage of time from (roughly) the turn of the calendar until Brewers Opening Day by previewing players who wear a certain uniform number on the corresponding day.
We’re 98 days away from Opening Day, so we won’t get underway on this thing quite yet, but once the countdown coincides with a jersey, you’ll see the first column go up.
I call the series “Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers” and it works a little something like this:
- Opening Day is April 6, 2015.
- March 29th is eight days before April 6th.
- Ryan Braun wears number 8 on his jersey.
- I’ll write an article reviewing Ryan Braun’s 2014 and looking ahead to his 2015 and post it on March 29, 2015.
Make sense? Here’s another example:
- Jonathan Broxton wears number 51.
- 51 days before April 6th is February 14th.
- I’ll post my Broxton column on February 14th.
I do a column on every player who is on the Brewers 40-man roster along with most Spring Training non-roster invitees. I’ll update this space with a full schedule once the uniform numbers for the newest 40-man additions are announced. I’ll update it again as non-roster invitees are revealed.
Thanks for reading and sticking with me this winter. BBtJN is a very popular series and I thank you for that. Stay tuned!
Multiple reports and confirmations (including one by the Brewers) have come out this early Sunday afternoon which have the Milwaukee Brewers trading RHP Marco Estrada away.
Estrada, 31, gave up a league high 29 home runs in 2014 splitting time between the starting rotation and bullpen. He was much more effective as a relief pitcher in 2014, something that’s a bit of a disconnect from earlier in his career. Estrada was originally acquired by the Brewers off of waivers from the Washington Nationals after the 2009 season. Estrada made $3.325 million in 2014 and in his upcoming third time being arbitration eligible, he was set to receive a significant enough raise that he may have ended up as a non-tender candidate. That’s because the Brewers didn’t have a spot for him in the starting rotation where he’s a bargain. He’s quite pricey as a long-reliever.
He will finish his Brewers career with a 23-25 record in 139 games (70 starts). He’s amassed a 4.11 ERA in 521.0 innings pitched.
Doug Melvin struck a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, who he has dealt with in the past. In return, the Brewers have acquired 1B Adam Lind.
Lind, also 31, has had an up-and-down career in Toronto, the only organization he’s known as a professional since being drafted in the 3rd round of 2004. Lind debuted as a 22-year-old in 2006.
In 2014, Lind spent some time in the minor leagues to get his groove back, more or less. In his 96 games on Toronto’s roster, Lind slashed .321/.381/.479 in 318 plate appearances. That includes an incredibly hefty platoon split though. In 2014 he his .354/.409/.533 against right-handed pitching (which is the majority as we all know) but an incredibly different .061/.161/.061 in 37 plate appearances. That’s four walks, just two hits (both singles), and 11 strikeouts.
The Brewers are hardly strangers to platooning. They carried season-long platoon at both first and second base last season and due to some injury concerns, they basically played with one in left field down the stretch as well. They might be committing to Scooter Gennett full-time at the keystone in 2015 (though I think they’ll wind up in a soft platoon at best), so it would allow them room to have another first base platoon next season. Looking at the numbers, they almost have to. New hitting coach Darnell Coles can only do so much, after all.
Lind will makes $7.5 million in 2015. His contract carries a 2016 option as well valued at $8 million with a $500 thousand buyout.
I woke up this morning to a text message saying that the Brewers met with the Atlanta Braves last night. Despite the previous talk this off-season about the Braves coveting Kyle Lohse, the part of the conversation I was alerted to dealt with another Brewer. That’s not to say there wasn’t more and differing topics on the table, but I was just told what I was told.
Then, later in the morning the same player was brought up in that the Brewers were discussing him with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The player in question is second baseman Rickie Weeks.
The Braves conversation was just that. The sides talked. No word on whether they made progress toward anything.
The conversation with the Blue Jays, however, got a little more specific. I was told that there was a trade discussion centering around Weeks and 1B Adam Lind. While I worked on corroborating that, a Twitter follower let me know that something similar was discussed on Canadian radio. That seemed to puff up to a three-team deal with Lind still coming to Milwaukee but Weeks heading to Kansas City and Billy Butler moving north of the border.
The Weeks part of that equation does make sense. If you recall the Royals expressed some interest in acquiring Weeks during this past season. Also, Ned Yost still manages in K.C. and we all know his affinity for Weeks.
This afternoon though, I was told that currently nothing is building with Toronto as they are reportedly posting a high asking price. To me that sounds like Toronto wants more than just a straight up swap, whether that be two-way or three.
Still, it’s telling that there would be conversations about the veteran second baseman during the Winter Meetings. It may not lead to a deal before the Brewers report to Maryvale, but as they say: feeding your grass before the snow falls often yields a lush lawn come springtime.
Okay, sports fans, here’s the situation which I first brought up on Twitter late Sunday.
…but first, the necessary disclaimer so that people don’t fly off the handle and start spreading wild theories that aren’t actually what I said.
This is simply something that I know happened.
The intent of why it happened is clear and will be explained, but nothing further than the specific intent which I will spell out for you should be inferred.
IN. NO. WAY. should this be taken to mean that something is imminent or even forthcoming on this topic with these players.
I also don’t know about anything else that could be related to what I know or what it could mean.
I love to speculate and will happily do so with you in the comments if you want, but anything further than what’s listed in the body of the blog post itself would be pure guess work by me.
Okay? Is that clear enough? I certainly hope so. On to the good stuff.
A little while ago the Brewers sent a representative to view a specific minor league team with the intent to (at least) scout two specific players. Could more have been scouted while the representative was there? Absolutely. I just know that the person was there to scout two players for sure.
Many asked if this was regarding a possible trade. I said “maybe” because if the Brewers do decide to make some trades these could end up being players that they target. Then again, they may not target them. I’m not saying for sure that they’ll focus on these guys or not. I’m just passing along the information that they were watched.
Several people asked whether or not the information that I had indicated that the Brewers would be buying or selling. I wasn’t able to say, because I simply can’t tell. The fact that the person was there to scout these two players doesn’t give any sort of indication as to which direction the team might be leaning as to whether to sell or buy at the trading deadline, in my opinion. I know that the decision to buy or sell has not yet been made, and with good reason.
But one of these two players that were scouted, to me, is more of a “buy” scouting and the other is more of a “sell” scouting. Then again, I don’t claim to know much about scouting so one of the players could really be either.
Enough build up for you?
Here are the details then:
- The representative: (I thought about sharing this, but realized that it doesn’t matter and there’s no real reason to mention it.)
- The team: Las Vegas 51’s. (Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays)
- The players: 1B/LF Adam Lind & SS Adeiny Hechavarria
I’ve linked to both players’ MLB.com player pages (which you can access by clicking their names above. Check out their stats with the AAA 51’s if you so desire.
Adam Lind has had a down season offensively at the MLB level, so much so that he was sent down to AAA in the middle of May. He’s been crushing it down there and, according to a report, really seems to be enjoying baseball again which is something he wasn’t able to do while slumping so badly in Toronto. A change of scenery seems to have helped him just by heading to Las Vegas (though obviously the difference in opposing pitching helps plenty too), so maybe a change of scenery and leagues in MLB could benefit him as well.
To me, this is the player who I’m not sure what they might be thinking by looking at him. Clearly he could help the Brewers now (assuming he hits, of course) but we’re also currently covered at 1B with the seemingly (mostly) permanent move of Corey Hart to 1B.
Then again, who knows what might go back to Toronto in any deal, so perhaps a hole would open up that would need to be filled one way or another. That’s the fun of speculation.
I reached out to prospect guru Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus and ESPN.com to ask what he could tell me about Hechavarria’s big league potential. Goldstein’s response: “Plus plus defender, will (pick) it enough to play every day, but hit in the bottom of lineup.”
That’s good enough for me.
Clearly this would be the type of player that would be acquired on a Brewers “selling” trade because with the talk about his potential, his “ready” glove and defensive abilities, and how highly the Blue Jays organization speaks of him, it would take quite the piece to acquire Hechavarria,
If the Blue Jays are in it enough to make a push, and need something that the Brewers have that they think will put them over the top, then sending Hechavarria to someone might be a move they’re willing to make. And we all know how badly the Brewers needs a ready shortstop.
So, there you have it. I hope you didn’t make this out to be something earth-shattering and I did what I could to calm people down without giving anything away on Twitter before I could confirm enough of what I wanted to about this.
Thanks for your patience and understanding (those that gave it) in allowing me to confirm a bit before I posted.