Here are the bench clearing lowlights
And Carlos Gomez discussing the situation during postgame…
Here are the three solo home runs that…
Tied the game in the 8th…
Tied the game in the 9th…
Won the game in the 14th…
Each year I compile MLB Network’s “Top 100 Players Right Now” which airs annually before the regular season begins.
This year, I decided to supplement those rankings by giving you a place to find all of the Top 10 Right Now positional rankings as well.
I’ll add to this post as the episodes air on MLB Network over the next few weeks.
On Friday, January 10, 2014 the rankings for both Centerfielders and Shortstops were revealed. (See them below.) On Friday, January 17th both Starting Pitchers and Right Fielders were unveiled. Friday, January 24th brought us Left Fielders and First Basemen. Relief Pitchers and Second Basemen were revealed on Friday, January 31st.
Catchers and Third Basemen will be revealed on Friday, February 7th, so look for a couple more Brewers to make it.
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Centerfielders Right Now”
- Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Carlos Gonzalez – Colorado Rockies
- Jacoby Ellsbury – New York Yankees
- Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Carlos Gomez – Milwaukee Brewers
- Austin Jackson – Detroit Tigers
- Adam Jones – Baltimore Orioles
- Dexter Fowler – Houston Astros
- Coco Crisp – Oakland Athletics
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Centerfielders was Darryl Hamilton. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Trout, McCutchen, Ellsbury, Gomez, Gonzalez, Jackson, Jones, Kemp, Desmond Jennings (TB), Leonys Martin (TEX)
James: Trout, McCutchen, Jones, Ellsbury, Gomez, Gonzalez, Jackson, Michael Bourn (CLE), Jennings, Denard Span (WAS)
Hamilton: Trout, McCutchen, Jones, Ellsbury, Gomez, Kemp, Jackson, Crisp, Gonzalez, Bourn
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Shortstops Right Now”
- Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
- Jose Reyes – Toronto Blue Jays
- Hanley Ramirez – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Jhonny Peralta – St. Louis Cardinals
- Jean Segura – Milwaukee Brewers
- Ian Desmond – Washington Nationals
- Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers
- Andrelton Simmons – Atlanta Braves
- J.J. Hardy – Baltimore Orioles
- Alcides Escobar – Kansas City Royal
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Shortstops was Bill Ripken. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Tulowitzki, Ramirez, Reyes, Desmond, Andrus, Peralta, Derek Jeter (NYY), Simmons, Segura, Everth Cabrera (SD)
James: Tulowitzki, Hardy, Reyes, Jed Lowrie (OAK), Simmons, Andrus, Segura, Ramirez, Erick Aybar (LAA), Escobar
Ripken: Tulowitzki, Ramirez, Hardy, Simmons, Desmond, Segura, Stephen Drew (FA), Lowrie, Andrus, Reyes
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Staring Pitchers Right Now”
- Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Cliff Lee – Philadelphia Phillies
- Felix Hernandez – Seattle Mariners
- Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox
- Jose Fernandez – Miami Marlins
- David Price – Tampa Bay Rays
- Hisashi Iwakuma – Seattle Mariners
- Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals
- Justin Verlander – Detroit Tigers
- Max Scherzer – Detroit Tigers
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Starting Pitchers was John Smoltz. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Kershaw, Verlander, Lee, Hernandez, Wainwright, Yu Darvish (TEX), Scherzer, Fernandez, Madison Bumgarner (SF), Sale
James: Kershaw, Scherzer, Lee, Wainwright, Verlander, Zack Greinke (LAD), Sale, Jered Weaver (LAA), Hernandez, Darvish
Smoltz: Kershaw, Fernandez, Hernandez, Scherzer, Darvish, Verlander, Jon Lester (BOS), Stephen Strasburg (WAS), Wainwright, Price
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now”
- Yasiel Puig – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers
- Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
- Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins
- Allen Craig – St. Louis Cardinals
- Carlos Beltran – New York Yankees
- Jayson Werth – Washington Nationals
- Shane Victorino – Boston Red Sox
- Hunter Pence – San Francisco Giants
- Jason Heyward – Atlanta Braves
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Right Fielders was Mark DeRosa. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Braun, Stanton, Puig, Heyward, Werth, Bautista, Craig, Jay Bruce (CIN), Wil Myers (TB), Pence
James: Braun, Bruce, Stanton, Heyward, Pence, Bautista, Victorino, Beltran, Puig, Torii Hunter (DET)
DeRosa: Beltran, Stanton, Bautista, Werth, Craig, Pence, Bruce, Hunter, Puig, Michael Cuddyer (COL)
You read that correctly. Mark DeRosa doesn’t Ryan Braun in his Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now despite Brian Kenny and Bill James both ranking Braun #1 and the Shredder ranking him second. DeRosa says Braun “should be 1” but since he has to earn back the respect of fans, his teammates, etc. DeRosa “hopes” he comes back and performs and is #1 next year, but he couldn’t discount other guys.
As for the Shredder, Brian Kenny said he was shocked not only that Braun wasn’t first but that Puig was. I’m guessing Braun was dinged by the Shredder for how many games he missed last year. That’ll happen in an algorithm.
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Left Fielders Right Now”
- Matt Holliday – St. Louis Cardinals
- Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
- Alex Gordon – Kansas City Royals
- Justin Upton – Atlanta Braves
- Shin-Soo Choo – Texas Rangers
- Starling Marte – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Daniel Nava – Boston Red Sox
- Carlos Quentin – San Diego Padres
- Josh Hamilton – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- Brett Gardner – New York Yankees
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Left Fielders was Eric Byrnes. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Harper, Choo, Holliday, Marte, Upton, Gordon, Gardner, Yoenis Cespedes (OAK), Domonic Brown (PHI), Khris Davis (MIL)
James: Choo, Holliday, Gordon, Gardner, Nava, Harper, Upton, Brown, Cespedes, Hamilton
Byrnes: Holliday, Harper, Upton, Choo, Alfonso Soriano (NYY), Gordon, Marte, Hamilton, Nava, Brown
MLB Network’s “Top 10 First Basemen Right Now”
- Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
- Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
- Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins
- Mike Napoli – Boston Red Sox
- Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles
- Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
- Prince Fielder – Texas Rangers
- Edwin Encarnacion – Toronto Blue Jays
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the First Basemen was Sean Casey. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Cabrera, Votto, Goldschmidt, Freeman, Mauer, Fielder, Davis, Encarnacion, Brandon Belt (SF), Ad. Gonzalez
James: Cabrera, Goldschmidt, Votto, Davis, Mauer, Freeman, Encarnacion, Ad. Gonzalez, Napoli, Eric Hosmer (KC)
Casey: Cabrera, Votto, Goldschmidt, Freeman, Davis, Fielder, Ad. Gonzalez, Mauer, Albert Pujols (LAA), Encarnacion
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Relief Pitchers Right Now”
- Koji Uehara – Boston Red Sox
- Craig Kimbrel – Atlanta Braves
- Kenley Jansen – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Greg Holland – Kansas City Royals
- Joe Nathan – Detroit Tigers
- Aroldis Chapman – Cincinnati Reds
- David Robertson – New York Yankees
- Glen Perkins – Minnesota Twins
- Luis Avilan – Atlanta Braves
- Joaquin Benoit – San Diego Padres
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode also provides three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Relief Pitchers was Dan Plesac. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Kimbrel, Holland, Jansen, Chapman, Uehara, Trevor Rosenthal (STL), Perkins, Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon (PHI), Benoit
James: Kimbrel, Jansen, Chapman, Uehara, Holland, Nathan, Papelbon, Perkins, Rosenthal, Mark Melancon (PIT)
Plesac: Kimbrel, Holland, Chapman, Uehara, Jansen, Nathan, Jim Johnson (OAK), Perkins, Jason Grilli (PIT), Rex Brothers (COL)
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now”
- Robinson Cano -Seattle Mariners
- Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox
- Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays
- Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians
- Chase Utley – Philadelphia Phillies
- Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers
- Howie Kendrick – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
- Neil Walker – Pittsburgh Pirates
- Aaron Hill – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Marco Scutaro – San Francisco Giants
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode will apparently also provide three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Second Basemen was Harold Reynolds. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Cano, Pedroia, Kipnis, Utley, Hill, Zobrist, Kendrick, Kinsler, Walker, Omar Infante (KC)
James: Cano, Pedroia, Zobrist, Kipnis, Utley, Brandon Phillips (CIN), Kinsler, Infante, Jose Altuve (HOU), Kendrick
Reynolds: Cano, Pedroia, Phillips, Kipnis, Kendrick, Utley, Kinsler, Scutaro, Infante, Walker
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Third Basemen Right Now”
- Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers
- David Wright – New York Mets
- Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals
- Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays
- Josh Donaldson – Oakland Athletics
- Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants
- Aramis Ramirez – Milwaukee Brewers
- Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals
- Chase Headley – San Diego Padres
- Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode will apparently also provide three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Third Basemen was Mike Lowell. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Wright, Longoria, Beltre, Carpenter, Donaldson, Machado, Zimmerman, Headley, Kyle Seager (SEA), Martin Prado (ARI)
James: Longoria, Beltre, Wright, Carpenter, Zimmerman, Headley, Machado, Prado, Donaldson, Seager
Lowell: Beltre, Longoria, Wright, Machado, Donaldson, Ramirez, Headley, Carpenter, Zimmerman, Pedro Alvarez (PIT)
Neither Brian Kenny or Bill James included Aramis Ramirez in their personal Top 10.
Best line of the show? Kenny asked James why he put Longoria over Beltre and Wright. James’ response: “Probably fear.” He then admitted that he might be biased by working for the Red Sox.
MLB Network’s “Top 10 Catchers Right Now”
- Yadier Molina – St. Louis Cardinals
- Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
- Salvador Perez – Kansas City Royals
- Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians
- Jason Castro – Houston Astros
- Jonathan Lucroy – Milwaukee Brewers
- Carlos Ruiz – Philadelphia Phillies
- Miguel Montero – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Wilin Rosario – Colorado Rockies
- Wilson Ramos – Washington Nationals
The rankings above are from MLB Network’s “Shredder” which takes into account a multitude of statistical factors with no human bias. Each episode will apparently also provide three additional lists: One from Brian Kenny, one from Bill James, and one from an MLB Network analyst, who for the Catchers was Dave Valle. Here are their individual Top 10’s.
Kenny: Posey, Molina, Santana, Brian McCann (NYY), Perez, Lucroy, Castro, Ruiz, Russell Martin (PIT), Montero
James: Posey, Molina, Perez, A.J. Pierzynski (BOS), Matt Wieters (BAL), Santana, Rosario, McCann, Lucroy, Jarrod Saltalamacchia (MIA)
Valle: Molina, Perez, Posey, Wieters, Ramos, Martin, McCann, A.J. Ellis (LAD), Lucroy, Castro
So there you have it. All 10 positions worth ranking in MLB by the Shredder and the MLB Network personalities.
There are five Brewers among the 100 names listed by The Shredder. They are: Carlos Gomez (CF, 6th), Jean Segura (SS, 5th), Ryan Braun (RF, 2nd), Aramis Ramirez (3B, 7th), and Jonathan Lucroy (C, 6th)
Whilst at the Winter Meetings, the Milwaukee Brewers didn’t actually acquire a single player. They lost one in the Rule V Draft Thursday morning but that was the extent of player transactions which were completed completely within the four-day span in Nashville.
The Brewers signed one player to a MiLB contract but according to Gord Ash, that was actually accomplished “this past weekend” prior to the Winter Meetings. It came together both because the Brewers provide a lot of opportunity with its currently thin bullpen and because the player lives in Nashville and decided that if it was necessary for him to pitch in Triple-A in 2013, it may as well be at home with the Brewers affiliate Nashville Sounds.
As for the official four day conference, the Brewers made no moves. But no one should take that to mean that they got nothing accomplished.
Described as “busy” but just with nothing done yet, the Doug Melvin’s contingent made and received calls, met with agents, reviewed players, discussed terms for potential contract offers, and generally conducted a fair about of business.
Going home empty-handed when several players the Brewers reportedly targeted and/or were a fit for what the Brewers need went off the board has left some fans with a bad taste in their mouths. Before resigning yourself to believing that, as one fan put it to me, the Brewers “won’t get anyone worth a damn this winter”, I implore you to think about what was done over the last week.
Yes, the Brewers want a left-handed reliever. Ron Roenicke has said he doesn’t need a lefty just to have a lefty, but more than one person fashioned their desire as a “focus”. Would you really have wanted Melvin to commit three years to any reliever (how’d David Riske work out for us again?) or pay a glorified LOOGy an average salary around $5 million? As I said yesterday, discretion has proven the better part of valor on more than one occasion throughout history.
Another example of the best laid plans not always working out: The Brewers were tied to Jason Grilli early on in the week with Doug Melvin telling reporters that he had talked to Grilli’s agent about the free agent right-handed relief pitcher. I reported that the Brewers were discussing terms of an offer to present. Ron Roenicke stated that the team is definitely interested in him. Then Grilli narrows his options down to a handful of teams, excluding the Brewers, and Melvin turned on his heel and said that they hadn’t talked to Grilli’s agent all week. Some fans take that at face value and think that the Brewers didn’t do anything regarding Grilli, but that simply isn’t the case. What they did do just didn’t work out. (I plan on analyzing this situation further depending on how busy the news wire is over the next few days, so keep an eye out for that.)
Bottom line about the Winter Meetings though is that while not much may have gotten done as the market awaits the outcomes of several situations (Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton, the rumored multi-team deal involving Justin Upton, Asdrubal Cabrera, et al) plenty still went on.
Speaking of Hamilton, I’d be remiss if I didn’t pass along a tweet from ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick. It was posted right around the time when people began talking about the rumored contract discussions surrounding Hamilton being about 3-4 years and averaging somewhere between $20-$25 million annually. Here’s the tweet:
One exec thinks #brewers are still “laying in the weeds” on Josh Hamilton — if Doug Melvin can find a way to move some $$
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 6, 2012
So yes, the rumor that refuses to go away is still very much around. With this, coupled with the talk about the Brewers being willing to “listen” on Corey Hart to free up money if necessary, and grouped with Gord Ash’s comments from early in the week about how the only problem with bringing Hamilton to Milwaukee is money…
Yeah, well, ’tis the season for speculation, reasoned or otherwise.
Final piece of news to pass along is that the Brewers’ projected starting shortstop at Double-A Huntsville, Hector Gomez, was injured seriously enough in a winter league game that he could miss significant time in 2013.
#Brewers AA shortstop Hector Gomez suffered serious groin injury in winter ball and faces surgery that could knock him out for much of 2013.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) December 6, 2012
This could lead to the Brewers ramping up a search for a minor league shortstop. They’re already looking for an upgrade at backup shortstop with the parent club.
So again, there’s plenty for Melvin and the Brewers to accomplish between now and February 12th but there’s also plenty of time right now for it all to happen.
Enjoy the holiday season and stay tuned as we’ll bring you all the news that breaks surrounding the team.
Read all about the Winter Meetings here!
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.***
Quick hitter here.
It was reported this morning that Gary Sheffield (agent) told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that his client is closing in on a deal. That client is right-handed relief pitcher Jason Grilli.
Lending credibility to that report is Grilli himself who tweeted this morning that he was on his way to Nashville for a “full day”.
Early trip to Nashville. Long journey to get to this point but this is what I worked for. Will be a full day. #pumped
— Jason Grilli (@GrillCheese49) December 5, 2012
Grilli has been linked to the Brewers numerous times during these Winter Meetings. The potential problem for the Brewers is that Jon Heyman reports that 10 teams were “in” on Grilli. Another “reporter” from Pittsburgh said that it could be as many as 12 teams.
With that being said, it’s my educated guess that the Brewers will have to increase the terms they originally discussed if they are going to acquire Grilli’s services for the 2013 season (and possibly beyond, read: two-year deal). The money will almost assuredly have to increase, just as I stated it likely would in the first place.
Stay tuned. If the Brewers are successful in landing Grilli, I’ll have a full write-up as soon as possible.
***UPDATE: I talked to my contact who passed along the initial info on a discussed Grilli offer from the Brewers. It was indicated that the Brewers have increased the length to two years with an increased AAV over their one-year offer. It could still go up from there without knowledge being passed along as negotiations have picked up pace today.***
***UPDATE #2: Tom Haudricourt tweeted this at 12:23pm CST:
If reliever Jason Grilli is ready to sign with somebody,I’m told it is not the #Brewers.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) December 5, 2012
So…hopefully Sheffield was lying to Cafardo in an attempt to drum up interest. Or perhaps the amount of interest drove the price up to where the Brewers didn’t want to keep fishing.***
The second day of the 2012 Winter Meetings is nearly over in Nashville. The Brewers still hadn’t signed anybody by day’s end, but at least there’s more to report than yesterday.
I attempt to have some continuity and flow in my posts as a rule, but this post might jump around a lot as I remember the things I need to include.
First, I reported midday that the Brewers had made a offers to a pair of free agent relief pitchers. You can read about that at the link. Later in the day, FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal tweeted this:
Free-agent LH reliever Sean Burnett now looking beyond #Nationals. Not looking for Affeldt money (3/18). Open to two-year deals.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 4, 2012
That matches up to the what I reported just after lunch. I learned that the Brewers offered Burnett a two-year deal. One of my Twitter followers asked why Burnett isn’t already signed in Milwaukee if the Brewers gave him what he is seeking. I countered with the idea that they may match up on years but that doesn’t mean they match up on money just yet.
General manger Doug Melvin said late in the day that he had not yet extended any formal offers to any free agents, which could very well be true. There is a formality involved in submitting an official offer for a player to consider. What I was told was the framework exists for the offers that were passed along for Burnett and Grilli. That does not mean that they’ve been sent along to the respective players or their representatives.
Moving on, the Brewers were said to have “kicked the tires” on free agent reliever Mark Lowe, recently of the Texas Rangers. That report came from FoxSports.com’s Jon Morosi.
Melvin also told the media in his evening session that he had finally met with agent Craig Landis who represents both Ryan Dempster and Brett Myers. But while Melvin confirmed the meeting, he would not discuss what was said during the meeting. For what it’s worth, it was previously reported that Dempster has reciprocated Milwaukee’s interest but is seeking a three-year deal while the Brewers prefer to limit a deal to two years.
Also confirmed was that Melvin had briefly discussed 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey with the New York Mets but that they quickly realized that the teams don’t match up and therefore didn’t even advance to the point of discussing names of other players to have been involved.
Ron Roenicke was at the Opryland Hotel today and held court with the media. He also appeared on MLB Network Radio during the afternoon hours. Roenicke had a few nuggets of knowledge to share. He said that he’s considering moving Rickie Weeks back to the lead off spot in the lineup. Roenicke also suggested the while Mat Gamel won’t be playing winter ball anywhere (per Melvin), Gamel will be getting a good amount of time at the corner OF positions during spring training.
While on MLB Network Radio, Roenicke confirmed again the Brewers’ interest in Grilli “if the money works” but not at $5-$7 million. I was told that the proposed offer the Brewers were formulating was less than that for just one year, so we’ll see if that gets it done at some point.
Finally for Roenicke, he reiterated that the Brewers don’t need to get another starting pitcher, despite the stated desire to. He acknowledged that they currently already have one extra starter. He also said that Marco Estrada has a pretty good foot in the door for a spot in the rotation. That would be a field then of Yovani Gallardo, Marco Estrada, Mike Fiers, Chris Narveson, Wily Peralta and Mark Rogers.
Back to Melvin, he confirmed that they are looking for a backup shortstop option if they can find one. They still have some interest in bringing back Alex Gonzalez if he would accept a bench role.
Melvin also mentioned the names of Tom Gorzelanny and John Lannan as having been discussed. Personally, I’m hoping that they’re using the media to help Sean Burnett remember that he isn’t the only LHP available. A little posturing isn’t necessarily a bad thing, after all.
As for the money situation, Melvin confirmed that the Brewers are actually seeing a significant bump in their local TV contract revenue, but that it still pales in comparison to the money some teams are getting in their brand new local TV deals. Melvin said that they’ll go from $12 million in 2012 to right around $21 million for 2013. The oft-reported national TV money bump doesn’t begin until 2014, which is the year that has always been reported by me at least.
So there you have it. If I remember anything else I wanted to pass along (and it feels like I”m forgetting something…) I’ll update this blog so check back periodically.
As of last night, Brewers GM Doug Melvin stated that he didn’t have any trade discussions underway. He also admitted to making contact with a pair of free agent relievers.
What I didn’t recall reading was him saying that he hadn’t made any contract offers yet so I was curious. I reached out to a source and was told that the Brewers have offers “on the table” to both LHP Sean Burnett and RHP Jason Grilli.
Please make sure you read that properly. Offers only. No indication of response. Nothing “imminent” or “guaranteed” nor should anything like that be implied. Does that make sense? Good.
I was told dollar amounts on both deals, but money is very fluid and can change pretty rapidly so keep that in mind. The years I was told don’t change as often so I’ll pass along those specifics.
Grilli’s offer is a one-year deal at a slight raise over his 2012 salary of $1.1 million from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Burnett’s offer is a two-year pact resulting in an AAV greater than his 2012 salary of $2.3 million with the Washington Nationals. I wasn’t told how the dollars would breakdown between the two years at this time.
Could options or incentives or other elements to contracts change or be added or what have you? Of course. Just passing along what was passed along to me.
It was also confirmed to me what Melvin said yesterday in that Dempster is seeking a three-year deal and the Brewers are still at two (at least right now), but it was not said whether the Brewers had a formalized offer on the table to Dempster. I’d guess not because Dempster’s agent is on the record as saying that (at least for right now) an offer under three years in length would be a deal-breaker.
I was also passed along a note about Josh Hamilton due to assumed interest. I was told that right now Hamilton’s camp isn’t even entertaining teams unless they show a willingness to go seven years on a contract. That seems absurd to me based on the majority of reports out there. I have a feeling that this tidbit is absolute misdirection. It was indicated that the Brewers did express interest (as has been reported of their being “on the periphery”) but at a length of five years (again, at least right now). I’m less inclined to believe that Hamilton will get seven years, for what it’s worth.
So, there you go. As with all rumors, especially those coming out of the Winter Meetings, take them with the necessary amount of salt.
***UPDATE: I was told that the Brewers did not make “official” offers to Grilli or Burnett. Terms were discussed but official offers were not submitted to the players’ representatives.***
See Previous Hot Stove Reports:
- Hot Stove Report: Brewers Begin Testing Pitching Market
- Hot Stove Report: Non-Tender Deadline Looms
- Hot Stove Report: Calm Before the Storm
- Hot Stove Report: Somebody New Has Contacted the Brewers (but it means little)
- Hot Stove Report: On The Move?
- Hot Stove Report: A Cream City Reunion Could Be In The Works
- Hot Stove Report: Brewers Fielded Trade Idea
The Winter Meetings are underway in Nashville. Hopefully you read my preview column so that I don’t have to re-reference a lot of reasoning behind my forthcoming comments, but if you didn’t you can definitely do so and then come right back.
The first official day of the Winter Meetings is complete and while much talking and negotiating takes place “after hours”, there is daily availability from Doug Melvin to recap the day for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Today, Melvin pulled back the current a bit to confirm that he has made contact regarding a pair of free agent relief pitchers. He also, as I said he would and already basically did, retreated from his previous comments stating that they would not go over two years for a starting pitcher. He reminded those that needed reminding that for the right player at the right dollars, he’d go longer than two years.
Melvin was asked about the team’s reciprocal interest in free agent starting pitcher Ryan Dempster. He said that he hadn’t met with Dempster’s agent yet but that he “might as well” discuss the right-hander while they’re all here. He was quick to note that it might simply be time to let their young pitchers earn their keep. He listed the same group of in-house options that I’ve mentioned more than once in this space, so no reason to list them again. He did state that he feels the top level of the organization’s depth at starting pitcher currently features Tyler Thornburg and Hiram Burgos.
The relief pitchers with which Melvin has made contact are righty Jason Grilli and lefty Sean Burnett. Melvin was clear that he wants to get a left-handed relief pitcher but through free agency rather than a trade. He also said that while he spoke to Grilli’s agent, former big leaguer Gary Sheffield (yes, that Gary Sheffield), there is still a long list of available relievers. Those names on Milwaukee’s radar include Jason Frasor, Kevin Gregg, and Jon Rauch. Melvin noted that he has no interest in Matt Capps or Daisuke Matsuzaka. There’s always a group of recent additions to the organization that will get an opportunity to fill a bullpen spot or two including Michael Olmstead, Fautino De Los Santos, Jairo Ascenio, Arcenio Leon, et cetera.
More specifically on the if any negotiations are underway or any ideas are “down the road”, Melvin said that he had no active trade talks and that the trade market was pretty quiet right now while the top free agents determine the locations of their new home offices.
As for current Brewers, Melvin was asked about Corey Hart and responded that he hasn’t talked to Hart’s agent about an extension yet and also had not fielded any recent trade ideas for the longest-tenured Brewer. In other words: nothing to report.
Melvin was also asked about their current catching situation. He made it sound like he’d prefer to keep Jonathan Lucroy and Martin Maldonado in place but has been asked more a couple of times about the availability of half of the catching duo. He did also say, however, that someone would have to come with a strong offer to pry one away (likely Maldonado would be more available than Lucroy, in my opinion) so that’s not an untouchable situation by any means.
Finally, the subject of the big fish Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton was broached. Melvin said that he didn’t foresee getting involved on either player because they appeared to be “getting market value” which means too pricey for Milwaukee.