Some things to read while checking your local listings.
Well, I guess I was wrong about Frank Catalanotto, but I got the "aged veteran" part right, as the Brewers signed Jim Edmonds to a minor league deal yesterday (FanShot). Edmonds will earn $850,000 this season if he makes the team, and can request his release if he's not on the major league roster by March 25. Here are some thoughts on the deal from around the web:
- Brew City Sports searched high and low for a current picture of Edmonds.
- The Bucky Channel sees it as another case of Doug Melvin giving a player well past his prime another opportunity.
- In-Between Hops wonders why the Brewers have loaded up with left handed bench players, but don't have any legit right handed options.
- Matthew Pouliot of Circling the Bases sees Edmonds as a potential challenge to Corey Hart.
- Right Field Bleachers is trying to withhold their disgust.
- The Grand National Championships set the bar pretty high in the competition for "least coherent take."
- Adam McCalvy quoted Doug Melvin as saying "I don’t know where else we would add right now."
All told, I'm doing my best not to get too excited about this move either way. I learned something last spring when I raised my blood pressure (and some of yours) with a rant about a minor league deal for Eric Gagne, only to have him come nowhere close to making the team and have the whole conversation become irrelevant. There are potential pros and cons to Edmonds as a Brewer, but he needs to come to camp and demonstrate some ability to perform before any of them become relevant. If he can't, he'll be gone before you can say "2010's version of Trot Nixon."
Besides, if you're looking for a reason to raise your blood pressure, there's a better option today. PECOTA and CAIRO's projected standings came out yesterday, and they have the Brewers winning 75 and 81.3 games and finishing tied for fourth and fourth in the division, respectively (h/t BBTF and FanShot). I know some of us are higher on the Brewers than others, but I think 75 wins is an unreasonably low projection, as is a fourth place finish. PECOTA also has two other strikes against them: They project the Brewers to allow 895 runs, which is 77 more than last year, and they project the Nationals to win 82 games.
Even if the 2010 Brewers are as bad as PECOTA seems to think they will be, they should be more exciting on the basepaths: Team Wisconsin notes the speed added to this year's team, and thinks they can steal at least 100 bases.
In the minors:
- Keith Law has released his Top 100 prospect list, top ten prospects by organization and organizational rankings this week, and they're not too positive for the Brewers. The Brewers only had two players in the top 100, with Brett Lawrie at #47 and Alcides Escobar at #54, and the organization ranked 26th overall.
- Beyond the Box Score has an interesting post comparing Law's rankings to John Sickels.
- I seem to recall a thread on this site at one point discussing our personal preferences for walkup music. Apparently Fang's choices needed some work: They're the subject of this week's episode of The Offseason.
- Speaking of the Timber Rattlers, here's an interesting note (complete with an original sketch) on the origin of their logo. Thanks to tristarscoop for the heads up.
There wasn't quite enough notable news to warrant a Winter League Update this morning, but there were these notes:
- Carlos Gomez entered the game as a defensive replacement and didn't bat in Escogido's 5-2 win over Cibao, clinching the DWL championship.
- Martin Maldonado and Mayaguez missed their first shot at clinching the Puerto Rican championship, losing 9-2 to Caguas.
If you have MLB Network, you might get to see both Gomez and Maldonado play next week: The network is televising the Caribbean World Series this year, with the first game on Tuesday afternoon.
If you're looking for Brewer chats past and present, here are some opportunities: Tom Haudricourt was a guest on HotStove.com yesterday, Brian Anderson will be chatting with fans at 10 am today, and that last link includes a note on Gregg Zaun, Manny Parra and Carlos Villanueva chatting with fans on Sunday as part of Brewers On Deck.
Speaking of On Deck, John Steinmiller and Caitlyn Moyer have some numbers on the event.
Via Tom Haudricourt, we learned yesterday that the Brewers have agreed to deals with five more players on the 40 man roster: Tim Dillard, Mark Rogers, Amaury Rivas, Luis Cruz, and Angel Salome, along with Mat Gamel, who we've already mentioned. Via Baseball America's Minor League Transactions, we learned yesterday that the Brewers have released three minor league pitchers:
- Mark Holliman, who made 26 starts in Huntsville last season, posting a 4.62 ERA in 137.2 innings.
- Greg Miller, a 2008 10th round pick who sat out all of 2009.
- Jose Romero, a Venezuelan lefty who made ten appearances for the AZL Brewers last season.
BA also notes new homes for former Brewers Brady Clark (White Sox) and Sam Narron (Tigers).
Dodgers: Signed outfielder Timo Perez and pitcher John Koronka to minor league deals.
Nationals: Designated reliever Marco Estrada for assignment.
Phillies: Signed Jose Contreras to a one year deal worth $1.5 million.
Rays: Signed pitcher Matt Bush to a minor league deal.
Rockies: Signed pitchers Justin Speier and Jimmy Gobble to minor league deals with invitations to spring training.
There's only one other former Brewer note on the Hot Stove today: Apparently the Orioles are interested in Braden Looper. Can you imagine his numbers in the AL East?
Odds are someone reading this site has some time on their hands and would be a pretty good fit for this job: Amy K. Nelson notes that the Indians are looking to hire someone for a Social Media Communications position.
Happy birthday today to:
- Rule 5 Draft selection Chuck Lofgren, who turns 24.
- 2005 Brewer (for a day, at least) Julio Mosquera, who turns 38.
A quick side note: Tomorrow is SABR Day, and there's a meeting in Milwaukee to commemorate the occasion. I'm not sure if I'll make it (Mrs. Snow isn't too excited about it), but are any BCB'ers planning on attending?
Oh, and if your baseball career doesn't work out, I guess there's always professional poker.