We're 59 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and yesterday's biggest news was addition by subtraction. Yuniesky Betancourt has signed a one year deal to return to Kansas City (FanShot), once and for all eliminating the threat of him returning to the Brewers in 2012. Here's some reaction from around the web:
- Jeff Sullivan of Baseball Nation notes that the Royals are now the first team to re-acquire Yuni.
- Rany Jazayerli said Yuni's return to the Royals "won't hurt the team much," which is both the nicest thing anyone has said about Yuni in months and a textbook example of "damning with faint praise."
- Joe Posnanski might be the only person excited to have Yuni back in Kansas City.
- David Golebiewski of Baseball Analytics has a heat map showing Betancourt's ridiculous swinging habits.
The Brewers commemorated the occasion by spending the entire day doing not much else. As such, we'll move on to today's Prince Fielder notes:
- Fielder has reportedly received an offer from the Mariners, although they've denied it.
- Jon Heyman is reporting the Orioles are still in on Fielder, although as noted before Heyman's source is likely Scott Boras.
- Tim Brown of Yahoo talked to Boras about Fielder's current road trip to visit potential suitors.
- Babes Love Baseball has a look at his options.
- Mike Bauman of MLB.com says Fielder can leave Milwaukee with no regrets.
- Fielder is #1 on The Outside Corner's list of the top ten remaining free agents, and the gulf between him and #2 is pretty significant.
Meanwhile, the Brewers have updated the 40 man roster to reflect several new uniform numbers (h/t @Adam McCalvy). Here are the changes:
Gonzalez and Ramirez will be key parts of the Brewers' new infield. Vince of Miller Park Drunk would like to introduce you to the newcomers.
In the minors: Frankie De La Cruz's awful winter continued yesterday, as he allowed six runs on eight hits over three innings and dropped to 0-7 in Estrellas' 8-5 loss to Gigantes. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Notes.
There's not much else for news today, unless you haven't seen the Brewer Holiday Greetings.
This morning's Mug is the 992nd in BCB History. Assuming I don't miss more than one between now and then, we'll be celebrating The Night of (Approximately) 1000 Mugs at Rounding Third on January 3.
The BCB Book Club met one more time last night to discuss the final chapters of The Extra 2%. Stop by to share your thoughts if you haven't already, and help us decide what the club's next steps should be.
Dodgers: Pitcher Ronald Belisario is expected to be suspended for the first 25 games of 2012 due to a violation of baseball's drug policy.
Nationals: Signed infielder Chad Tracy and outfielders Brett Carroll and Xavier Paul to minor league deals.
Pirates: Signed first baseman Jeff Clement to a minor league deal.
Rays: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Joel Peralta (one year, $2.175 million)
Red Sox: Former third base coach Tim Bogar will serve as bench coach in 2012.
Rockies: Signed third baseman Casey Blake (one year, $2 million) and pitcher Carlos Torres (minor league deal).
In what's becoming a time-honored tradition, each year we as a baseball community come together to point and laugh when teams dramatically overpay for relievers like Jonathan Papelbon. At FanGraphs, Jack Moore has a look at how you can use WPA to at least somewhat justify the decisions.
In former Brewers: One time Rule 5 pick Chuck Lofgren re-signed a minor league deal with the Giants and is attempting to make the switch from pitcher to position player.
Today in baseball economics:
- The Mets are citing tight finances as the reason for their decision to discontinue their Gulf Coast League (Rookie) team. This would be roughly the equivalent of the Brewers suspending operations in Arizona.
- Despite recent success and some $100 million+ payrolls in the early 2000s, the Rangers have still never drawn 3 million fans in a season. They set a new franchise record with 2.9 million in 2011, but that was their first season over 2.6 since 2001.
Are you a stathead looking for an opportunity to get your foot in the door in baseball? If so, it's possible the Orioles would like to talk to you.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get in shape before "Owners' Workout Day."