Some things to read while Santa checks your Twitter.
We're 71 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and this morning I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. The Brewers signed Alex Gonzalez to a one year deal with a vesting option for 2013 yesterday (FanShot), providing the capable shortstop so many of us spent most of the 2011 season wishing for. Terms have not yet been disclosed, but Gonzalez likely won't make much more than the $2.5 million he got as a Brave in 2011. Noah had an extended look at Gonzalez yesterday but here's the short version: He likely won't be a significant offensive upgrade, but his defensive abilities should more than make up for it.
Here's some reaction from around the web:
- Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker says the Brewers added the best remaining shortstop, and makes a case for Gonzalez's offensive numbers improving in a park more suited to his game.
- Jim Powell says Gonzalez is the "best defensive SS I've ever watched on a daily basis."
- Adam McCalvy says defense is the reason the Brewers chose Gonzalez over Yuniesky Betancourt.
- Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar has a look at the defensive changes the Brewers should expect.
- Brandon Berg of Chippewa.com notes that even the traditional defensive metrics are on Gonzalez's side.
- Even the fake Brewer Twitter feeds are excited.
- Josh Wussow introduced us to Gonzalez's nickname, "Sea Bass."
- Christina Kahrl of SweetSpot notes that the Brewers still need to find a backup for Gonzalez. Howie Magner suggested the unthinkable.
So what's next? One has to wonder if Francisco Rodriguez's decision to accept arbitration impacts the Brewers' ability to do much more to impact this team, but it doesn't sound like that's the case. Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt he's talked to Mark Attanasio and been given the green light to continue making moves.
Finding someone to take K-Rod's salary would, of course, give the Brewers a little more wiggle room: Melvin told Adam McCalvy no one has contacted him to express interest in his new expensive setup man.
The Brewers' new TV deal likely also provides some relief, but it's not a panacea: Tom Haudricourt says the Brewers' relatively small market still leaves them near the bottom of the league in TV revenue.
Here are today's Prince Fielder notes:
- Babes Love Baseball says the Prince Fielder Sweepstakes have officially begun.
- Peter Gammons is reporting the Cubs say they don't have enough cash to sign Fielder.
- Tom Haudricourt still lists the Cubs, Rangers and Mariners as the favorites to land the slugger.
- In a strange case of racial profiling, word is circulating that the Marlins aren't interested in Fielder because he's not Latin.
In the minors:
- It was a relatively quiet day in the Caribbean yesterday but Carlos Gomez went 1-for-2 and drove in a run in Aguilas' 7-2 win over Gigantes. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Notes.
- morineko noted that Alex Gonzalez and minor league Rule 5 pick Domnit Bolivar are both playing winter ball in Venezuela.
This morning's Mug is the 983rd in BCB history. Join us on Tuesday, January 3 to celebrate The Night Of 1000 Mugs.
Angels: Signed pitcher C.J. Wilson to a five year, $75 million deal.
Blue Jays: Designated catcher Brian Jeroloman for assignment.
Cubs: Acquired third baseman Ian Stewart and pitcher Casey Weathers from the Rockies for infielder D.J. LeMahieu and outfielder Tyler Colvin.
Diamondbacks: Re-signed first baseman Lyle Overbay to a one year, $1 million deal.
Red Sox: Signed pitcher Jesse Carlson to a minor league deal.
By my count Jeroloman has been DFA'd three times this offseason.
Of course, the big story around the sports world yesterday was Albert Pujols and his new $250+ million contract with the Angels. Pujols is taking a lot of heat for taking the big bucks to leave St. Louis, but it's worth noting that he actually left money on the table: Incentives and the lack of a state income tax could have pushed the actual value of the Marlins' proposal over $300 million.
Many of you know that I love board games, so I'd be tempted to pick up a copy of this one: Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus has designed a concept based on the life cycle of the Marlins.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History remembers this day in 1977, when the Brewers traded Jim Slaton to the Tigers for Ben Oglivie. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the second anniversary of the day the Brewers signed LaTroy Hawkins. On the same day, they announced the signing of Randy Wolf and made me look stupid for having written this.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm trapped in the 1950's.