Monday's Frosty Mug: A Strangely Busy Early Offseason

Norm Hall

The Brewers haven't made any major moves yet this winter, but they've certainly kept us busy with small ones.

Some things to read while getting an expert diagnosis.

A Brewer news-filled week spilled over into the weekend, giving us two new members of the roster to introduce this morning: The Brewers claimed 26-year-old right handed reliever Arcenio Leon off waivers from the Astros on Friday and signed free agent pitcher Michael Olmsted on Saturday. Olmsted signed a minor league deal but has also been added to the 40 man roster.

Leon is 26 years old and a native of Venezuela who has played eight professional seasons in the Astros organization. He posted a 4.38 ERA over 63.2 innings for AA Corpus Christi in 2012. He's a curious choice for a waiver claim, as nothing in his minor league history really jumps out at me. He strikes out about eight batters per nine innings in the minors but also walks over five.

Olmsted is a much more interesting case. He was the Mets' ninth round pick in 2007 but his career in that organization was derailed by injuries and led him to the minors in Japan. He's pitched in the low levels of the minors for the Red Sox the last two years and posted a 1.52 ERA with 14 strikeouts per nine innings between High-A and AA in 2012.

The Brewers also cleared two spots on the roster by outrighting Kameron Loe and Travis Ishikawa to Nashville. Both players have declined the assignment and are now free agents. It's a somewhat ignominious end to Loe's Brewer career, as he had a down year in 2012 but still leaves Milwaukee with a career 3.67 ERA over 195 relief appearances.

Meanwhile, the deadline passed on Friday and the Brewers opted not to give one year, $13.3 million qualifying offers to Shaun Marcum or Francisco Rodriguez. As such, the Brewers won't be compensated if either player signs elsewhere.

Today in free agency: Dave Cameron of FanGraphs listed Zack Greinke among this winter's likely best free agent values.

Marco Estrada's role with the 2013 Brewers may well be determined by the results of this winter's free agent market. The Glendale News-Press has a look at Estrada's breakout campaign in 2012.

Elsewhere in possible members of the 2013 rotation, we took a look back at Mark Rogers' 2012 season in Friday's installment of our Most Valuable Brewers series. We'll unveil another honorable mention at 2 today.

Rogers is one of several Brewer pitchers who have had major arm surgery during their career, but this post puts that into perspective a bit: Jon Roegele of Beyond the Box Score attempted to compile a complete list of pitchers who have had Tommy John surgery in the majors and minors and found that the Brewers have had less than 15, which puts them near the bottom of baseball in that category.

RBI are widely seen as a largely irrelevant, opportunity-based statistic but Lee Panas of Tiger Tales has an interesting attempt to look at them another way. He lists Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez as the fourth and 14th most likely major leaguers to get a run home when they come up with runners on.

To be honest, I think these awards carry roughly the same relevance as Gold Gloves: Plunk Everyone has unveiled their 2012 awards for oustanding achievement in the field of getting hit by pitches, and Norichika Aoki was named Plunked Rookie of the Year for getting hit 13 times. Here are some other notes from the proceedings:

  • Yovani Gallardo led all NL pitchers by facing 860 batters this season without hitting one.
  • Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks, Aramis Ramirez and Norichika Aoki all made the NL All Plunk Team.
  • Miller Park led all NL stadiums in foul balls hit this season.

Elsewhere in 2012 evaluations, Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew gave the Brewer bullpen two C's, two D's and an F in part four of their offseason report card.

Odds are by now you've probably seen Mark Attanasio's open letter to Brewer fans, which the team sent out yesterday morning. If you don't have time to read the whole thing, @poonix has summarized it for you.

This will also help sell tickets, of course: The Brewers will give away Carlos Gomez bobbleheads to all fans attending Sunday, June 9's game against the Phillies.

In the minors:

  • New Brewer Arcenio Leon pitched a scoreless inning for Zulia yesterday in their 3-2 loss to Lara in the Venezuelan Winter League. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Recap.
  • The Journal Sentinel (behind the paywall) has a look at infielder/outfielder Josh Prince's surprising season in the Arizona Fall League.

Around baseball:

Angels: Declined pitcher Dan Haren's contract option for 2013.
Astros: Outfielders Brian Bogusevic and J.B. Shuck and pitcher Jorge De Leon have refused outright assignments and are now free agents.
Athletics: Re-signed pitcher Bartolo Colon to a one year, $3 million deal with incentives.
Blue Jays: Acquired pitcher Esmil Rogers from the Indians for infielder Mike Aviles and catcher/infielder Yan Gomes.
Braves: Made a one-year qualifying offer to outfielder Michael Bourn.
Cardinals: Made a one-year qualifying offer to pitcher Kyle Lohse.
Cubs: Claimed pitcher Zach Putnam off waivers from the Rockies.
Dodgers: Are expected to hire Cardinals hitting coach Mark McGwire to fill the same position.
Indians: Claimed pitcher Blake Wood off waivers from the Royals.
Mariners: Re-signed pitchers Oliver Perez (one year) and Hisashi Iwakuma (two years, $14 million with a club option for 2015).
Marlins: Signed third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and pitcher Jordan Smith to minor league deals.
Nationals: Made a one-year qualifying offer to first baseman Adam LaRoche.
Orioles: Claimed infielder Alexi Casilla off waivers from the Twins.
Padres: Designated pitcher Josh Spence and outfielder Blake Tekotte for assignment.
Rangers: Made a one-year qualifying offer to outfielder Josh Hamilton.
Red Sox: Signed DH David Ortiz to a two year, $26 million deal.
Royals: Claimed pitcher Guillermo Moscoso and catcher Brett Hayes off waivers from the Rockies and Marlins and designated pitchers Tommy Hottovy and Jeremy Jeffress and outfielder Jason Bourgeios for assignment.
Twins: Claimed pitcher Josh Roenicke and shortstop Tommy Field off waivers from the Rockies.
Yankees: Gave one-year qualifying offers to 1B/OF Nick Swisher and pitchers Rafael Soriano and Hiroki Kuroda.

Jeremy Jeffress' agent sent out a tweet yesterday saying the Royals are looking to trade the former Brewer pitcher. Adam McCalvy talked to Doug Melvin about it (under "Last Call") and he said he doesn't know if the organization is interested in bringing Jeffress back. Melvin also said he wasn't involved in any of the Angels' efforts to trade Dan Haren before declining his option.

While Jeremy Jeffress hasn't worked out with the Royals, Jake Odorizzi has. Ray Guilfoyle of Minor League Ball wonders if he's ready for a spot in Kansas City's rotation in 2013.

Today in baseball economics: The Brewers won't be the only team giving out ten bobbleheads next season after all: The Dodgers announced a plan over the weekend to hold ten giveaway games of their own in 2013, including repeating Vin Scully and Sandy Koufax giveaways from 2012.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need more fashion tips.

Drink up.

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