Some things to read while getting a new ladder.
The Brewers took a break from their holiday vacation on Friday to add another piece to their 2013 bullpen, reportedly signing lefty Mike Gonzalez to a one year deal worth $2.25 million plus incentives. Gonzalez is 34, has played in ten major league seasons as a member of five teams and posted a 3.03 ERA for the Nationals last season with 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings over 47 appearances.
Here's much more on the move from around the web:
- Jim Bowden of ESPN says the Brewers outbid the Reds and Nationals for Gonzalez. I guess I don't usually assume a bidding war took place when a guy only gets $2.25 million.
- Ken Rosenthal pointed out that Gonzalez held opposing lefties to a .179 batting average in 2012.
- Jaymes Langrehr of Disciples of Uecker says "the addition of Gonzalez means Ron Roenicke will be free to use (Tom) Gorzelanny for a full inning if he wishes to do so, or it could allow him to go the Tony La Russa route and start playing L-L matchups earlier in the game."
- Howie Magner says the Brewers have rebuilt their bullpen in "relatively bargain fashion" with Gonzalez, Burke Badenhop and Gorzelanny.
- Mark Simon of ESPN has a look at Gonzalez, Badenhop and Gorzelanny's strengths and weaknesses.
As Tom Haudricourt notes, it'll be a few more days until this deal is official because MLB's offices are closed until after New Year's. However, @Mass_Haas notes that the team will need to clear a spot on the 40-man roster to make room for Gonzalez and suggests that recent waiver claim Arcenio Leon is a likely candidate.
With three new arms in the bullpen it's possible the Brewers are done shopping for the winter...but it's also possible they're not. Jon Morosi of Fox Sports listed Milwaukee among ten teams that could still be looking for more help once the calendar turns to January. Zach Links of MLB Trade Rumors notes that the Brewers are one of six teams who won 80 or more games last season and missed the playoffs, but one of just two from that list that aren't making major moves in free agency this winter.
Of course, they could also look to sell. Tom Stadler of The Book of Gorman makes the case for the Brewers to consider trading John Axford.
With that said, it's worth remembering this important fact: Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball has a reminder that fans won't pay to see rebuilding teams.
Elsewhere in free agency: Lavelle E. Neal (via Metsblog) reports that Joe Saunders, Shaun Marcum and Brett Myers are all seeking multi-year deals.
Of course, even if the Brewers don't make another move they'll still have Ryan Braun in 2013. Colin Bennett of Reviewing the Brew surprised no one by naming Braun the Brewers' top season-long offensive performer in 2012.
In the minors:
- Congratulations are due out this morning to 2012 Southern League MVP Hunter Morris, named the Huntsville Times Sportsperson of the Year.
- Martin Maldonado had a pair of hits but it wasn't enough as Mayaguez lost 6-4 to Ponce in Puerto Rico yesterday. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Recap.
- Yesterday's game wrapped up the Puerto Rican regular season, and Maldonado's Mayaguez team qualified for the playoffs by finishing in second place. Jean Segura's Dominican team did not make the cut.
- Coming off his solid Arizona Fall League performance, Colin Bennett of Reviewing the Brew lists infielder/outfielder Josh Prince as a Brewer farmhand to watch in 2013.
Finally, we wrapped up one of the offseason's longest-running daily series on Friday with a Brew Crew Blasts bonus entry looking at the season's walkoff home runs.
Somehow we got through the weekend without a single announced transaction, which is weird. Here's a music video with puppets instead:
In former Brewers:
- The Cubs may have been one of the four major league teams reportedly considering Yuniesky Betancourt last week, but they're not anymore.
- Takashi Saito is returning to Japan and has signed with the Rakuten Golden Eagles.
Tomahawk Take has Hank Aaron and former Milwaukee Brave Phil Niekro on their Braves All-Decade Team for the 1970's.
My favorite piece of sabermetric analysis over the weekend came from Matthew at Lookout Landing, who makes a solid case for reevaluating the way we use home runs to evaluate pitchers. It's well worth a read and some serious consideration.
Today in baseball economics: Fox Sports has purchased Sports Time Ohio, a regional sports network partially owned by the Indians, for $230 million. Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball used that acquisition to build an argument that massive TV deals have reached a ceiling.
Finally, before I wrap up this morning I wanted to give you a quick heads-up on some minor design changes coming to BCB in the next couple of days. Blog Huddle has a description and screenshots of some layout adjustments designed to re-emphasize user-created content on our sites and make things a little easier to read. I like both changes.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get my credit card.