Some things to read while getting some help.
We're 28 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training in Maryvale, and today's top story is a step towards having the full 2013 roster under contract: John Axford, Burke Badenhop, Marco Estrada and Carlos Gomez all filed for arbitration yesterday and will exchange salary proposals with the team on Friday.
Those four Brewers were among 132 players who filed yesterday across baseball. If history is any indication, many/most of them will avoid a hearing by signing a deal near the midpoint of their two proposals shortly after dollar figures are exchanged.
Beyond that, don't expect any major Brewer moves for the next few days as Doug Melvin and Craig Counsell are in the Dominican Republic for an international talent showcase in San Cristobal this week. Brewer scout Cory Melvin must also be in attendance, as he tweeted a picture of Wily Peralta pitching a bullpen session at the Brewer facility.
Meanwhile, Ron Roenicke was in Los Angeles for last night's Bucks/Lakers game.
We didn't have any new Brewers announce intentions to play in the World Baseball Classic yesterday, but it's still possible more could be added when official rosters are announced tomorrow. I feel a little better about Yovani Gallardo pitching in the Classic now that pitch counts have been lowered for this year's event: starting pitchers are now limited to 65 pitches in pool play, which is roughly what Gallardo would likely throw if he made a spring training start around that time.
Noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs, by the way, has a look at Canada's provisional roster. It's entirely possible John Axford and Jim Henderson are the nation's top two pitchers.
Many of the Brewers' WBC games will be nationally televised this spring, but it looks like their regular season Sunday games will not. The Brewers were not listed on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball schedule for the first eleven broadcasts of the 2013 season.
ESPN may be missing out on seeing the Brewers in one of these alternate uniforms: The team has narrowed the fan submissions down to three finalists and is asking for your help to select a winner in their "Youniform" contest. Mark Townsend of Big League Stew is voting for #1, while I'm partial to #2.
In the minors:
- Martin Maldonado went 1-for-3 with a walk but it was not enough as Mayaguez lost 10-3 to Santurce in the Puerto Rican playoffs last night. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Recap.
- Mayaguez is now 7-4 with one game to play in the league's round-robin playoff round, and is tied for first place.
- Tyler Thornburg is blowing out the field in the voting for the #2 spot in our Brew Crew Ball Community Prospect Rankings. Follow that link to vote before 1 today and stop back after 2 to vote for #3.
Wily Peralta, who was #1 in those rankings, is one of Dave Radcliffe of Yahoo's Contributor Network's five Brewers poised to take a step forward this season.
Finally, take a moment today to enjoy friend of the site Kevin Kimmes of Cream City Cables' application to be a part of the 2013 MLB Fan Cave. If he doesn't get in, he could always spend the summer working on his guitar playing.
Angels: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Jerome Williams (one year, $2 million).
Athletics: Avoided arbitration with catcher George Kottaras (one year, $1 million).
Dodgers: Signed catcher Jesus Flores to a minor league deal.
Marlins: Signed pitcher Michael Wuertz and infielder Nick Green to minor league deals.
Nationals: Signed reliever Rafael Soriano to a two year, $28 million contract with a vesting option for 2015.
Phillies: Signed pitchers Aaron Cook and Juan Cruz to minor league deals.
Rangers: Signed pitcher Kyle McClellan to a minor league deal.
Soriano's new contract is also today's baseball economics note: Half of the $28 million he'll earn over the next two seasons is deferred until after the 2018 season.
Today's top statistical research comes from High Heat Stats, where they have a look at how hit distribution has changed over time. Singles now represent roughly 65% of all hits, while home runs remain near an all-time high.
- Jon Heyman is listing Francisco Rodriguez as an option for the Blue Jays.
True Blue LA has a look at reliever Tim Leary's contributions to the 1988 Dodgers. Leary was one of two pitchers the Brewers traded to Los Angeles for first baseman Greg Brock.
I know it's the Cardinals and we don't like them, but here's a cool spring training story: 2008 draft pick Mitch Harris will be in St. Louis' minor league camp for the first time in 2013 after spending five years serving in the Navy.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back on the bus.