Some things to read while changing outfits.
We're still a few weeks away from free agency, but our top story this morning is a look at the Brewers' budget for 2014. Adam Wieser of Disciples of Uecker suggests the Brewers have about $6 million to spend this winter if they're going to remain within their likely budget. Tom Haudricourt noted (via Twitter) an additional $6 million in deferred salary for Aramis Ramirez, so the figure is actually closer to $12 million.
If we've learned anything in the last few offseasons, though, it's that all of these budget estimates are just numbers and Mark Attanasio is willing to blow by them if he feels like the right opportunity is out there. Two of the Brewers' largest active contracts (Aramis Ramirez and Kyle Lohse) were signed after we thought the team was done spending money.
With his first full MLB season in the books Martin Maldonado has returned to Puerto Rico and Adam McCalvy has a story on the preparations for his second annual Three Kings Day carnival. It sounds like several Brewers, players from other teams and companies have pitched in to help put on a great event for Maldy's home community. Maldonado, by the way, appears to be working on a beard.
Back in the states, it hasn't taken Caleb Gindl long to get back to work in his community. He's hosting a youth baseball clinic in Florida on November 9.
I don't know what Burke Badenhop is doing this winter, but I wouldn't be shocked if he's staying near his phone. He's eligible for arbitration one final time in 2014, but made $1.55 million in 2013 to fill what evolved into a mop-up role and might be a non-tender candidate. Lou Olsen of Reviewing the Brew gave him a C+ for his first season in Milwaukee.
Elsewhere in grades, BCB voters gave the Brewers infielders a C- for 2013, and JP is now looking for your help grading the outfielders. You also still have a few hours left to vote for 2013's sixth most valuable Brewer. Norichika Aoki won yesterday's vote, and you can see his profile here.
Meanwhile, in free agency:
- We haven't discussed any of these guys yet, but noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs is looking for help projecting the free agent contracts of three middle-to-lower tier starting pitchers: Jason Hammel, Dan Haren and Roberto Hernandez (fka Fausto Carmona).
- If a reclamation project is more your speed, Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog notes that Josh Johnson is likely to be available on a one-year deal. Johnson was the Marlins' ace in 2009 and 2010 but has pitched just one full season since and posted a 6.20 ERA with the Blue Jays in 2013.
And in the minors: Taylor Jungmann threw three scoreless innings Monday, Mitch Haniger went 1-for-4 and Adam Weisenburger walked and scored a run but it was not enough in Surprise's 3-2 loss to Salt River in the Arizona Fall League. You can see the box score here.
Braves: Have reassigned third base coach Brian Snitker to become the manager at AAA Gwinnett, and named Doug Dascenzo their new third base coach.
Gwinnett's former manager was 1983-86 Brewer Randy Ready. The story doesn't include any details on what's next for him.
Elsewhere today in former Brewers:
- Adam McCalvy snapped a picture of Don Sutton's retired number outside Dodger Stadium before last night's game.
- He's still unconfirmed, but it appears Cecil Cooper is on Twitter.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, we only needed three NLCS games before the postseason fun police made their first appearance. Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig flipped his bat after hitting a triple in last night's win over the Cardinals, and apparently the Cardinals are taking exception. St. Louis still leads the series 2-1.
Finally, our condolences go out this morning to the family and friends of MLB umpire Wally Bell, who passed away yesterday following a heart attack. Bell was just 48 years old but had been an umpire in the majors for 21 years and worked the Cardinals/Pirates NLDS series last week.