Thursday's Frosty Mug: Finally, free agency

Scott Boehm

We're talking about the first official day of the offseason and more in today's roundup of all things Brewers.

Some things to read while sharing what you've learned.

Late last night Joe Block posted the following on Twitter:

Today it begins again. We are 106 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and MLB Trade Rumors has the list of important dates for the next couple of months. Here are the highlights:

  • Any player with at least six years of MLB service time and without a contract for 2014 became a free agent at 8 am Central time today. That means Yuniesky Betancourt and Michael Gonzalez are officially off the roster, and that's likely to be today's best news.
  • Free agents are allowed to talk to other teams at this point, but they're not allowed to negotiate or announce contracts with anyone but their former team until 11 pm Central time on November 4. That's also the deadline for teams to submit qualifying offers to their own free agents (this year the minimum offer is $14.1 million) and exercise any remaining contract options.
  • Players receiving qualifying offers have until November 11 to accept or reject them.
  • The GM meetings are scheduled for November 11-13.
  • The non-tender deadline for arbitration-eligible players is December 2.
  • The 2014 Winter Meetings will be held from December 9-12.

Looking further ahead, the 2014 Brewers will be the visiting team at Boston's home opener, leading @AndrewGruman to expect that we'll get to see their ring ceremony. @Mass_Haas is thinking even further ahead and predicting Marco Estrada will be the Brewers starting pitcher on that day.

If I had to guess right now I'd say Scooter Gennett will be starting that game at second base, unless the Red Sox send a lefty to the mound. Lou Olsen of Reviewing the Brew gave Scooter a B grade for his debut season.

Caleb Gindl and Juan Francisco, on the other hand, will have to wait and see if the 2014 Brewers have a spot for them. Jonathan Judge of Disciples of Uecker has a look at their 2013 seasons and an effort to predict their production going forward.

Elsewhere in players with uncertain Brewers futures, we profiled Jeff Bianchi yesterday as part of our MVBrewers series. Stop back this afternoon to see who we'll profile today.

Today in free agency:

In the minors:

  • David Goforth pitched a scoreless ninth to nail down a win as Surprise beat Salt River 12-6 in the Arizona Fall League yesterday (box score). Mitch Haniger and Jason Rogers combined to go 1-for-8 in the contest, but each of them did draw a walk.
  • Surprise is now 12-6-1 on the fall season, has the best record in the AFL and a 3.5 game lead in the league's West division. They have 12 games remaining on their schedule.
  • Meanwhile in the Dominican Republic, Juan Francisco went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and drove in two runs in Licey's 7-6 win over Cibao (box score). Sean Halton also appeared in the game and went 0-for-4.
  • Licey is now 8-3 in the Dominican Winter League and in second place, half a game back of Aguilas.

Around baseball:

Blue Jays: Are expected to hire Kevin Seitzer as their new hitting coach.
Dodgers: Pitcher Peter Moylan has refused an outright assignment to the minors and is now a free agent.
Rangers: Are expected to make a qualifying offer to outfielder Nelson Cruz.

The end of the World Series wrapped up the 2013 MLB season, and also the broadcasting career of longtime color commentator Tim McCarver. McCarver was a polarizing figure, but Ken Rosenthal of Fox has a touching tribute to his broadcast partner. Baseball Think Factory has the video of McCarver's final farewell.

McCarver frequently spoke at length against the infusion of stats into the game of baseball, which was a big part of the reason he earned the distaste of many sabermetrically-minded fans. His retirement prompted Joe Posnanski to take on an unexpected point, arguing that at times too many stats are worked into our baseball broadcasts.

Today in former Brewers:

Today's best infographic, as is almost always the case, comes from Flip Flop Fly Ball. Follow the link for a single 16-bit graphic covering the full history of baseball.

Finally, today in history:

With help from the B-Ref Play Index we'd also like to wish a happy birthday today to:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to cram more stuff into this box.

Drink up.

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