Monday's Frosty Mug: Graded on a curve

Rob Carr

Apparently it's "assign a letter to various Brewers" season. We'll talk about that and more in today's news roundup.

Some things to read while getting cleaned.

The first Sunday following the conclusion of the MLB regular season appears to be report card day, as the Journal Sentinel filed their grades for the 2013 Brewers as a team and their individual players. In the former, Tom Haudricourt and Todd Rosiak gave the Brewers relievers a B and everyone else a mark below that. Individually, here are the highlights:

Players receiving an A or A- Players receiving a D or D+ Players receiving an F
Scooter Gennett
Jean Segura
Carlos Gomez
Jim Henderson
Brandon Kintzler
Francisco Rodriguez
Tyler Thornburg
Yuniesky Betancourt
Juan Francisco
Alex Gonzalez
Michael Gonzalez
Rickie Weeks
Logan Schafer
Johnny Hellweg
Ryan Braun

Not to be left out, Reviewing the Brew also continued grading 2013 Brewers: Lou Olsen gave Khris Davis an ABenjamin Orr gave Brandon Kintzler an A and Curt Hogg gave Michael Gonzalez a D. Meanwhile, Ryan Connor cast some doubt on Logan Schafer's future in the majors, saying "nothing in his minor league numbers, scouting reports, or extended Major League performance suggests anything more than a backup OF."

Is this the offseason's first rumor? I think this might be the offseason's first rumor. Bronson Arroyo is likely to be one of this winter's more interesting free agent pitchers (it's a weak class), and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe lists the Brewers as one of eight teams potentially interested. Arroyo is believed to be seeking a three-year deal despite the fact that he'll be 37 in February.

I'm not saying it'll happen or perhaps even that it should, but if the Brewers are looking to make a major splash this offseason the winter's most-available star pitcher is likely to be Rays starter David Price. Unless Tampa can dig out of an 0-2 hole in the ALDS, there's a strong chance he's pitched his last game for the franchise.

With that said, Price would not help with the hole in the Brewer lineup at first base. Adam Wieser of Disciples of Uecker wonders if bringing Casey McGehee back from Japan could help this team.

Of course, nearly any splash the Brewers make this winter will likely be overshadowed by the ongoing story that is Ryan Braun's return from suspension. Ray Guilfoyle of Fake Teams asks if Braun is still a top 12 fantasy player for 2014.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Lucroy is a lock to be on the 2014 Opening Day roster at this point, starting at catcher and probably batting somewhere around #6. Lucroy recently visited his alma mater Louisiana-Lafayette's football team, and followed up with an open letter to the team and its supporters. (h/t @Mass_Haas)

Lucroy finished second on the Brewers with 18 home runs this season while playing in one of baseball's most homer-friendly facilities: Walk Like A Sabermetrician's 2013 park factors show that Miller Park was roughly neutral in terms of run scoring this season but tied for fifth in all of baseball in home runs allowed.

While Jonathan Lucroy's role with the 2014 Brewers is more or less pre-determined, Tyler Thornburg will probably have to sweat out this winter. Jason Arndt of Brewers Farm Report says Thornburg deserves a commitment from the organization regarding his future.

In the minors:

  • Prospect 361° has a list of the top ten prospects in the Brewers' organization, led by Tyrone Taylor.
  • Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has Baseball America's explanation for leaving Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (including Taylor) off their list of the top 20 prospects in the Midwest League this season.
  • We're expecting Baseball America to release their list of the top 20 prospects in the Florida State League sometime today.

If you weren't around the site this weekend, you might have missed JP's recap of what we learned in the previous week. I really like the way this series has come together and I'm glad to have it continue into the offseason.

Around baseball:

Angels: Claimed pitcher Josh Wall off waivers from the Marlins.
Diamondbacks: Claimed pitcher Alex Sanabia off waivers from the Marlins.
Rockies: Outfielder Tyler Colvin has rejected an outright assignment to the minors and is now a free agent.
Twins: Acquired pitcher Duke Welker from the Pirates as the PTBNL in the Justin Morneau trade.
White Sox: Pitcher Brian Omogrosso has refused an outright assignment to the minors and is now a free agent.

Today in former Brewers:

And in baseball economics: The Orioles won fewer games in 2013 than 2012 but attendance still went up 12.1% on the season. They attracted 2.357 million fans in 2013, which is still almost 200,000 shy of what the Brewers drew in a 74-88 season.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the second anniversary of the Brewers' walkoff win to clinch the 2011 NLDS over the Diamondbacks, one of the greatest moments in franchise history. Here are today's other bits of history:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm trying to keep an eye on the horizon.

Drink up.

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