Free agents can begin negotiating contracts with new teams late Monday night, but the Brewers are working to make sure you're not expecting a big splash this winter. They told Adam McCalvy they're not expecting to make any major moves via free agency, which is what they also said last winter before signing Kyle Lohse.
Yesterday we continued our look at 2013's most valuable Brewers with an honorable mention profile of Caleb Gindl, who likely earned another opportunity in the majors by hitting .242/.340/.439 in 57 games for the Crew. Check back this afternoon to see who we're profiling today.
Gindl wasn't the biggest contributor in the group, but he was part of a core of Brewers young players that Marc Hulet of FanGraphs rated as the best rookie class in baseball in 2013. The Brewers are one spot ahead of the Cardinals in those rankings.
With that said, Gindl is one of several Brewer outfielders likely to see diminished opportunity in 2014 when Ryan Braun returns from suspension. Justin Schultz of Reviewing the Brew refused to assign Braun a letter grade for his 2013 performance.
Today in free agency:
- Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk has released his annual list of the offseason's top 150 free agents. Corey Hart is 30th on the list, with Michael Gonzalez 119th and Yuniesky Betancourt 130th.
Unless the Brewers make a big splash this winter, this number is unlikely to change: Yesterday Bovada gave the Brewers a 50/1 chance of winning the 2014 World Series. They're tied for the 21st best odds.
Before hot stove season, though, comes award season. The BBWAA announced their 2013 award schedule yesterday, with everything being handed out between November 11-14. Carlos Gomez (best defensive player, best play), Jean Segura (best hitting performance) and Logan Schafer (best walkoff) are also nominated for 2013 GIBBY Awards.
In the minors:
- Bernie Pleskoff of MLB.com has a largely positive scouting report on outfielder Mitch Haniger's work in the Arizona Fall League.
- Haniger was off, and Tyler Cravy allowed five earned runs in just 2.1 innings of work as Surprise lost 10-0 to Salt River in the AFL yesterday (box score). Catcher Adam Weisenberger also appeared in the game and went 0-for-3.
I've mentioned Tom Tango's Fans Scouting Report project a few times in this space over the last few weeks (and Tom wrote a FanShot about it), but we've still seen pretty limited participation. If you're not one of the 18 Brewers fans who have taken the time to evaluate this team's defense in 2013, today is your last chance to do so.
Blue Jays: Exercised contract options for 1B/DH Adam Lind ($7 million), pitcher Casey Janssen ($4 million) and infielder Mark DeRosa ($750,000) but declined infielder Munenori Kawasaki's option.
Cardinals: Declined pitcher Jake Westbrook's mutual option for 2014.
Dodgers: Declined club options for infielder Mark Ellis and pitcher Chris Capuano.
Indians: Re-signed DH Jason Giambi to a minor league deal, released reliever Chris Perez, acquired pitcher Colt Hynes from the Padres for cash, declined outfielder Jason Kubel's option for 2014 and announced that pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez has declined his half of his mutual option with the team.
Marlins: Exercised pitcher Jacob Turner's $1 million contract option for 2014.
Rangers: Declined DH Lance Berkman's club option for 2014.
Red Sox: Are expected to make qualifying offers to shortstop Stephen Drew, first baseman Mike Napoli and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
Reds: Claimed pitcher Pedro Beato off waivers from the Red Sox and announced that catcher Corky Miller and pitcher Greg Reynolds have refused outright assignments and are now free agents.
Royals: Exercised pitcher James Shields' $13.5 million club option for 2014.
White Sox: Exercised reliever Matt Lindstrom's $4 million club option for 2014.
Last night I raised the possibility that Capuano could be a candidate to return to the Brewers, while Ryan Connor of Reviewing the Brew wants the Crew to sign his former teammate, Mark Ellis.
There should be more transactions coming in the next few days: Nathan Aderhold of SBNation.com has a full list of options that need to be exercised or declined within five days following the World Series.
Today in former Brewers:
- 1994 Brewers catcher Dave Valle has interviewed for the Mariners' managerial opening.
- Former Brewers minor leaguer Zelous Wheeler never reached the big leagues with Milwaukee, but noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs notes that he's having a nice winter season in Mexico.
Today in baseball economics:
- While most teams are downplaying their offseason plans, the Astros told MLB.com they expect to be active in the free agent market this winter.
- The Braves are also raising the possibility of boosting payroll from $90 to $100 million.
Finally, I'll close today with what might be the day's coolest note: Longtime Baseball Prospectus author Colin Wyers announced yesterday that he's been hired by the Astros. His farewell post at BP is a great read for anyone who wants to know how to follow in his footsteps.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to be more careful.