Some things to read while sending mixed messages.
We're 88 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and a few more players are likely to get lockers this week. MLB teams have until Wednesday to add minor leaguers to their 40-man rosters to protect otherwise eligible players from the Rule 5 Draft. 1B/OF Jason Rogers may have played his way into that conversation this season, and he's heading to the Dominican Republic to try to learn to play third base.
The Brewers will likely need some options to play third in 2015, as Aramis Ramirez is entering the final season of his three-year contract. Connor Moylan of SBNation.com has a look at third base around the NL and notes that Ramirez could be traded if the Brewers fall out of contention again in 2014.
Meanwhile on the hot stove, the Brewers/Mets rumors appear to be sticking around. Bill Baer of Hardball Talk again noted Doug Melvin's public conversations about the two teams being a possible fit in a trade for a first baseman.
In free agency:
- Somehow, inexplicably, Yuniesky Betancourt's agent reports (via @bnicholsonsmith) that five teams have expressed interest in one of baseball's least valuable players.
Any free agents the Brewers acquire this winter will be teammates of Ryan Braun, who is going to have some work to do to regain the goodwill of his fanbase. Cary Spivak of Forward.com asks if Braun, whose father is Jewish, can win back Jewish fans. (h/t BBTF)
While Braun tries to win back the fans next spring, Michael Blazek will just be trying to win a spot on the roster. We profiled him on Friday as the latest installment in our player-by-player look at the 2013 season. Stop back this afternoon to see who we're profiling today.
In the minors, Baseball America released their list of the Brewers' top ten prospects for 2014 on Friday. Jimmy Nelson leads the way, followed by outfielder Tyrone Taylor, outfielder Mitch Haniger, pitcher Johnny Hellweg, first baseman Victor Roache, pitcher Taylor Jungmann, shortstop Orlando Arcia, pitcher David Goforth, pitcher Devin Williams and first baseman Hunter Morris.
Elsewhere in the minors:
- Congratulations are due out today to the Brewers representatives on the Surprise Saguaros, who beat Mesa 2-0 on Saturday to win the Arizona Fall League championship. MLB.com has a recap from the final game, which included reliever David Goforth recording the save.
- Reliever Kevin Shackelford was on both this fall's Surprise team and the 2012 Midwest League Champion Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, and has a picture of both celebrations.
- Meanwhile in the Dominican Republic, Juan Francisco went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts as Licey lost 4-0 to Escogido yesterday (box score). Chris Narveson allowed two runs over six innings in the game and picked up the loss.
- Elsewhere on the island, recent waiver claim Elian Herrera went 0-for-4 but drove in a run in Estrellas' 3-0 win over Este (box score).
- Yesterday morineko posted our weekly look around winter league baseball, including notes on winter league debuts for Herrera, Alfredo Figaro and Mike Fiers.
If you weren't around the site this weekend, you might have missed JP's look at what we learned over the previous seven days. That post is a great way to make sure you didn't miss anything before moving on to the week ahead.
Blue Jays: Signed first baseman Dan Johnson to a minor league deal.
Diamondbacks: Signed pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith to a minor league deal.
Padres: Are expected to hire Dave Roberts as their new bench coach.
Phillies: Signed outfielder Clete Thomas and pitcher Cesar Jimenez to minor league deals.
Rays: Signed reliever Mark Lowe to a minor league deal.
Royals: Signed catcher Francisco Pena to a major league deal.
Tigers: Hired former Phillies assistant Wally Joyner as their new hitting coach.
Yankees: Signed shortstop Brendan Ryan.
Today in former Brewers:
- There were five former Brewers on the 1999 Arizona Diamondbacks playoff roster, and I missed all of them in AZ Snakepit's Sporcle quiz.
- There are also several Brewers on Lone Star Ball's Sporcle quiz asking you to name all the players that have hit 45 home runs in an MLB season. I got 115 out of 136.
- Longtime Brewers farmhand Zelous Wheeler has signed a minor league deal with the Yankees.
Today in baseball economics: The Red Sox had baseball's most expensive tickets last season, and they're raising prices by an average of 5% for 2014.
Those fans paying 5% more may also get to see pitchers throwing 5% harder. Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs notes that the number of MLB pitchers who throw above 95 mph has skyrocketed in recent years.
- 2013 Wisconsin Timber Rattler Michael Reed, who turns 21.
- 2004-07 Brewer Matt Wise, who turns 38.
- 1991-92 Brewer Dante Bichette, who turns 50. We covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History two years ago.
- 1985-90 Brewer Mike "Tiny" Felder, who turns 52. We covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History last year.
I usually pass on wishing Gary Sheffield a happy birthday, but he turns 45 today. Gaslamp Ball marked the occasion with ten baseball cards from Sheffield's time as a Padre.
Yesterday we missed Ryan Braun's 30th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 48 career HBP are the most ever for a player born on November 17. Odds are he'll add to that total in 2014.
Now, if you'll excuse me, it's almost my turn.