Some things to read while hanging on.
We're 85 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and four new members of the 40-man roster will have lockers in the major league clubhouse. Yesterday as expected the Brewers added first basemen Hunter Morris and Jason Rogers, and also pitchers Kevin Shackelford and Brooks Hall. JP has more on all four players at the above link.
Morris, by the way, made his winter ball debut in Venezuela a few weeks ago but appeared in just three games. Adam McCalvy reports that Morris returned to the US after twisting his knee, and the injury is not believed to be serious.
Despite having protected four more players yesterday, the Brewers still have a handful of minor leaguers in the organization that could be selected in next month's Rule 5 draft. Tom Haudricourt (on Twitter) listed Kentrail Davis, John Prince, Tyler Cravy and Kyle Heckathorn as possibilities.
You may look at yesterday's transactions and think "no big deal," and there's a chance you'll be right. It's worth noting, however, that last year at this time the Brewers added five players to the 40-man, and two of them ended up making a major impact in 2013: Khris Davis and Scooter Gennett. Hiram Burgos and Josh Prince were also on that list and made their MLB debuts this year. Only Nick Bucci, who was injured, didn't make an MLB impact.
Davis and Gennett both received a lot of MLB playing time partly due to injuries. Jeff Zimmerman of FanGraphs looked over the numbers and says the Brewers finished tenth in DL time in 2013.
Chris Narveson was one of the Brewers responsible for a fair portion of that DL time. Yesterday we looked at his year as part of our player-by-player look at the 2013 season. Stop back this afternoon to see who we're profiling today.
Jimmy Nelson would've needed to be added to the 40-man this winter if he hadn't pitched his way onto the roster during the season. Jim Owczarski of OnMilwaukee.com talked to Nelson about trying to win a rotation spot in 2014.
The 2014 Brewers bullpen, meanwhile, remains in a state of flux. David Schoenfield of ESPN notes that Brewers relievers had the NL's third-best ERA in 2013, but still only gave them a C for their overall performance.
Meanwhile, we have an early nominee for this winter's most ridiculous trade proposal. A rumor made the rounds yesterday that the Brewers are "more interested" in trading Ryan Braun than Norichika Aoki in a deal for Mets first baseman Ike Davis. Don't hold your breath. Rob Neyer also noted this rumor and wondered why the Brewers wouldn't just move Braun to first base instead.
In the minors:
- Juan Francisco went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts in Licey's 4-2 loss to Oriente in the Dominican Republic last night (box score). Elian Herrera went 1-for-4 with a run for Oriente.
- Francisco's hot bat has cooled in a big way recently. He's 6-for-40 with no extra base hits and 19 strikeouts in his last ten games.
- Hiram Burgos started and pitched three scoreless innings with four strikeouts in Mayaguez's 3-1 loss to Ponce in Puerto Rico last night (box score).
- Mike Fiers pitched a perfect ninth inning for Caracas in their 8-2 win over Aragua in Venezuela (box score).
- The Brewers were left off of MLB.com's list of the top 20 prospects in the Arizona Fall League.
- I'm a couple of days behind on this one, but Scott Leber of Mystateline.com has a story on Cody Scarpetta, who continues to work to come back from missing much of 2012 and 2013 due to Tommy John surgery. (h/t @Mass_Haas)
Back in Milwaukee, congratulations are due out to the Brewers' marketing department for recently winning four awards for promotional campaigns.
Astros: Claimed infielder Ryan Jackson off waivers from the Cardinals.
Cardinals: Extended manager Mike Matheny's contract through 2017 and announced pitcher Chris Carpenter's retirement.
Diamondbacks: Designated reliever Tony Sipp for assignment.
Giants: Designated pitcher Guillermo Moscoso for assignment and signed pitcher Javier Lopez to a three-year, $13 million deal.
Indians: Designated infielder Cord Phelps for assignment and hired former Rays minor league coach Matt Quataro as their new assistant hitting coach.
Nationals: Designated pitchers Fernando Abad and Tyler Robertson for assignment.
Orioles: Signed pitcher Edgmer Escalona to a one-year deal.
Padres: Designated pitchers Brad Brach, Miles Mikolas and Jose De Paula and outfielder Jaff Decker for assignment.
Pirates: Signed pitchers Seth McClung, Jake Brigham, Jay Jackson and Josh Kinney to minor league deals.
Rangers: Acquired first baseman Prince Fielder and cash from the Rangers for second baseman Ian Kinsler and claimed pitcher Shawn Tolleson off waivers from the Dodgers.
Royals: Designated pitcher Noel Arguelles and second baseman Irving Falu for assignment.
White Sox: Claimed infielder Jake Elmore off waivers from the Astros.
Today's big story is the Fielder trade, of course, but today's most unusual story comes from new Indians outfielder David Murphy. News of his new two-year deal with Cleveland broke after his daughter told people about it at day care.
Today in former Brewers: Henry Blanco is 42 but says he wants to play one more season.
- 2013 AZL Brewer Alex Lavandero, who turns 20.
- 2003 Brewer Enrique Cruz, who turns 32. We covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History last year.
Today is also the sixth anniversary of the Brewers signing Jason Kendall as a free agent in 2007. We covered that event in Today In Brewer History two years ago.
Now, if you'll excuse me, the cat got out.