Some things to read while finding yourself.
We are 66 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, but one pitcher will be limited when he gets there: Yesterday the Brewers announced that Tom Gorzelanny recently had surgery to "clean up" his throwing shoulder and isn't expected to be available to pitch until mid-March. There's still hope he could be ready in time to make the Opening Day roster, but I wouldn't count on it.
The Brewers' contingent remains in Orlando this morning for the 2013 Winter Meetings, where they've been tied to nearly every available first baseman. They're reportedly interested in Marlins first baseman Logan Morrison, who Miami appears poised to trade after signing Garrett Jones. Jon Morosi of Fox reports (in two tweets) that the Pirates, Rays and Orioles are also interested.
Whoever gets Morrison should be prepared for him to come with a fair amount of baggage. While several teams were reportedly discussing his services Monday morning, he was busy writing a sexist tweet.
On top of Morrison, the Brewers also reportedly talked to the Mets about their first base surplus (they have both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda at this point) and talked to the Giants about veteran backup Brett Pill.
Despite all of these conversations with other teams, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York (via MLB Trade Rumors) reports that the Brewers would still prefer to re-sign Corey Hart. The Brewers met with Hart's agent (Jeff Berry) on Monday but nothing appears imminent.
The challenge with Hart likely continues to be the fact that several teams are interested on a one-year deal. If Hart is still capable of playing the outfield, Motor City Bengals has him as a potential cost-effective option for the Tigers.
Doug Melvin told Adam McCalvy that the search for bullpen help is on the back burner until the first base situation is resolved, but that apparently didn't keep him from checking in with former Cubs closer Carlos Marmol. For what it's worth, Melvin also told Tom Haudricourt (reported via Twitter) that former Brewers John Axford and Francisco Rodriguez aren't being considered.
Meanwhile, the search for bullpen help is certain to include some internal candidates. Adam McCalvy reports (via Twitter) that 2013 Huntsville Star David Goforth appears likely to get an invitation to MLB spring training. Goforth appeared in 34 games (18 starts) between AA and AAA a year ago and posted a 3.17 ERA over 125 innings.
New Brewer Will Smith will also likely get a chance to make the team in a bullpen role if a rotation spot is not available. Yesterday Tom Haudricourt talked to Royals manager Ned Yost about Smith and got this quote:
"There were times when I put him in games last year where he was unhittable. He's still developing consistency in his mechanics. When he's strong downhill, he's unhittable. At times he gets a little flat with his fastball but he has the ability to make adjustments. I think the Milwaukee fans are going to like Will Smith."
The search for a leadoff hitter to replace Norichika Aoki is also likely to happen internally. Justin Schultz of Reviewing the Brew has a look at Carlos Gomez as a candidate to fill that spot.
Rickie Weeks has batted in the leadoff spot in 612 of his 1021 games as a Brewer, but appears unlikely to fill that role in 2014. He did, however, hit 2013's seventh longest home run. We covered that event in Brew Crew Blasts yesterday.
In the minors:
- Congratulations are due out this morning to Mitch Haniger, who was named to the Arizona Fall League's All Prospects Team. (h/t @BrewersPD) Haniger appeared in 25 games for Surprise and hit .280/.354/.480 with four home runs and 24 RBI.
- Martin Maldonado went 1-for-2 with a walk, HBP and a run in Mayaguez's 6-3 loss to Carolina last night (box score). Irving Falu went 0-for-5 in the game.
The Winter Meetings wrap up on Thursday with the annual Rule 5 Draft, and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com notes that some teams have done better than others using that avenue to find pitching help: Of the 38 players that have stuck with their new teams since 2006, 28 have been pitchers. As part of the "Last Call" in this article, though, Adam McCalvy notes that the Brewers are unlikely to make a selection.
Major League Baseball announced their latest Stand Up To Cancer Auction yesterday, and as you might expect there are some one-of-a-kind experiences up for bids. Follow this link for details on the possibility of having the Racing Sausages attend your barbecue, throwing out a first pitch and going down Bernie Brewer's slide or getting a private batting lesson from Ron Roenicke. You could also win a pitching lesson from former Brewer and current Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio.
Despite all of yesterday's rumors, it was a pretty quiet day around baseball:
White Sox: Signed pitcher Felipe Paulino to a one-year, $1.75 million deal.
Meanwhile, in former Brewers:
- Somehow, inexplicably, @ChrisCotillo reports that six teams are "seriously in" on Yuniesky Betancourt.
- The Mets are expected to meet with Cesar Izturis' agent this week.
- Brady Clark is in Orlando looking for an opportunity to get into coaching, but the Brewers didn't have a spot for him. (h/t @AdamMcCalvy)
- Dave Parker was on the Veterans Committee ballot for the Hall of Fame this year but was not selected.
- nullacct has a look at Glenn Braggs as the face of the 1989 Brewers.
- David S. Grant of Reviewing the Brew remembers Pete Vuckovich's facial hair.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to:
Today is also the second anniversary of ESPN's Outside the Lines reporting that Ryan Braun had failed a drug test and would be suspended to open the 2012 season, which we discussed in Today In Brewer History last year. It's also the 22nd anniversary of the Brewers trading reliever Chuck Crim to the Angels for reliever Mike Fetters, and we covered that event in Today In Brewer History two years ago.
Now, if you'll excuse me, there's another new study.
Edit: This is Nicole - throwing in this link to some British tabloid's fuzzy photos from Ryan Braun's wedding this past weekend, if that's your thing. Haudricourt had the link on Twitter this morning.