Some things to read while waiting for the mail.
We are 74 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and today two 2013 Brewers will learn their plans for next season. The Brewers have until midnight Eastern time tonight to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players and have two remaining: Marco Estrada and Juan Francisco. Estrada is a near-lock to remain with the team, but the jury is still out on Francisco. There's a poll in the previous link, and as of this writing 59% of you would tender a contract to Estrada but not Francisco. 40% would give contracts to both.
Francisco's tendency to swing and miss is a big part of the reason he finds himself on the chopping block today. Over at Baseball Analytics Alec says Francisco needs to improve against non-fastball pitches if he's going to succeed in the majors.
The Marlins also have until the end of the day today to decide what to do with first baseman Logan Morrison, and Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish says the Brewers are expected to be interested if the Marlins decide to trade him. Morrison is 26 and hit .242/.333/.375 in 85 games for Miami last season.
Meanwhile, Norichika Aoki is already under contract for 2014 but remains one of the Brewers most likely to be traded this winter. Walk Like A Sabermetrician notes that Aoki's .347 OBP was the third best in all of baseball among leadoff hitters in 2013.
Today in free agency:
- Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports the Brewers don't want to give Corey Hart a multi-year deal, but someone may have to since many teams have interest. (h/t Metsblog)
- Tyler Roberts of Venom Strikes argues that Hart should be a Diamondback.
The Brewers would have much more money to spend in free agency if they were able to unload Rickie Weeks and Aramis Ramirez's contracts. Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew has a look at Ramirez and Weeks as trade candidates this winter.
Ryan Braun also carries a heavy price tag for 2014 ($10 million), but despite all of his troubles he'd probably get more on the free agent market. Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation suggests Braun would receive nine years and $190 million if he were on the open market this winter.
Speaking of Braun, Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless of ESPN recently debated whether or not he should be forgiven. I'll admit I declined to subject myself to that discussion.
In the minors:
- David Goforth's fall season wrapped up a few weeks ago as he recorded the save in the Arizona Fall League championship game. Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew has a look at Goforth and an attempt to project his future.
- Plans are moving forward and could be approved in the next two weeks for a new ballpark in Nashville. The Tennessean has a look at how the city may actually have saved millions by waiting seven years to construct a new facility. (h/t @Buster_ESPN)
- In Puerto Rico, Hiram Burgos pitched four scoreless innings and Martin Maldonado hit a three-run homer but it was not enough as Mayaguez lost 5-3 to Caguas yesterday (box score). Jose De La Torre pitched a scoreless eighth inning for Caguas.
- Alfredo Figaro was a tough luck loser for Licey yesterday, allowing a single run on three hits over four innings in a 1-0 loss to Escogido (box score). Former Brewer Kameron Loe pitched 4.1 scoreless innings for the victors.
- You can read much more about the previous week in winter baseball (including Jason Rogers' Dominican debut) in morineko's Sunday roundup.
- Meanwhile on the other side of the globe, 2013 Huntsville reliever Eric Marzec is on his way to Australia to pitch winter ball down under. (h/t Brewerfan.net)
- Back in the states, Huntsville has a new radio play-by-play man for 2014: Steve Jarnicki will take over on Opening Day, and he's on Twitter at @SteveJarnicki.
Alfredo Figaro, by the way, is on Twitter as @Guden45.
If you weren't around the site over the holiday weekend, here are some things you might have missed:
- On Friday we profiled Yuniesky Betancourt in the final edition of our player-by-player look at the 2013 season. Stop back later today to see our new daily series.
- Then on Saturday JP posted a look at what we learned over the previous seven days.
Blue Jays: Are expected to sign catcher Dioner Navarro to a two-year deal.
Dodgers: Avoided arbitration with reliever Scott Elbert ($575,000), catcher Drew Butera ($700,000) and outfielder Mike Baxter ($700,000).
Giants: Re-signed pitcher Ryan Vogelsong to a one-year deal that could be worth $6.5 million with incentives.
Orioles: Acquired catcher Johnny Monell from the Giants for cash.
Rays: Re-signed reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo to a one-year deal.
Royals: Signed general manager Dayton Moore to a two-year contract extension through 2016.
Twins: Signed pitcher Phil Hughes to a three-year, $24 million deal.
And in former Brewers:
- Jenifer Jangosch of MLB.com expects the Cardinals to non-tender John Axford today.
- Climbing Tal's Hill wonders if Chris Narveson could be a fit for the Astros.
- Fish Stripes lists Casey McGehee as one of four bargain free agent options for the Marlins.
- Lee Panas of Tiger Tales says the Tigers won't miss Prince Fielder's defense.
- A community member at FanGraphs attempted to estimate what it would look like if Fielder were an everyday shortstop.
- Rockies owner Dick Monfort recently provided the most detailed look I've ever seen at his team's budget, revenues and expenses. He estimated the Rockies' revenue at $170 million annually and said they try to spend 50% of revenue on player salaries. (h/t BBTF)
- Infielder Jhonny Peralta's new contract with the Cardinals is a rare frontloaded deal, paying him $15.5 million in 2014 and sliding down to $10 million in 2017.
Finally, with help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy 38th birthday to 2011 Brewer Mark Kotsay. We covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History last year, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 13 career HBP are the third most ever for a player born on December 2.
Today is also the tenth anniversary of the Brewers signing starting pitcher Victor Santos as a free agent in 2003. We covered that event in Today In Brewer History two years ago.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get back in line.