Some things to read in your box.
We are 56 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and it's a good thing the Brewers have that time because their offseason challenges are far from over. Ian Casselberry of The Outside Corner listed the Crew as one of five teams that still have work to do this winter.
Yesterday I mentioned that the Brewers had been linked to former Ranger Michael Young as part of their search for a first baseman. I'm not opposed to that possibility under the right circumstances, but Ryan Connor of Reviewing the Brew holds the opposing view.
Meanwhile, one more option is off the table. The Brewers had been rumored to be interested in Giants first baseman Brett Pill, but the team has a deal in place to send him to Korea instead.
At the moment, Jeff Bianchi might be somewhere near the top of the organizational depth chart at first base. Bianchi is also the lone Brewer represented in MLB Network's video Christmas card.
Actually, Jonathan Lucroy might be ahead of Bianchi at this point. Justin Schultz of Reviewing the Brew argues that Lucroy, not Ryan Braun, should be the face of the Brewers.
Hunter Morris is also on that list somewhere. David S. Grant of Reviewing the Brew has an attempt to project his future.
Rickie Weeks, however, is not likely to get a shot at first base. The Brewers are probably still accepting calls from teams who might be interested in trading for Weeks, and Jason Evans of Yanks Go Yard wonders if that's the path the Yankees should've taken.
In the minors:
- Elian Herrera went 2-for-5 and scored a run in Oriente's 3-2 win over Licey in the Dominican Republic last night (box score). Juan Francisco went 0-for-4 for Licey, while Alfredo Figaro allowed three baserunners in a third of a scoreless inning.
- Jason Rogers went 2-for-5 and drove in a run in Este's 5-4, eleven inning win over Cibao (box score).
- Martin Maldonado went 1-for-4 with an RBI in Mayaguez's 3-2 win over Santurce in Puerto Rico (box score). Irving Falu went 0-for-3 with a walk in the game.
- Jose De La Torre pitched the eighth inning and allowed a run, but was still credited with a hold in Caguas' 3-2 win over Ponce (box score).
Back in Milwaukee, yesterday the Brewers made news by announcing a new "Wall of Honor" outside Miller Park. 58 former players and others will be enshrined based on contributions to the team that largely involve playing time. The new wall was the subject of this week's Thursday Thinker, and I also wrote about 1200 words looking at about 20 players who fell just short. Dan Zinski of Call to the Pen also has a list of players he thinks got snubbed.
Athletics: Acquired outfielder Corey Brown from the Nationals for cash.
Cubs: Signed pitchers Tsuyoshi Wada, Jonathan Sanchez and Tommy Hottovy and outfielder Mitch Maier to minor league deals.
Indians: Designated pitcher Trey Haley for assignment.
Orioles: Signed outfielder Xavier Paul to a minor league deal.
White Sox: Signed reliever Scott Downs to a one-year, $4 million contract.
Yankees: Designated pitcher Brett Marshall for assignment.
Today in former Brewers:
- Alex Remington of FanGraphs has a look at Casey McGehee and other American players who have returned from Japan in recent years.
- Todd Coffey, who missed the entire 2013 season following Tommy John surgery, is scheduled to work out for teams on January 17. (h/t @ChrisCotillo)
- 2013 Huntsville Star Santo Manzanillo, who turns 25.
- 2009-13 Brewer Chris Narveson, who turns 32.
- 1977-87 Brewer Cecil Cooper, who turns 64. We covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History last year.
- Watertown, Wisconsin native Fred Merkle, who would have turned 125. Merkle played 16 seasons in the majors between 1907-26 as a member of the New York Giants and three other teams.
Plunk Everyone notes that Merkle's 44 career HBP are the third most ever for a position player born on December 20.
Today is also the sixth anniversary of Geoff Jenkins signing with the Phillies in 2007, effectively ending his Brewers career. We covered that event in Today In Brewer History two years ago.
Meanwhile, yesterday was 2012 Brewer Vinnie Chulk's birthday and Jess Lemont of The Brewers Bar celebrated it as only she can.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've been spotted.