Some things to read while taking a tour.
We are 73 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale and, while yesterday was a pretty busy day for transactions around baseball, it was a pretty quiet day for the Brewers. The deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players came and went at 11 pm last night and the Brewers opted to keep both of their candidates: Marco Estrada and Juan Francisco.
As I've mentioned previously, Estrada was something of a no-brainer. Adam McCalvy reports (via Twitter) that the Brewers have him penciled into their 2014 rotation. Francisco was more of a question mark, as his low OBP and defensive struggles make him a tough gamble at a projected $1.4 million.
The Brewers now have until March to reach an agreement with both players to avoid arbitration. Deals typically come together pretty quickly after the two sides exchange proposals later in the month.
Juan Francisco, by the way, tied for the Brewers' tenth longest homer of the season when he drove a ball 428 feet against the Nationals on July 1. We discussed that and Jean Segura's 428 foot bomb in part one of our series looking at the longest Brewers home runs in 2013. Check back this afternoon for today's installment.
Yesterday was a big day for Francisco, but today could be an even bigger one for Corey Hart. Adam McCalvy reports (via Twitter) that Hart will visit his knee surgeon today and expects to be cleared to return to baseball activities. If Hart is deemed healthy, then his free agent market could heat up pretty quickly. Despite the fact that Hart remains a free agent, 53% of voters in this Reviewing the Brew poll have him penciled in to start for the Brewers on Opening Day.
Wily Peralta likely won't get the ball on Opening Day this year, but he'll almost certainly get a start sometime in the season's first week. Ryan Connor of Reviewing the Brew has a guide to understanding the young righty.
Some days I just can't write segues. I wish a clever one could've preceded this Plunk Everyone note about the Brewers allowing 16 runners to advance on defensive indifference in 2013. That was the sixth highest total in all of baseball.
In an ideal world the Brewers would be more indifferent in 2014, because that would mean more relievers were pitching with large late-inning leads. Elsewhere in best case scenarios, David S. Grant of Reviewing the Brew has a hopeful look at the Brewers bullpen and projects improvement from both Jim Henderson and Brandon Kintzler.
Meanwhile, the 2014 Brewers need to get improved performance from their bench players. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times says the Brewers backups cost the team 15.1 runs in 2013, the eighth worst figure in all of baseball. It could be much worse, though: Two teams were under -40.
In the minors: Elian Herrera went 3-for-5 with a double and a triple and drove in three runs in Oriente's 7-5 win over Escogido in the Dominican Republic last night (box score).
Angels: Non-tendered pitchers Jerome Williams, Tommy Hanson and Juan Gutierrez and third baseman Chris Nelson.
Athletics: Acquired reliever Jim Johnson from the Orioles for second baseman Jemile Weeks and signed pitcher Scott Kazmir to a two-year, $22 million contract.
Blue Jays: Non-tendered catcher J.P. Arencibia.
Braves: Avoided arbitration with reliever Jonny Venters ($1.625 million) and reliever Ramiro Pena (terms unknown) and non-tendered infielder/outfielder Elliot Johnson, infielder Paul Janish and pitcher Cristhian Martinez.
Cardinals: Non-tendered reliever John Axford.
Cubs: Avoided arbitration with catcher George Kottaras ($1.075 million) and non-tendered reliever Daniel Bard and first baseman Mat Gamel.
Diamondbacks: Non-tendered pitcher Daniel Hudson.
Dodgers: Non-tendered pitcher Ronald Belisario.
Indians: Non-tendered catcher Lou Marson, outfielder Matt Carson and pitcher Tyler Cloyd.
Nationals: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Ross Ohlendorf ($1.25 million).
Mariners: Signed infielder Willie Bloomquist to a two-year, $5.8 million contract.
Marlins: Non-tendered outfielder Chris Coghlan and pitcher Ryan Webb.
Mets: Non-tendered infielder Justin Turner, pitcher Jeremy Hefner, reliever Scott Atchison, shortstop Omar Quintanilla and OF Jordany Valdespin.
Nationals: Acquired pitcher Doug Fister from the Tigers for infielder Steve Lombardozzi, pitcher Ian Krol and a minor leaguer and signed pitcher Manny Delcarmen to a minor league deal.
Orioles: Avoided arbitration with outfielder Nolan Reimold ($1.025 million).
Padres: Signed infielder Alberto Gonzalez to a minor league deal and avoided arbitration with pitcher Eric Stults ($2.75 million).
Pirates: Acquired catcher Chris Stewart from the Yankees for a PTBNL and designated catcher Michael McKenry for assignment.
Phillies: Avoided arbitration with infielder Kevin Frandsen ($900,000).
Rays: Non-tendered outfielder Sam Fuld.
Red Sox: Non-tendered pitcher Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Kalish.
Reds: Non-tendered outfielder Xavier Paul.
Rockies: Non-tendered pitcher Mitchell Boggs.
Royals: Non-tendered infielder Chris Getz.
Tigers: Avoided arbitration with infielder Don Kelly ($1 million).
White Sox: Avoided arbitration with catcher Tyler Flowers ($950,000).
Yankees: Non-tendered infielders Jayson Nix and David Adams and pitcher Matt Daley and signed 1B Russ Canzler to a minor league deal.
It's hard not to feel bad for Mariners fans, who have to feel about like we would/will feel if/when the Brewers re-sign Yuniesky Betancourt. Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing has a better piece than what I would/will write on that day.
Today in former Brewers:
- Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew wonders if John Axford's non-tender by the Cardinals opens the door for him to return to Milwaukee.
- Nullacct has a profile of Paul Mirabella as the face of the 1988 Brewers.
Finally, with help from the B-Ref Play Index we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to:
- 2002 Brewer Matt Childers, who turns 35.
- 2004-05 Brewer Gary Glover, who turns 37.
- 1988-95 Brewer Darryl Hamilton, who turns 49. We covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History two years ago.
- 1974-75 Brewer Larry Anderson, who turns 60.
- 1975 Brewer Lafayette Currence, who turns 62.
Today is also the 24th anniversary of the Brewers signing DH Dave Parker as a free agent in 1989. We covered that event in Today In Brewer History last year.
Now, if you'll excuse me, we have room for more selfies.