Norichika Aoki is no longer a Brewer.
The move we all expected to happen for weeks (possibly months) finally happened on Thursday. The news came in Thursday morning that the Brewers traded Norichika Aoki to the Royals for left-handed pitcher Will Smith. With four starting outfielders currently on the roster, the Brewers had to do something to clear up the jam. A few other possibilities were discussed, such as Ryan Braun or Khris Davis moving to first base, but this one was the most likely. With the move, Ryan Braun will move to right field to clear a spot for Khris Davis to start next season. The pressure is now on Davis to perform well so the Brewers can compete in 2014.
Another spot that is opened with the trade of Aoki is the leadoff spot. The Brewers will have to shuffle the lineup a little with Aoki gone, and someone will have to step up and fill the spot. Kyle analyzed the situation as of now and looked at the possibilities for who could fill that role. No options look very good at this point, but someone will have to fill the role. It could change as the offseason progresses, though it's too early to say for now.
Meanwhile, we don't know much about Will Smith right now, though will need to know more before next season. Shortly after the trade, Kyle looked at Will Smith and the basics of what type of player he is. There will be discussions entering the season whether he should be a starting pitcher or a relief pitcher, as he has played in both roles before. There is also the possibility that he could spend a year in the minors since he has an option available. The one thing we know for sure is this: the Will Smith references will be overused every time he comes up in the news.
A few other things happened outside of the Aoki trade.
While the Aoki trade was the big news of the week, there were a few other things that happened this week. Entering the week, the next arbitration deadline came with the deadline date for tendering contracts to arbitration-eligible players. The Brewers had only two eligible players: Marco Estrada and Juan Francisco. On Monday, the Brewers officially announced that they will tender contracts to both players. Estrada wasn't a surprise, the expectation the whole time was that he would be tendered a contract. However, there was uncertainty around whether Francisco would be tendered a contract or not. With both tendered contracts, the next deadline will be the exchange of arbitration figures (unless both sign contracts before then).
With the non-tender deadline coming up, another rumor that came out this week was in regards to Logan Morrison. With the Brewers looking for first base help, rumors came out that the Brewers are interested in acquiring Morrison from the Marlins. The Marlins did tender Morrison a contract on Monday, but rumors are still out there that the Brewers are interested in acquiring Morrison. This is one that will be out there until the Brewers address the first base position.
Minor League/Other Random Notes
- The other big news of the week for the Brewers came on Wednesday, when the Brewers signed Irving Falu and Matt Pagnozzi to minor league contracts. Both also received invitations to spring training.
- In the FanPosts, nullacct continued his Face of the Franchise series with a look at 1988.
- Going back to the last week of November, morineko has a look at the key players playing in winter leaguesfor the Brewers.
- Kyle had a radio interview on Tuesday, and you can hear the archived audio here.
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The Collection of Mugs
Test Your Knowledge