Some things to read while making the right pairing.
We are 27 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and today the clubhouse staff may be setting up a locker for another veteran slugger. Yesterday rumors began to swirl that the Brewers were closing in on a minor league deal with former Diamondbacks, Indians, Orioles and Yankees 1B/3B Mark Reynolds. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post was one of the first to note that Reynolds was close to a new deal.
Reynolds is 30 and has already hit 202 major league home runs, but he's also a former four-time league leader in strikeouts. He's a career .233/.329/.464 hitter, but posted a significantly lower .220/.306/.393 line in the American League in 2013. Adam McCalvy (via Twitter) said Reynolds will be the Brewers' everyday first baseman, but later backed off from that and said he'll get to compete for the job.
Our opinions on Reynolds probably range across the board but I don't think anyone is more excited than Nathan Petrashek, as shown in our two-part Tweet of the Day:
I am so freaking pumped about Mark Reynolds. This is gonna be pure eye candy. Are you not entertained?!?— Nate Petrashek (@NPetrashek) January 17, 2014
If this is gonna be a train wreck, it's gonna be an entertaining one— Nate Petrashek (@NPetrashek) January 17, 2014
With Reynolds likely to be added to the fold, I think two questions remain:
- Are the Brewers done adding pieces?
- If they are, can this team be reasonably expected to contend?
I think for many fans the latter answer is no at this point. Andrew Prochnow of Yahoo says the Brewers are likely rebuilding now, even if they haven't specifically said so.
If the Brewers do decide to go ahead and announce they're rebuilding, trading Yovani Gallardo or Kyle Lohse would be one way to do it. Nicholas Zettel of Disciples of Uecker used Lohse and Gallardo to demonstrate the value of dependability.
Ryan Braun has served his suspension and been reinstated, but is it possible the lingering issues from 2013 will continue to haunt him? Yesterday a judge ruled that a lawsuit filed by former Braun friend and law student Ralph Sasson can proceed with charges including defamation, libel, negligent infliction of emotional distress and fraudulent misrepresentation.
In the minors:
- Juan Francisco went 1-for-4 with an RBI last night in Licey's 9-6 loss to Cibao in the Dominican Republic (box score). With the loss Licey fell back to 8-9 in the round robin playoffs, good for a tie for second place.
- Martin Maldonado went 1-for-2 with a walk and scored a run in Mayaguez's 7-2 win over Carolina in Puerto Rico (box score). Irving Falu went 0-for-5 with an RBI in the game.
- Elsewhere in Puerto Rico, Jose De La Torre pitched a perfect eighth in Caguas' 5-0 win over Ponce (box score).
Back in Milwaukee, the Brewers have announced plans to expand the Toyota Territory in right center field for 2014. Portions of the previously-exclusive area will be available to the general public for the first time this season. Dick Kaegel of MLB.com has the details.
Angels: Signed infielder John McDonald to a minor league deal.
Blue Jays: Signed second baseman Chris Getz to a minor league deal.
Giants: Signed pitcher Rafael Dolis to a minor league deal.
Mariners: Designated outfielder Carlos Peguero for assignment.
Marlins: Signed reliever Henry Rodriguez to a minor league deal.
Mets: Avoided arbitration with first baseman Ike Davis (one year, $3.5 million) and outfielder Eric Young Jr. (one year, $1.85 million).
Nationals: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Ross Detwiler (one year, $3 million).
Orioles: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Bud Norris (one year, $5.3 million).
Padres: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Ian Kennedy (one year, $6.1 million).
Phillies: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Kyle Kendrick (one year, $7.675 million).
Pirates: Avoided arbitrationwith outfielder Travis Snider (one year, $1.2 million).
Rays: Avoided arbitration with pitcher David Price (one year, $14 million).
Reds: Avoided arbitration with outfielder Chris Heisey (one year, $1.76 million).
Rockies: Avoided arbitration with reliever Wilton Lopez (one year, $2.2 million) and signed catcher Michael McKenry to a minor league deal.
Royals: Signed reliever Guillermo Mota to a minor league deal.
Of course, the big news around baseball yesterday was the approval of expanded instant replay for the 2014 season. Plunk Everyone was excited to note that hit batsmen will be included in the review rule.
Today in former Brewers:
- Hideo Nomo fell well short of induction to the MLB Hall of Fame this year, but was a first-ballot inductee into Japan's Hall of Fame. He'll be one of three players enshrined this year.
- David Roth of SBNation.com recently discovered Robin Yount's Robinade.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to:
- 2000-02 Brewer Tyler Houston, who turns 43.
- 1971-76 Brewer Darrell Porter, who would have turned 62. We covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History last year.
Plunk Everyone notes that Porter's 45 career HBP are the most ever for a player born on January 17.
Today is also the 30th anniversary of the Brewers releasing Don Money in 1984, effectively ending his MLB career. We covered that event in Today In Brewer History two years ago.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find a new box.