What we learned this week: January 18, 2014

USA TODAY Sports

This week's lessons include more minor-league signings, avoiding arbitration, and how the MLB Hall of Fame has become boring.

The Brewers are committed to not signing a major league free agent.

That became obvious this week when the Brewers had a chance to make that signing and it ended up being another minor-league signing. Rumors started coming out on Thursday afternoon that the Brewers were closing in on signing first baseman Mark Reynolds. While it looked like it would be their first major league free agent signing, it ended up being another minor league contract for the Brewers. However, it ended up being about as close as it could be to a major league signing, as reports said that Reynolds is almost guaranteed a roster spot.

That was not the only signing that the Brewers made this week, as they also added a few other minor-league free agents. They started by signing outfielder Greg Golson on Monday. Golson appears to be nothing more than minor-league depth, as he has only played in 40 MLB games and hasn't appeared in one since 2011. The Brewers then followed it up by signing Zach Duke to a minor league deal on Wednesday. The Brewers are familiar with Duke from his years with the Pirates and Reds, and he will be coming in to compete for a bullpen spot. Depending on who else the Brewers sign, Duke could have a decent chance to make the team out of spring training.

One other signing came up this week, though it was with a former Brewer returning to MLB. Nyjer Morgan spent all of 2013 in Japan, and is coming back to try to return to the majors. He will get his chance in Cleveland, where the Indians signed him to a minor-league deal. It's the first step towards making a big league comeback.

The Brewers have taken care of all of their arbitration cases.

Entering this week, the Brewers two arbitration-eligible players had filed for arbitration, and Friday was the deadline for exchanging figures. However, both signed one-year deals to avoid arbitration before the deadline. Marco Estrada signed for $3.325 million, while Juan Francisco signed for $1.35 million. That may end the big deals for the Brewers this offseason, with only some smaller deals to finish up the roster.

PEDs have ruined the Hall of Fame selection process.

The issue of PEDs and how they should be viewed in regards to the Hall of Fame has become more and more of a topic in recent years. Each voter has their own standards, and it's making it very difficult to get some deserving candidates into the Hall of Fame. Earlier this week, Nate looked at this issue and how it is affecting the HOF voting process. The vote has become less about preserving baseball's history and more about how PEDs should be viewed. What should be about honoring the greatest players in the game has become focused on one of the greatest problems in the game, and it could result in many players who were big parts of MLB history being left out because some voters suspected cheating without any proof.

This Week in Brewers History

- Jerry Narron celebrated his birthday on Wednesday.
- The Face of the Franchise continued with a look at 1991.

Minor League Notes

- The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers have a new partner for the naming rights for their home stadium.
- After several offseason changes, the Brewers have finalized their minor league coaches for 2014.
- Going back to the week of 1/5, morineko has a recap of the winter league stats.

Reviewing the Brew Crew Blasts Series

#1: Gomez tops the charts
Bonus: The wall scrapers
Bonus: Helping his own cause

The Collection of Mugs

1/13/2014: I meant to do that
1/14/2014: Strong up the middle
1/15/2014: Cognitive dissonance
1/16/2014: Minor addition, minor excitement
1/17/2014: Markup

Test Your Knowledge

The Thursday Thinker: Lots of lots
Your Saturday Sporcle: Y2K HOF, OK (From AZ Snake Pit)

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