Some things to read while going on a tangent.
We are 23 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and another locker in the big league clubhouse has been claimed: Yesterday the Brewers signed Lyle Overbay to a minor league deal and invited him to camp. Overbay is 36 and a veteran of 13 MLB seasons, including the 2004 and 2005 campaigns as a member of the Brewers. More recently, he was a .240/.295/.393 hitter as a member of the Yankees in 2013.
Overbay gives the Brewers another left handed option to compete with Juan Francisco and Mark Reynolds for playing time this spring. Doug Melvin told Dick Kaegel of MLB.com that the current plan is to "mix and match" first basemen.
Refilling the roster with minor league contracts may not have been Plan A this winter, but at least one national writer seems to like what the Brewers are doing lately. Here's Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk on the Overbay signing:
"The Brewers didn't want to trade quality for Ike Davis, so they've signed a guy for next to nothing who, in reality, was more useful than Ike Davis last year."
Meanwhile, it's hard not to wonder what Mark Reynolds is thinking, as his path to an everyday role is suddenly more challenging than it was when he signed with the Brewers three days ago. Over at Sports on Earth, Jack Moore listed Reynolds as a no-risk signing that could pay off in 2014.
If the Reynolds or Overbay signings do pay off, it could go a long way to help preserve Doug Melvin's job. Kiley McDaniel of Scout.com has Melvin as one of five general managers on the hot seat this season (FanShot). Melvin, by the way, was in Madison last night for the annual Dugout Club Winter Baseball Banquet.
A big year from Khris Davis in his first full MLB campaign would also make a big difference. Yesterday Fred wondered if it's time to start taking Davis seriously as an MLB slugger. Meanwhile, Pete Goodchild of Reviewing the Brew has a look at the importance of Davis' 2014 season.
Across the outfield, Ryan Braun will be in the lineup on Opening Day playing right field for the first time. Kevin Kimmes of Cream City Cables noted that NESN seeded Braun second in their tournament to determine baseball's biggest villain.
In the minors:
- Juan Francisco went 1-for-4 and drove in a run as Licey beat Escogido 2-1 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-nine Dominican winter league championship (box score). The two teams are scheduled to play again tonight.
- Matt Garrioch of MLB Prospect Guide listed Cameron Garfield among baseball's best 23-year-old catching prospects.
- @KirkBall has a picture from Space Coast Stadium, home of the Brevard County Manatees.
Meanwhile in the Dominican Republic, earlier this winter we noted that Sophia Minnaert of FS Wisconsin was touring the country filming stories about Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura's homeland and offseason. Adam McCalvy has much more on her adventures, including notes on the plans for the footage.
Back in Milwaukee, the Brewers have opened up the lottery for 2014 Opening Day tickets. You have until February 17 to sign up for the chance to purchase the limited supply of remaining tickets for the March 31 game against the Braves.
Blue Jays: Signed outfielder Ricardo Nanita to a minor league deal.
Today in former Brewers:
- KC Kingdom has a scouting report for new Royal Norichika Aoki, saying "overall, he's a perfect fit at the top of the lineup for the hard-running, run-manufacturing, bat-on-ball Royals."
- As part of their Blogathon for Doctors without Borders, Old Time Family Baseball has a guest post from Yakyu Night Owl with a great story on Nyjer Morgan in Japan.
- Tyler Drenon of SBNation.com notes that CC Sabathia appears to have lost weight again this winter, and wonders if that could actually be a bad thing.
- Pinstripe Alley listed 1970 Brewer Al Downing as the 84th greatest Yankee of all time.
- Baseball Card Vandals had some fun with a Robin Yount card.
There's also at least one current and one former Brewer on Lone Star Ball's Sporcle quiz asking you to name the players who have hit 250 home runs in a decade.
- 2013 Huntsville Star Shawn Zarraga, who turns 25.
- 1971 Brewer Bob Reynolds, who turns 67.
- 1954-57 Milwaukee Brave Danny O'Connell, who would have turned 85.
- 1901 Milwaukee Brewer Irv Waldron, who would have turned 142.
Plunk Everyone notes that O'Connell's 22 career HBP are tied for the third most ever by a position player born on January 21.
Today is also the 12th anniversary of the Brewers trading outfielder Jeromy Burnitz to the Mets in 2002 and the eleventh anniversary of the club claiming outfielder Brady Clark off waivers in 2003. We covered those events in Today In Brewer History last year and two years ago, respectively.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to look somewhere else.