What we learned this week: February 1, 2014

Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

It was a busy week in Brewers news. This week's lessons include the end result of the Garza negotiations, the true significance of minor league rankings, and changes in the radio broadcasts.

The Matt Garza deal became official.

Last Saturday, this deal was still in limbo, as we didn't know if the deal was going to happen or if it was about to get cancelled before it went through. Sunday ended up being the big day, as all the news came out at the On Deck event. First came a report that the deal would be finished in 48 hours. Then, Mark Attanasio eliminated any doubt by announcing that the Brewers had signed Matt Garza. A little later, we got the first official details of the contract at 4 years/$50 million with a vesting fifth year option at $13 million. The deal was done, all that was left was to cross the t's and dot the i's.

What we didn't realize initially was how complex those t's and i's were, but those details came out on Tuesday with the full details of the contract. As reported before, it was for 4 years/$50 million with incentives and a vesting option. However, the fifth year option was much more complex than we originally thought. If the option didn't vest, the Brewers had a $5 million option for 2018 that dropped to $1 miilion if he spent too much time on the DL. It was a deal that took many of us a while to process because it didn't seem like the details were correct. However, it's a deal that is becoming more common in baseball with injury protection. The fifth year is a long time away for now, but it's something we will monitor as the deal progresses.

A day we all fear is getting closer: Bob Uecker's retirement.

Many of us woke up on Thursday to some surprising news. A report came out that Bob Uecker was going to begin cutting back on his road broadcasts in 2014. We knew the day would eventually come when Bob Uecker would leave broadcasts, and it's starting to happen. What will happen when the day comes that Uecker does retire? We don't know yet, but Kyle has a theory about it. He analyzed this exact possibility Thursday for what it would mean to the Brewers organization. We should be cherishing every moment that remains of his time at broadcaster, because it will come to an end one day. We just don't know when it will be.

Minor league rankings may not mean as much as we thought.

We heard all about how the minor league rankings have the Brewers ranked very low. Many top 100 lists don't even contain a Brewers prospect. How much does it really mean, though? That's exactly what Kyle thought about earlier this week, asking what the true significance of these rankings is. With so many prospects in the minors, are these really the best 100 prospects, or just the most publicized prospects? That's what we have to ask.

Of course, that didn't stop the prospect lists from coming out this week. Baseball Prospectus released their list of top 10 Brewers prospects this week, led by Tyrone Taylor at #1. On SBNation, Minor League Ball also looked at the Brewers minor league system to rank it. It started on Monday with a preliminary prospect list, then continued on Tuesday with a preliminary grade breakdown of the system. They released their full top 20 list of the Brewers system on Thursday, led by Jimmy Nelson. These rankings will always be coming out and we should be aware of them, but they are not much more than predictions. Many predictions are wrong, and that's something to remember.

Other notes from the week

- A few more minor league signings occurred this week. On Sunday, Jeremy Hermida and Joe Thurston signed deals. Then, on Monday, Pete Orr signed a minor league deal. The Brewers are going to have plenty of minor league players to choose from, hopefully they find something in at least one of them.
- It was Australia Day on Sunday. Kyle marked the day by looking at the different Australian born major league players who have ties to the Brewers.
- Meanwhile, a different kind of celebration took place on Tuesday. That's when we found out that Yuniesky Betancourt will be going far away to Japan to play baseball there. Get ready for some culture shock when you hear those postgame interviews.

Reviewing the Current vs. Former Brewers Series

The Outfield
The Rotation
The Bullpen

The Collection of Mugs

1/27/2014: "On Deck" overview
1/28/2014: Either/Orr
1/29/2014: Option Watch
1/30/2014: Cutting back
1/31/2014: Life with less Uecker

Test Your Knowledge

The Thursday Thinker: Rich Pitchers

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