Some things to read while staying out of trouble.
Teams are supposed to exchange contract proposals with their arbitration-eligible players today, but it sounds like the Brewers are a step ahead of the game: Assistant GM Gord Ash told Tom Haudricourt that they're working on a multi-year deal with Rickie Weeks, and haven't discussed the possibility of a one year deal. If the Brewers are that confident in their ability to get something done, then I'd guess they're pretty close.
Craig Counsell and Gord Ash were in Madison last night for the annual Dugout Club Winter Banquet. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker has some notes from Ash's thoughts on Carlos Gomez, Yuniesky Betancourt, Mat Gamel, Pat Egan, Rickie Weeks, Brett Lawrie, Manny Parra and Mark Rogers. Dennis Punzel of Madison.com has Craig Counsell's thoughts on the excitement developing for 2011.
While Counsell and Ash were in Madison, Bob Uecker was in LA this weekend for the annual Scouts Dinner and took a minute to talk to reporters about his recovery. (h/t Adam McCalvy)
Meanwhile, Mark Rogers was in attendance at MLB's Rookie Career Development Program, where he talked to Jonathan Mayo about the challenges in his extended recovery and getting back on the mound.
The shortstop situation has easily become the #1 topic of conversation here at BCB. In the comments of yesterday's tracking poll we briefly discussed Nick Punto and the possibility that he could be added to help shore up the position. I still have no idea what he'd cost, but it sounds like the Twins aren't really interested in bringing him back.
Don't get your hopes up, though: Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt he doesn't expect to make any more personnel moves before spring training.
By the way, the poll listed above will remain open until noon today, so take a moment to cast your vote if you haven't already.
I've buried it a bit, but here's today's best news: Miller Park Drunk noted on Twitter yesterday that Anthony Witrado is following former JS sports editor Garry Howard to The Sporting News, and will no longer be working for the Journal Sentinel (FanPost).
In the minors:
- The First Coast News has an interview with Mat Gamel and his younger brother (and Yankees 2010 tenth round pick) Ben as they get ready for spring training.
- It's still way too early to put much thought into this, but Prospect Junkies has a new mock draft and they have the Brewers selecting UConn RHP Matt Barnes and UCLA RHP Trevor Bauer with the #12 and 15 picks.
- Voting is now open for the #13 spot in our BCB Community Prospect Rankings. We're on pace to wrap them up over the weekend.
Blue Jays: Signed reliever Jon Rauch to a one year, $3.5 million deal with a club option for 2012 and avoided arbitration with pitcher Casey Janssen (1 year, $1.095 million).
Dodgers: Signed outfielder Marcus Thames to a one year deal.
Indians: Avoided arbitration with shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (1 year, $2.025 million).
Marlins: Avoided arbitration with relievers Leo Nunez (1 year, $3.65 million) and Edward Mujica (1 year, $800k).
Mets: Are expected to sign pitcher Chris Young to a one year deal.
Nationals: Avoided arbitration with pitcher John Lannan (1 year, $2.75 million), signed infielder Alex Cora to a minor league deal and acquired pitcher Tom Gorzelanny from the Cubs for three minor leaguers.
Orioles: Avoided arbitration with reliever Jim Johnson (1 year, $975,000).
Rays: Avoided arbitration with outfielder B.J. Upton (1 year, $4.8 million).
Rockies: Signed pitcher Matt Lindstrom to a two year deal, avoiding arbitration, and re-signed Jason Giambi to a minor league deal.
Tigers: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Armando Galarraga (1 year, $2.3 million).
The Rays are quickly becoming an interesting economic story. A year after spending over $60 million and winning 96 games, the DRaysBay link above now has their projected 2011 payroll at just $34 million.
Elsewhere in economics notes: David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Peachtree TV, the last Turner property covering Braves games, is being sold. If that goes through, it'll be the first time since the '70's that Turner hasn't broadcasted a single Braves game.
The A's have had one of baseball's more interesting offseasons, as they've given uncharacteristically large deals to two relievers (Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour) in the last week. Dave Cameron of FanGraphs is portraying the moves as a last ditch effort to spend leftover resources, while Pro Ball NW considers the possibility that the A's are stockpiling potential trade chips.
Today in former Brewers: PastKast.com, the people who brought you @tweetsfrom1982, will cover the 1987 Brewers this season.
On this day in 2006 the Brewers released Russell Branyan. All he's done since then is hit .236/.333/.501 with 96 home runs.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:
- 1975-76 Brewer Bill Sharp, who turns 61.
- Baraboo, WI native Len Koenecke, who would have turned 107. Koenecke played three seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants between 1932 and '35.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go investigate.