Some things to read while eating all three food groups.
We're 25 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, and the Ryan Braun situation is starting to turn into a farce. Despite the fact that his appeal was heard last week Jon Heyman is reporting that a decision on Braun's status may still be weeks away, and that baseball officials "hope" there's a decision before spring training. In other words, there's a strong chance the decision on what to do about Braun's failed test in October is going to take five months. Regardless of the decision, however, he's eligible to take part in spring training games. Brewer VP of Comminications Tyler Barnes says Braun is "upbeat" in spite of the situation.
In things we're more certain about, Adam McCalvy has yet another update on the terms of Norichika Aoki's new contract. He's actually guaranteed $2.5 million over the next two years, as the deal features a $1.5 million club option for 2014 with a $250,000 buyout. Meanwhile, incentives could push the total value of the deal to $8.1875 million if Aoki becomes a full time player in all three seasons.
Here are today's Prince Fielder notes:
- Jon Heyman says it's funny how some teams are going out of their way to "pretend they aren't interested" in Fielder. It's worth noting, again, that Heyman is frequently accused of being tied to Scott Boras.
- Ken Rosenthal says "this might be the perfect time to strike" for the Nationals.
- Matt Klaassen of FanGraphs says Michael Morse's new contract with the Nationals shouldn't impact their potential plans to sign Fielder.
- The Nats Blog wonders if Fielder is waiting for the Dodgers' ownership situation to be resolved.
- Big League Stew wonders if this is the week it all ends.
- The Onion, meanwhile, has another theory on Fielder's extended free agency. (h/t @wezen_ball)
The Brewers' 2012 roster is largely set, but one role remains to be filled: We still don't know which player Ron Roenicke will play too often and in inappropriate situations. Reviewing The Brew has a look at the nominees to fill Mark Kotsay's shoes this season.
Yesterday I mentioned the Brewers were installing the new NL Central Champions banner at Miller Park. If you'd like to see more, The Official Site has video.
In the minors:
- John Sickels of Minor League Ball says the Brewers have baseball's 28th best farm system. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar has a deeper look at the reasons why.
- Bullpen Banter listed Taylor Jungmann as baseball's 95th best prospect (FanShot).
- Wisconsin Sports Tap has a look at the first basemen in the Brewer organization, led by Mat Gamel.
- Carlos Gomez went 0-for-3 last night in Aguilas' 3-0 loss to Escogido. You can read more about that in today's Winter League Notes. Escogido, by the way, leads the best-of-nine Dominican championship series three games to none.
- 2011 Wisconsin Timber Rattler Nick Ramirez won a home run derby on Saturday at a fundraising event for paralyzed baseball player Cory Hahn. (h/t @BHSCouncil)
Meanwhile, at last check Scooter Gennett leads Logan Schafer by roughly 20 votes for the #6 spot in our Community Prospect Rankings. You have until 1 pm today to cast your vote, then stop back again after 2 to vote for #7.
Yesterday I mentioned that MLB Network's new quiz show, Baseball IQ, will debut tonight. Adam McCalvy informs us today that the episode featuring Brewer representative Jeff Hibicke will air Thursday at 8:30.
If you haven't yet, please take a moment today to vote in this week's BCB Tracking Poll. It will remain open through the day today and results will be posted tomorrow.
Blue Jays: Signed pitcher Brandon Morrow to a three year, $20 million contract extension with a club option for 2015 and signed shortstop Omar Vizquel to a minor league deal.
Diamondbacks: Claimed catcher Craig Tatum off waivers from the Astros.
Orioles: Signed infielder Wilson Betemit to a two year deal with a club option for 2014, designated pitcher Rick VandenHurk for assignment and released outfielder Kyle Hudson.
Padres: Signed pitcher Clayton Richard to a one year, $2.705 million deal to avoid arbitration. (h/t @nctpadres)
Rangers: Signed relievers Sean Green and Mitch Stetter to minor league deals.
Red Sox: Signed outfielder Cody Ross to a one year, $3 million deal.
Reds: Signed infielder/outfielder Willie Harris to a minor league deal.
Stetter, who has been part of the Brewer organization for the last nine seasons, sent out a tweet thanking the team and fans for the experience.
In former Brewers:
- High Heat Stats used wins above replacement (rWAR) and Baseball Reference's user-powered "EloRater" to generate a list of the 50 most underrated position players of all time, and Sal Bando and Robin Yount are on it.
- Dayn Perry of NotGraphs has a post comparing Casey McGehee to Sterling Honorheart and forcing me to admit I have no idea who Sterling Honorheart is.
Today in baseball economics:
- The Braves are trying something different by reducing concession prices for season ticket holders.
- The Astros are lowering ticket prices for over 5000 seats and allowing fans to bring their own food into games this season.
The Astros are also considering making a massive cash grab by changing the team's uniform and possibly its name.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the fifth anniversary of the day the Brewers signed Martin Maldonado as a minor league free agent. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also been 1000 days since Yovani Gallardo's solo home run and 1-0 shutout victory over the Pirates in 2009.
Finally, this isn't directly baseball-related but I wanted to mention Trenni Kusnierek's post on death threats in sports, stemming from some of the things said to football players following this weekend's championship games. The 1% of people who can't control their own stupidity display us all in a bad light as fans, and we owe it to ourselves to do what we can to end this behavior.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a stereotype to uphold.