Some things to read while sitting down excellently.
We're 23 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, and we might have to wait that long to see Ryan Braun's next public appearance. The team announced yesterday that plans have changed and Braun will not be appearing at this weekend's On Deck event due to the sensitive nature of his ongoing situation (FanShot). Since the results of Braun's appeal remain undecided, there's still not much he can say publicly to answer questions he likely would have been asked over and over again.
Meanwhile, for some reason it feels like everyone is talking about Corey Hart today:
- Trenni Kusnierek interviewed him on WTMJ and posted his answers on several topics.
- Voters in this week's BCB Tracking Poll strongly approved of asking Hart to play occasionally at first base, but still think Mat Gamel should play there most of the time. Gamel, by the way, has a new haircut.
- Jason Brannon of Baseball Nation says Hart has inherited the nickname "InBev," because he's now the world's largest Brewer.
Is it possible the Winter Of The Bottomless Checkbook still isn't over? Ken Rosenthal says the Brewers are one of six teams interested in free agent pitcher Roy Oswalt (FanShot). The Brewer rotation appears to be full at this point, but if a pitcher of Oswalt's caliber is available the team could probably make room for him.
Of course, lots of people are still talking about Prince Fielder today. I didn't clip everything, but I wanted to point out Rob Neyer's concern that this might rank among the worst contracts ever. I think it seems unlikely, but that's my opinion.
Elsewhere in opinions I strongly disagree with, Al Yellon of Baseball Nation says the NL Central "could be the Reds' to lose." I'm having a hard time ranking them ahead of the Brewers or Cardinals.
In the minors:
- Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com unveiled his list of baseball's top 100 prospects last night, and two Brewers are on it: Wily Peralta (#49) and Jed Bradley (#97).
- Martin Maldonado had a big night last night, hitting a home run (which he might have pimped a little) to lead Mayaguez to a 5-2 win over Caguas and a berth in the Caribbean Series. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Notes. (h/t @AdamMcCalvy for the picture.)
- Baseball Prospect Nation has unveiled a list of the Brewers' top 15 prospects, with Wily Peralta #1.
- Brock Kjeldgaard apparently narrowly missed the cut for Baseball America's 2012 prospect book, so they posted his scouting report online instead. (h/t @Mass_Haas)
- Wisconsin Sports Tap compiled a list of the top third basemen in the Brewer organization, led by Taylor Green.
- The Outside Corner says the Brewers have baseball's 28th best farm system.
- The Timber Rattlers have posted their final "Spot The Difference" of the offseason and it's a tough one: I only found one of the five answers.
We're going down to the wire in the voting for the #8 spot in our Community Prospect Rankings: As of this writing Michael Fiers leads Jorge Lopez by five votes. You have until 1 pm today to weigh in, and the voting for the ninth spot will open at 2.
Cardinals: Signed reliever Jason Motte to a one year, $1.95 million deal to avoid arbitration.
Marlins: Signed outfielder Austin Kearns to a minor league deal.
Orioles: Signed infielder Robert Andino to a one year, $1.3 million deal to avoid arbitration.
Rays: Signed infielder Jeff Keppinger to a one year deal.
Red Sox: Signed pitcher Andrew Bailey to a one year, $3.9 million deal to avoid arbitration.
Reds: Signed pitcher Nick Masset to a two year, $5.5 million deal to avoid arbitration, acquired infielder Wilson Valdez from the Phillies for pitcher Jeremy Horst and signed pitcher Jeff Francis to a minor league deal.
White Sox: Signed pitcher Scott Olsen to a minor league deal.
As you've probably already heard, today is Bob Uecker's 77th birthday. It was the topic of this morning's edition of Today In Brewer History, and Nick Prill of The Brewers Bar also used it as a reason to post a couple of classic Uecker pictures.
Meanwhile, Jeff Theis of the Winona Daily News has a note on Uecker's former partner, Cory Provus.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to staring at the calendar.