Some things to read while planning for retirement.
We're still a long time away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training in Maryvale, but it's possible two 2012 Brewers won't be there when they do: Baseball America is reporting that pitchers Tim Dillard and Vinnie Chulk have filed for minor league free agency.
Dillard is one of the longest-tenured players in the Brewer organization, having been drafted in the 15th round in 2001 and spent each of his first ten professional seasons with the Crew. He posted a 4.38 ERA over 34 appearances with Milwaukee this season, but an ugly 8.38 mark in 17 games in the minors.
The fact that Chulk is moving on is really no surprise: The Brewers were his sixth organization and his fifth since 2008, a span of five years that also includes a stint in Japan. His seven appearances as a Brewer this season were his first in the majors since 2009.
If I had to guess I'd say the Brewers will work out a new deal with Dillard for familiarity purposes, if nothing else. Chulk will likely move on.
Elsewhere in free agency, Shaun Marcum told the Journal Sentinel the Brewers haven't approached him to discuss a new contract and he expects to move on this winter. In the same link Francisco Rodriguez, on the other hand, says he'd love to come back. He'd likely have to take a pay cut from the $8 million he made in 2012.
Until looking up his contract numbers I had forgotten that K-Rod had incentives in his contract that would have paid him $125,000 each for finishing 15, 20, and 25 games and $250,000 for finishing 30. He ended up with 13 games finished, so the point is moot.
Randy Wolf and Rodriguez, by the way, were the ninth and tenth least valuable pitchers in all of baseball this season according to Glenn DuPaul of Beyond the Box Score, who took their contracts into account when making that evaluation.
We'll probably discuss a lot of free agents this winter, but this might be the last time we talk about Josh Hamilton in connection with the Brewers: Bovada confirmed what most of us likely suspected: The Brewers are not one of the ten teams most likely to sign the Rangers slugger and former AL MVP.
There's a slightly larger chance that Zack Greinke could be a Brewer again next season, but by "slightly larger" I mean "non-zero." T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com says the Rangers are looking to make a push for Greinke this winter.
We spent a lot of time dicussing the Brewers' NL-leading 158 stolen bases in 2012, but did they really matter? FanGraphs unveiled a new wSB stat yesterday designed to measure runs gained by base-stealing, and Carlos Gomez (+4.6 runs) was the only Brewer to make a difference of more than 2.5 runs stealing this season. Ryan Braun and Norichika Aoki's contributions (60 steals) combined were worth 4.5 runs. This doesn't pass the sniff test for me.
As we look ahead to 2013 it seems pretty likely Jim Henderson will have a significant role in the Brewer bullpen in his second major league season. Scott Cruckshank of the Calgary Herald has a profile of the longtime minor leaguer.
In the minors:
- Hunter Morris went 2-for-4 in the AFL yesterday but it was not enough as Phoenix lost 6-0 to Peoria. You can read about that and four Brewers' Venezuelan League debuts in today's Winter League Recap.
- Now that all the rosters are released, we know more about the Brewer minor leaguers playing in Venezuela this winter. Reliever Jesus Sanchez and first baseman/outfielder Sean Halton are playing for Magallanes, while pitchers Donovan Hand and Rob Wooten join outfielder Jordan Brown on Anzoategui and catcher Anderson De La Rosa will play with former Brewers Alcides Escobar and Hernan Iribarren on Lara.
- Before yesterday's action Brock Kjeldgaard was one of the leaders in Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs' Entirely Premature AFL leaderboards. Having played two games and homering in one of them will do that for you.
Congratulations are due out this morning to Brewer Vice President and general counsel Marti Wronski, winner of one of The Business Journal's 2012 Top Corporate Counsel awards.
The Brewers may have been eliminated from contention, but we're still planning on holding a BCB meetup to watch Game One of the World Series at The Tracks Tavern and Grill in Milwaukee on October 24. Make plans to join us and RSVP today, if you haven't already.
Braves: Extended general manager Frank Wren's contract through 2014.
Indians: Catcher Luke Carlin and outfielder Shelley Duncan have rejected outright assignments to the minors and are now free agents.
Back on the field two teams had their season end yesterday, and there's an outside chance one long managerial career may end with them. Reds manager Dusty Baker (who by the way, recently had a stroke) is not yet under contract for 2013, but the two sides are planning to meet to discuss a new "short term" deal.
Baker's Reds became the first NL team ever to blow a 2-0 Division Series lead this week, and Big League Stew is blaming the people who brought this terrible-looking broom to the ballpark for Game 3.
Meanwhile, Davey Johnson and the Nationals extended their season for at least one more day by beating the Cardinals yesterday. Joe Posnanski has a great read on Johnson that has me wondering if he's the best manager in baseball.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 30th anniversary of Paul Molitor becoming the first player ever to collect five hits in a World Series game. Today is also 1992-99 Brewer Jose Valentin's 43rd birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 29 career HBP are the fourth most ever for a player born on October 12.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to pick up the ball.