Some things to read while missing your stop.
One of the first major milestones of the offseason will pass on Saturday when free agents are allowed to negotiate with other teams for the first time. Adam McCalvy has a look this morning at how the Brewers may use the market in an effort to bolster their starting rotation.
Award season continues tonight and yesterday two Brewers were announced as nominees for 2012 Gold Gloves: Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez. No Brewer has won a Gold Glove since Robin Yount in 1982, and if I had to guess I'd say that's unlikely to change tonight. The awards will be announced at 8:30 on ESPN2.
Meanwhile, you can add one more name to the list of players we'll see in Maryvale in a few months: Shortstop Hector Gomez, who the Brewers removed from the 40-man roster last week, re-signed with the team on a minor league deal and has been invited to camp. Gomez was the #95 prospect in all of baseball in 2008 according to Baseball America but hit just .105/.179/.211 in 23 games for Brevard County in 2012.
Five other 2012 Brewers have yet to punch their ticket to Maryvale: MLB Trade Rumors listed Nyjer Morgan, Travis Ishikawa, Kameron Loe, Manny Parra and Jose Veras among 70 non-tender candidates across baseball this winter.
Alex Gonzalez also may or may not be back: He filed for free agency yesterday, clarifying some confusion about whether his vesting option (which he failed to meet) would become a club option (it didn't). The Brewers may still look to bring Gonzalez back as a veteran backup/contingency plan for Jean Segura.
Shaun Marcum and Francisco Rodriguez also filed for free agency yesterday, although that was more expected. Their departures made room for the team to activate Chris Narveson and Mat Gamel from the 60-day DL.
Elsewhere in free agency: noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs is looking for your help crowdsourcing predictions for Zack Greinke's next contract.
If Zack Greinke doesn't sign in the next nine days he probably won't get a 2013 bobblehead. Yesterday the Brewers announced Norichika Aoki as the first of ten 2013 bobble honorees, scheduled for April 7. Miller Park Drunk has a look at some of the players and alumni less likely to be honored going forward.
If Mike Fiers continues to pitch like he did in 2012 he'll probably also get a bobble at some point. Yesterday we announced Fiers as 2012's tenth most valuable Brewer, and you can see his profile here. We'll unveil the first honorable mention on the list at 2 today.
In the minors:
- Yesterday's most notable winter league performance came in the Dominican Republic, where Jean Segura extended his hitting streak to seven games and homered for the first time in Cibao's 9-6 loss to Oriente. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Recap.
- Hunter Morris went 1-for-4 with a double and drove in two runs for Phoenix yesterday. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker has a look at his relatively slow start in the AFL.
- Josh Prince, meanwhile, went 0-for-4. Jeff Moore of The Hardball Times has a look at Prince as one of the relatively unknown players making a splash in the league.
- Speaking of the AFL, Carson Cistulli of NotGraphs has started a petition in an effort to get more prospect league games broadcast in some way. I signed it.
If you haven't yet, please take a moment to vote in this week's BCB Tracking Poll. It will remain open through the day today and we'll share the results tomorrow.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, I'll be making the rounds this afternoon:
- I'll start the afternoon at 4 with a live in-studio appearance on The Home Stretch with Justin Hull on 95.3 FM/AM 1570 The Score in Appleton.
- From there I'll move over to a 5:15 appearance on The Sports Den with Downtown Ollie Burrows on SportsFan 100.5 in Wausau.
- Finally, I'll wrap up today's tour of the Wisconsin airwaves with an appearance on The Mike Heller Show on The Big 1070 in Madison at 5:30.
Athletics: Exercised reliever Grant Balfour's option for 2013 ($4.5 million), declined shortstop Stephen Drew's and signed pitcher Mike Ekstrom to a minor league deal.
Dodgers: Declined outfielder Juan Rivera, catcher Matt Treanor and reliever Todd Coffey's contract options for 2013.
Giants: Are expected to decline first baseman Aubrey Huff's contract option.
Orioles: Exercised reliever Luis Ayala's $1 million club option for 2013.
Phillies: Exercised catcher Carlos Ruiz's $5 million option for 2013 and declined options for pitcher Jose Contreras and infielders Ty Wigginton and Placido Polanco.
Tigers: Are expected to announce a contract extension for manager Jim Leyland.
Twins: Declined pitcher Scott Baker's contract option for 2013.
Yankees: Exercised second baseman Robinson Cano ($15 million), outfielder Curtis Granderson ($15 million) and pitcher David Aardsma's ($500,000) contract options for 2013.
Long home runs draw more attention, but low, line drive home runs can be fun too. Beyond the Box Score has a look at the lowest line drives that cleared the fences around baseball this season. Ryan Braun had the Brewers' lowest homer this season, an April blast against the Astros that was never more than 51 feet off the ground.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks Manny Parra's 30th birthday. Today is also 1994 Brewer Dave Valle's 52nd birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 63 career HBP are the third most ever for a player born on October 30.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I should probably go to bed.