Some things to read while getting bailed out.
We're still waiting for the Brewers' first big move of the offseason, but they did make one minor move over the weekend by signing left-handed pitcher Travis Webb to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. Webb is 28 and was the Reds' eighth round pick in the 2006 draft. He posted a 4.81 ERA over 58 innings with AAA Louisville in 2012, striking out over ten batters per nine innings but also walking more than five.
Jaymes Langrehr of Disciples of Uecker says Webb could be a possible left-handed specialist. He allowed opposing lefties to hit .234/.326/.346 against him over 220 plate appearances in the minors in 2011 and 2012.
Elsewhere in free agency:
- Zack Greinke is off the market, having signed a six-year, $147 million deal with the Dodgers.
- The Brewers reportedly have a "standing offer" out to Alex Gonzalez, who is continuing to look for an option to start instead.
- Ryan Dempster reportedly turned down a two-year, $25 million offer from the Red Sox.
Of course, free agency isn't the only way to acquire a pitcher. Jon Morosi of Fox notes that now that the Dodgers have signed Zack Greinke and Korean pitcher Hyun-Jim Ryu (six years, $36 million), they could make a pitcher like Chris Capuano or Aaron Harang available. Capuano could be an interesting fit for a Brewer return.
If the Brewers do decide to make a trade for pitching this winter, Corey Hart is one name that could come up. J.P. Breen of Disciples of Uecker has a look at some teams that could be interested in the slugging 1B/OF's services.
If it helps the Brewers get pitching to compete in the short term, they probably could sacrifice some hitting. They had the NL's leading offense last season, and Walk Like A Sabermetrician notes that Brewer #7 hitters (primarily Carlos Gomez) were the most productive in all of baseball a year ago.
In the minors:
- Jean Segura is staying hot in the Dominican Republic, as he went 2-for-5 with a triple in Cibao's 6-4 win over Este last night. You can read about that and more in today's Winter Leagues Recap.
- Two hits last night raised Segura's average to .328, and he has a chance to win a DWL batting title. He's currently fourth, eight points behind Blue Jays prospect Jose Ramirez.
Mark McCarter of the Huntsville Times has an interview with Stars owner Miles Prentice, who comes off as somewhat out of touch regarding his team's efforts to get a new ballpark. (h/t @Mass_Haas)
Diamondbacks: Signed pitcher Brandon McCarthy to a two-year, $15 million deal.
Indians: Signed 1B/3B Mark Reynolds to a one-year, $6 million deal.
Mariners: Designated pitcher Mauricio Robles for assignment.
Phillies: Acquired infielder Michael Young and cash from the Rangers for pitcher Josh Lindblom and a minor leaguer and signed pitcher Zach Miner to a minor league deal.
Reds: Signed outfielder Ryan Ludwick to a two-year, $15 million deal.
Royals: Acquired pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis and a PTBNL or cash from the Rays for outfielder Wil Myers, pitcher Jake Odorizzi and two minor leaguers.
Yankees: Avoided arbitration with outfielder Brett Gardner (one year, $2.85 million).
Obviously the Rays-Royals trade is the top story around baseball this morning. Jaymes Langrehr put it in perspective in our Tweet of the Day:
This is like if the Brewers had traded Ryan Braun in 2006 because they thought they were "close."— Jaymes Langrehr (@JaymesL) December 10, 2012
- James Gentile of Beyond the Box Score listed Tommy Harper among the best and Fernando Vina and Nyjer Morgan among the worst bases-empty bunters of all time.
- Venom Strikes lists the 2003 trade that sent Richie Sexson to Arizona as the fifth biggest offseason deal in Diamondbacks franchise history.
Today in baseball economics: The average major league baseball player made $3.2 million in 2012, up nearly four percent over 2011. That number is somewhat deceptive, though, because the median player clearly made much less than that.
As someone who writes about baseball daily, I struggle with this question a lot: When do we turn the page from "next season" to "this season?" My personal vote would be the first day of free agency, the day teams officially start building for a new season, but that may be a little too early.
Of course, we're not actually done recapping the 2012 season yet. We had a look at the final eleven Lesser Brewers on Friday to wrap up that series.
Finally, today is the first anniversary of one of the worst days in recent Brewer memory. This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History remembers one year ago today, when news broke for the first time about Ryan Braun's possible 50-game suspension.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to let the drunks out.