Some things to read before the music stops.
We're 26 days away from pitchers and catchers being required to report to Maryvale, but at least one Brewer star will be there before that. John Axford tweeted yesterday that he leaves for Arizona two weeks from today.
Axford is one of just three Brewers still eligible for arbitration after the team agreed to terms on a one-year, $4.3 million contract for Carlos Gomez yesterday. 2013 will be Gomez's final arbitration season, and he'll be eligible for free agency for the first time this fall. Noah points out that it's still possible talks with Gomez could continue towards a long term deal, it seems like the Brewers would have held off on settling early in this case if they'd known something bigger was in the works.
Axford and Gomez are also among the 14 members of the Brewer organization who will leave camp to participate in the World Baseball Classic this spring. The six players added to that list yesterday were:
- Gomez, who will play for the Dominican Republic.
- Marco Estrada, who will pitch for Mexico.
- Jeff Bianchi, who will play for Italy.
- Hiram Burgos, who will pitch for Puerto Rico.
- Rene Tosoni, who will play for Canada.
- 2012 Brevard County Manatee Mike Walker, who will play for Australia.
Jon Morosi says Mexico, who will now likely start both Yovani Gallardo and Estrada in pool play, has the best pitching of any US opponent in Pool D. They would also have had Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia if he wasn't continuing to deal with shoulder issues.
Burgos and Martin Maldonado will represent the Brewers on the Puerto Rican team, but it remains to be seen how much playing time Maldonado will get. PR's provisional roster also contains both Yadier and Jose Molina.
While a fair portion of the Brewer organization is away, new Brewer Michael Olmsted will be in camp trying to win a job in the bullpen. He's the subject of today's edition of The Brewer Nation's "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" series.
We're still months away from Opening Day, but Miller Park looks like it might be ready right now. Joe Block was at the ballpark yesterday and tweeted a photo of surprisingly green grass taken from the Dew Deck.
When the rest of us get back to Miller Park for the first time in 2013 there will be a new seating area in right field: The "Miller Lite Party Deck" looks a lot like the Dew Deck, only smaller.
The area outside the stadium will also get a new addition this season when longtime Milwaukee Braves shortstop Johnny Logan is added to the Miller Park Walk of Fame. Logan cleared the 65% voting requirement among Wisconsin media and Brewer officials in his first opportunity after the threshold was lowered from 75%. Fellow Milwaukee Brave Joe Adcock and Brewer pitcher Teddy Higuera just missed the cut.
In the minors:
- We've got a dead heat in the voting for the #4 spot in our Community Prospect Rankings, with Hunter Morris, Johnny Hellweg and Clint Coulter all separated by just one vote. Go break the tie before 1 today, and we'll open the voting for the #5 spot at 2.
- Brewers Rumors has an interview with 2012 Huntsville Stars pitcher Jimmy Nelson.
- Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew has an attempt to predict what the Brewers will do to make room on the roster and in the lineup when Scooter Gennett is ready to play at the major league level.
- Rattler Radio has an update with more pictures from the renovations at Time Warner Cable Field.
The Brewers certainly weren't the only ones active around baseball yesterday:
Angels: Avoided arbitration with infielder Alberto Callaspo (two years, $9 million).
Astros: Signed outfielder Rick Ankiel to a minor league deal.
Athletics: Avoided arbitration with catcher John Jaso (one year, $1.8 million) and outfielder Seth Smith (terms undisclosed).
Cubs: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Matt Garza (one year, $10.25 million).
Diamondbacks: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Tony Sipp (one year, $1.275 million).
Giants: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Jose Mijares (one year, $1.8 million).
Indians: Avoided arbitration with outfielder Drew Stubbs (one year, $2.825 million).
Mets: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Bobby Parnell (one year, $1.7 million).
Nationals: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Drew Storen (one year, $2.5 million).
Padres: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Joe Thatcher (one year, $1.35 million) and shortstop Everth Cabrera (one year, $1.275 million).
Pirates: Signed outfielder Brad Hawpe and catcher Lucas May to minor league deals and designated pitcher Zach Stewart for assignment.
Rangers: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Neftali Feliz (one year, $2.9 million).
Red Sox: Signed catcher Mike Napoli to a one-year, $5 million contract with incentives and avoided arbitration with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (one year, $4.5 million).
Twins: Avoided arbitration with catcher Drew Butera (one year, $700,000).
Yankees: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Joba Chamberlain (one year, $1.875 million).
Today in former Brewers:
- Dan Plesac found and tweeted a photo of himself with Robin Yount from 1988.
- Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs has a look back at umpire Eric Gregg's strike zone for Livan Hernandez back in the 1997 NLCS.
A lot of the talk this week has revolved around the World Baseball classic rosters, but I have to wonder if stories like this will affect participation in the event: Astros management has publicly stated that outfielder Fernando Martinez's decision to play in the event for Spain will hurt his chances of making the Opening Day roster.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 28th anniversary of a four-way trade that brought pitcher Danny Darwin to Milwaukee in 1985. Today is also former Brewer first round pick Brett Lawrie's 23rd birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that he leads all active players born on January 18 with eight career HBP.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find something else to drink.