Some things to read while getting all the joy of being there without actually being there.
We're 37 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and the Brewers have added one more outfielder to their early minor league camp invite list: Cole Garner is 28 and an eight-year professional who appeared briefly in the majors with the 2011 Rockies. Last season he hit .258/.311/.398 for AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the Yankees organization.
Meanwhile, another contract is believed to be completed but still is not yet official: The Brewers did not announce their one-year deal with reliever Mike Gonzalez on Friday, but are expected to do so sometime this week.
Elsewhere in free agency:
- Nick Michalski of The Brewers Bar explored the possibility that retired pitcher Javier Vazquez could help the Brewers, but admits it's unlikely he'd be interested in coming to Milwaukee.
- Joe Saunders, who we've previously reported is holding at least one two-year offer, is seeking a three-year deal.
- Kyle Lohse, meanwhile, has yet to receive an offer.
Meanwhile, Martin Maldonado spent the weekend doing something cool for over 250 kids in his hometown of Naguabo, Puerto Rico, hosting a carnival to celebrate Three Kings Day. Adam McCalvy has much more about the event.
If the Brewers are going to compete in 2013 they may need breakout seasons from a couple of their young players. Curt Hogg of Reviewing the Brew has a look at Jean Segura and Logan Schafer as players who could make a name for themselves this season.
John Axford is the Brewers' active career leader with 206 games pitched, leaving him roughly three seasons away from Dan Plesac's franchise record of 365. Bill Chuck of Baseball Analytics notes that the Brewers are one of just four teams (including the Rays and Diamondbacks) who have never had a pitcher make 400 appearances.
This is relevant to nothing, but it caught me by surprise: Norichika Aoki has played just one major league season, but his 13 career HBP are already enough to make him baseball's active leader for players born on January 5. He's also already tied for 39th on the Brewers' all-time list.
In the minors:
- Over the weekend John Sickels of Minor League Ball released his list of the top 20 prospects in the Brewer organization, which he sees as lacking high-impact talent but having strong depth. He has Wily Peralta #1 overall as a "borderline B+" prospect.
- Three pitchers who the Brewers have invited to spring training all pitched in relief in the Caribbean playoffs last night, and all three allowed multiple runs. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Recap.
- Matt Garrioch of Minor League Ball has the Brewers selecting Washington high school catcher Reese McGuire with the #17 pick in his 2013 mock draft.
It's been a few days since I've written so I'm behind on these, but Kevin Kimmes of Cream City Cables has a look at the players that have worn #3, #4, #5 and #6 in Brewer franchise history.
Blue Jays: Claimed pitcher Chad Beck off waivers from the Pirates.
Cubs: Signed pitcher Dontrelle Willis to a minor league deal.
Dodgers: Signed pitcher J.P. Howell to a one-year, $2.85 million contract and infielder Alfredo Amezaga to a minor league deal.
Indians: Designated outfielder Thomas Neal for assignment.
Mariners: Signed 1B/DH Mike Jacobs to a minor league deal.
Mets: Signed infielder Omar Quintanilla to a minor league deal.
Orioles: Claimed catcher Luis Martinez off waivers from the Rangers.
Pirates: Released pitcher Rick VandenHurk.
Rangers: Signed DH Lance Berkman to a one year, $11 million deal with a vesting option for 2014 and reliever Jason Frasor to a one year deal and designated catcher Eli Whiteside for assignment.
Red Sox: signed infielder Jonathan Diaz and 1B/OF Mark Hamilton to minor league contracts.
Royals: Signed pitcher Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal.
Yankees: Claimed 1B/OF Russ Canzler off waivers from the Indians and designated outfielder Chris Dickerson for assignment.
In former Brewers:
- Tom Filer (pitching coach at AAA Indianapolis), Stan Kyles (pitching coach for AA Altoona) and Frank Kremblas (manager at High-A Bradenton) will all be coaching in the Pirates organization in 2013.
- Ed Romero will manage the Tri-City ValleyCats, the Astros' short-season A-ball team, in 2013.
It's a relatively well-known fact that most players report to spring training well before the deadline, but this might be a new record: Justin Verlander tweeted a picture of himself and his dog headed to Lakeland, Florida a full 37 days before his Tigers teammates are required to be there.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm having a hard time chewing this gum.