Some things to read while getting new scouts.
We've long suspected this was coming, but yesterday it was made official: The Milwaukee chapter of the BBWAA voted unanimously to name Carlos Gomez team MVP for the 2013 Brewers. BCB readers also selected Gomez as 2013's most valuable Brewer, and you can see his profile here. Meanwhile, the BBWAA also selected Kyle Lohse as the team's best pitcher and top newcomer, Norichika Aoki as its Unsung Hero and Jonathan Lucroy as recipient of its "Good Guy" award.
Wily Peralta didn't take home any awards this year, but his 2013 performance was almost certainly enough to net him another opportunity in the rotation in 2014. John Sickels of Minor League Ball reviewed his list of baseball's top 50 pitching prospects for 2013 (where Peralta was #38), and says "it would not surprise me at all if he is one of the top 10 starters in the National League three years from now."
This is unlikely to earn him an award (or even a spot on the 2014 roster), but Burke Badenhop will take an honored position in the 2014 Brewers Media Guide: He's alphabetically ahead of Paul Bako for the first spot among B's in the historical player listing. (h/t @MikeVassallo13) Among all major leaguers Badenhop is 14th on that list, while 1903-05 NL infielder Charlie Babb is first.
Logan Schafer is also likely going to spend much of the winter in limbo as the Brewers' offseason decisions will greatly impact his chances of making the Opening Day roster. Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew gave Schafer a D+ for his first full season in the big leagues.
Looking ahead to free agency: If the Brewers opt not to bring Corey Hart back this winter, it's possible former Mariners and Angels first baseman Kendrys Morales could be someone they'd consider. The Mariners are expected to make a qualifying offer to Morales (which he's expected to decline), though, so signing him would cost the Brewers their 2014 first round pick.
In the minors:
- Congratulations are due out to Jimmy Nelson, who was the Huntsville Stars' lone representative on Baseball America's list of 2013's top 20 prospects in the Southern League. Nelson was ranked 18th.
- The Stars, by the way, play in the Southern League's oldest facility but that may be about to change: The Biloxi, Mississippi City Council recently approved a plan to construct a new ballpark in the city and the Stars are believed to be one of the teams that could move there. (h/t @Mass_Haas)
- Congratulations are also due out this morning to outfielder Mitch Haniger, who hit a grand slam in Surprise's 7-6 win to open Arizona Fall League play on Tuesday. Teddy Cahill of MLB.com talked to him about the experience. Tyler Cravy also pitched 1.2 scoreless innings in relief.
- Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has a look at Wisconsin's top five home games from 2013 and all 22 of the home runs Khris Davis hit as a Timber Rattler in 2010.
If you haven't yet, please take a moment to vote in a couple of our polls that remain active this morning. We're looking for your help assigning a grade to the 2013 starting rotation and selecting the season's second most valuable Brewer.
Angels: Fired bench coach Rob Picciolo and hitting coach Jim Eppard.
Cubs: Signed outfielder Ryan Sweeney to a two-year, $3.5 million contract extension.
Diamondbacks: Fired first base coach Steve Sax.
Mariners: Claimed outfielder Travis Witherspoon off waivers from the Angels and designated catcher Henry Blanco for assignment.
Phillies: Hired former manager Larry Bowa as their new bench coach and announced that assistant hitting coach Wally Joyner will not return for 2014.
Rockies: Are expected to exercise pitcher Jorge De La Rosa's $11 million club option for 2014.
@Joe_block notes that Picciolo was a 1982 Brewer.
Elsewhere in former Brewers: Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has a look at old baseball cards featuring members of the Toronto Blue Jays, including one-time future Brewer Pete Vuckovich.
Meanwhile, as the Diamondbacks go out in search of new coaches this winter they'll apparently be looking for some extra craziness. GM Kevin Towers gave a pretty remarkable interview where he criticized his team for not being more willing to throw at opposing batters in retaliation. In other news, former Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy got in trouble for intentionally throwing at a batter earlier this season and Towers traded him away.
Today in baseball economics: It's possible one of this winter's biggest spenders could be its most unlikely source, the Astros. Owner Jim Crane told reporters Houston's payroll could approach $60 million for 2014, which would still be low but would be up about $47 million from the end of this year.
I tend to avoid doing over-the-top Hall of Fame coverage here, because it's covered in tremendous depth elsewhere and honestly I think the whole debate is a bit overrated. With that said, today's most interesting read comes from a poll of 3300 Joe Posnanski readers who were asked to rank their Hall of Fame ballots instead of simply listing ten names. The results are pretty striking.
Finally, we close today with a sad note. Yesterday we learned that 1953-59 Milwaukee Brave Andy Pafko had died at the age of 92. Pafko played 17 years in the big leagues as a member of three organizations, appearing in the World Series as a Brave in both 1957 and 1958. He was also one of just two living players who appeared as a Cub in the 1945 series. Our condolences go out to his family.