Some things to read while taking a seat.
We're 94 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and yesterday we got some details on a couple of hot stove rumors. The new one comes from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Noah), who said the Brewers are one of a handful of teams interested in acquiring Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster. This speculation is probably based on the knowledge that the Brewers were in on Dempster as a free agent last winter. Dempster made 32 appearances (29 starts) for the Red Sox in 2013 and posted a 4.57 ERA over 171.1 innings. He's owed $13.25 million for 2014.
Later we received confirmation of an earlier rumor, as Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (again via Noah) reported that the Brewers and Mets have already discussed a trade involving first baseman Ike Davis. Norichika Aoki's name wasn't specifically mentioned, but an Aoki-for-Davis rumor had been circulating over the weekend. The current story is that the Brewers aren't interested in dealing Aoki, but Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog notes that there's been some inconsistency in reporting on that topic.
Meanwhile, if the Brewers are going to compete in 2014 they're likely to need a better season from Yovani Gallardo. Dobber Sports ranks Gallardo ninth among NL Central starting pitchers for fantasy baseball, and left Kyle Lohse off the top ten entirely.
Gallardo might as well be inked into The Book of Gorman's 2014 Brewers roster projection. At $11.5 million for 2014, Gallardo is the second-most expensive player on the roster (trailing Ryan Braun).
In free agency:
- Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew makes the case for the Brewers to sign Stephen Drew and move him to third base.
- David S. Grant of Reviewing the Brew's "best case" for Brewers middle infielders in 2014 involves signing former Tiger Omar Infante.
BBWAA awards week kicked off yesterday with Rookie of the Year announcements, and as expected no Brewers were among the top 3 on any of 30 NL ballots. Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew named Khris Davis the Brewers' rookie of the year, passing over Scooter Gennett.
Sean Halton didn't have the impact of Davis or Gennett, but he was another Brewer rookie that debuted in 2014. We profiled him yesterday as part of our player-by-player look at the 2014 season. Stop back this afternoon to see who we're profiling today.
It's been long noted, of course, that the Brewers have a relatively small press corps following the team. That was never more apparent than yesterday, when the Milwaukee representatives in the Rookie of the Year vote were columnist/Marquette beat reporter Michael Hunt from the Journal Sentinel and Susan Shemanske of the Racine Journal Times. I took to Twitter to discuss that last night, so I'll repost instead of rehashing:
So Milwaukee's voters for the NL RoY Award were Michael Hunt of the JS and Susan Shemanske of the Racine Journal Times.— Brew Crew Ball (@BrewCrewBall) November 12, 2013
Both votes were perfectly acceptable, but I'm just amazed that the BBWAA would trust its awards to people who barely cover the team.— Brew Crew Ball (@BrewCrewBall) November 12, 2013
And the Racine Journal Times, BBWAA accredited, ran two Brewers-related pieces in the entire month of October. One came from the AP.— Brew Crew Ball (@BrewCrewBall) November 12, 2013
In the minors:
- The Arizona Fall League season is in its final week, so there's a chance the grand slam Mitch Haniger hit in yesterday's 8-2 win over Scottsdale will be the last hit in the league this season (box score). It was his second of the fall.
- Jason Rogers also appeared for Surprise yesterday and went 0-for-5, while Kevin Shackelford pitched a scoreless eighth.
- Surprise clinched a berth in Saturday's league championship game with the win.
- Meanwhile in Puerto Rico, Hiram Burgos pitched two innings in relief in Mayaguez's 4-1 win over Carolina (box score).
- It looks like Sean Halton's winter ball season has wrapped up. He posted a tweet yesterday thanking the fans for their support. The Licey team account followed up with a tweet saying the "fans have to say to get him back," and I'm assuming they're talking about next winter. (h/t Brewerfan.net)
- Adam Wieser of Disciples of Uecker has a look back at the Brewers career of Mark Rogers, who is a minor league free agent this winter.
Reliever Michael Blazek isn't pitching in winter ball this year, and he's using the extra time to do something great for families in need this holiday season. Yesterday he announced on Twitter that he'll be back in Milwaukee over Thanksgiving helping drop off meals for those less fortunate. Kudos to him for taking the time to help a community he's only been a part of for a few months.
Angels: Signed pitcher Wade LeBlanc to a minor league deal.
Cardinals: Outfielder Carlos Beltran has rejected his qualifying offer.
Dodgers: Promoted Tim Wallach to bench coach and named former AAA manager Lorenzo Bundy third base coach.
Indians: Pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez has rejected his qualifying offer.
Mariners: Hired former Nationals third base coach Trent Jewett as their new bench coach. Also, 1B/DH Kendrys Morales has rejected his qualifying offer.
Red Sox: Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, infielder Stephen Drew and first baseman Mike Napoli all rejected their qualifying offers.
Reds: Hired former Pirates hitting coach Jay Bell as their new third base coach. Also, outfielder Shin-Soo Choo rejected his qualifying offer.
Twins: Signed infielder Jason Bartlett to a minor league deal.
Yankees: Outfielder Curtis Granderson, second baseman Robinson Cano and pitcher Hiroki Kuroda rejected their qualifying offers.
I think I got them all above, but in case I missed any: All 13 players to receive qualifying offers from their teams this winter rejected the one-year, $14.1 million deal and will now require compensation if they sign with other teams.
Today in former Brewers:
- Cards Conclave has a recap of John Axford's time in St. Louis, and is operating under the assumption he'll be non-tendered this winter.
- Pinstripe Alley has a look at Jose Veras as a possible free agent target for the Yankees. Veras was a Yankee from 2006-09.
Finally, with help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to Racine native Ed Killian, who would have turned 137. Killian pitched eight MLB seasons between 1903-10 as a member of the Indians and Tigers, and Chris Jensen of Baseball State by State named him Wisconsin's best November-born player. We also covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History last year.
Today is also the sixth anniversary of Ryan Braun winning the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year Award. We covered that event in Today In Brewer History two years ago.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm not loud enough.