Some things to read while someone steals your name.
We are 81 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale. I spent days #84 and 83 out of town, so of course that's when the Brewers made their biggest news of the winter (so far). Friday they announced they'd traded reliever Burke Badenhop to the Red Sox for minor league pitcher Luis Ortega.
Ortega is 20 years old, a Dominican native and has pitched just one professional season in the US, as a rookie-baller in the Gulf Coast League in 2013. He made 12 appearances (one start) for the GCL Red Sox this year, posting a 2.45 ERA over 36.2 innings.
Meanwhile, trading Badenhop leaves the Brewers with just two arbitration-eligible players: Marco Estrada and Juan Francisco. Badenhop, projected to receive $2.1 million for 2014, told Adam McCalvy he was expecting to be non-tendered when he got the call from Doug Melvin and found out he'd been traded. I've written several times that I thought Badenhop was somewhat underutilized as a Brewer, and Ben Buchanan of Over the Monster recapped that sentiment.
It's possible, if not likely, that Badenhop won't be the last 2013 Brewer traded away this winter. Derek Harvey of The Book of Gorman wonders if there's a market out there for Aramis Ramirez, while Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew makes the case for the Brewers to keep Norichika Aoki.
At least one 2013 Brewer is likely to retire: On Friday Noah profiled Alex Gonzalez as part of our player-by-player look at the 2013 season. I think you'll want to stop back every afternoon this week as we wrap up the series.
In the minors:
- @Mass_Haas notes that the Brewers have been quiet in minor league free agency to this point, signing none of the 92 players that have changed organizations this winter.
- Juan Francisco went 0-for-3 with a walk in Licey's 2-1 win over Aguilas in Dominican League play yesterday (box score).
- Martin Maldonado went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts in Mayaguez's 4-2 loss to Ponce in Puerto Rico (box score).
- morineko has a recap of Francisco and many other Brewers' performances over the last week.
- Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew says Jimmy Nelson, Mitch Haniger and Taylor Jungmann are untouchable in trades this winter. I disagree on all three counts.
If you weren't around the site this weekend you might have missed JP's look at what we learned over the previous seven days. The hot stove is starting to heat up, and all of last week's action was recapped there.
Angels: Signed reliever Joe Smith to a three-year, $15.75 million deal.
Astros: Signed reliever Peter Moylan to a minor league deal.
Cardinals: Acquired outfielder Peter Bourjos and a minor leaguer from the Angels for third baseman David Freese and reliever Fernando Salas and signed shortstop Jhonny Peralta to a four-year, $52 million contract.
Cubs: Hired Bill Mueller as their new hitting coach, former Marlins coach Brandon Hyde as bench coach, former Mariners assistant Mike Brumley as assistant hitting coach, released outfielder Dave Sappelt and signed outfielder Casper Wells to a minor league deal.
Dodgers: Signed pitcher Dan Haren to a one-year, $10 million deal.
Mariners: Fired pitching coach Carl Willis and re-assigned bullpen coach Jaime Navarro within the organization.
Mets: Signed outfielder Chris Young to a one-year, $7.25 million deal.
Nationals: Released pitcher Yunesky Maya and signed reliever Daniel Stange to a minor league deal.
Rangers: Re-signed pitcher Colby Lewis to a minor league deal.
Rays: Re-signed catcher Jose Molina to a two-year, $4.5 million deal.
Yankees: Signed catcher Brian McCann to a five-year, $85 million deal.
The Peralta deal might be the biggest story around baseball this weekend. Tom Haudricourt notes that, combined with the Freese trade, it allows the Cardinals to re-work their infield with 2013 NL hits leader Matt Carpenter moving to third base and prospect Kolten Wong taking over at second. Howie Magner considers a different angle in our Tweet of the Day:
Interesting PED piece from Rosenthal. On a separate note, when Cards fans complain about Braun, Brewers fans can now remind them of Peralta.— Howie Magner (@howiemag) November 25, 2013
Today in former Brewers:
- Proving that anything can happen if you wish hard enough, the Marlins and Yuniesky Betancourt are believed to have mutual interest.
- The Royals recently designated George Kottaras for assignment, and Bluebird Banter wonders if he might be a fit for Toronto.
- Takashi Saito, who is 44 years old, has re-signed with Japan's Rakuten Golden Eagles on a one-year deal.
- Mississippi Matt Smith of NotGraphs has a photoshop of Prince Fielder, Texas Ranger.
- Bluebird Banter has Dan Plesac as a candidate in their poll to determine the best Blue Jays middle reliever of all time.
- I did really, remarkably poorly on Bucs Dugout's quiz asking you to name the 21 players who have caught a game for the Pirates since Jason Kendall was traded.
It was also a huge weekend in baseball economics:
- New Astros owner Jim Crane is suing former owner Drayton McLane for misrepresenting an asset when selling the team's share of Comcast SportsNet Houston.
- Rogers Communications is the parent company of the Blue Jays, and Bluebird Banter looked at the possibility that their new CEO could put major budgetary restraints on the franchise.
- 2013 postseason shares were announced over the weekend. The Red Sox and Cardinals received over $307,000 and $228,000 each for winning and losing the World Series, while the Reds received $15,284.25 each for losing the Wild Card game.
This isn't exactly an economics note, but it could have an interesting impact on life at the ballpark: MLB is reportedly asking all 30 teams to install metal detectors at their parks for next season.
Finally, with help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to 1989-90 Brewer Randy Veres. He turns 48.
Today is also the 32nd anniversary of reliever Rollie Fingers being named the 1981 AL MVP, and the seventh anniversary of a 2006 trade that sent pitcher Doug Davis to Arizona and brought in pitcher Claudio Vargas and catcher Johnny Estrada. We covered those events in Today In Brewer History last year and two years ago, respectively.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to make the "RMB" acronym catch on.