Some things to read while going in.
We are 101 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale and free agency is just about to get into full swing, but the Brewers didn't wait that long to make their first acquisition of the offseason: Yesterday they claimed switch-hitting utilityman Elian Herrera off waivers from the Dodgers. Herrera is 28 and a career .215/.336/.328 hitter in 71 MLB games.
Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem, who has seen Herrera 21 times over the last two seasons during his time in AAA, called Herrera a "really nice pickup" on Twitter. True Blue LA also has a look back at Herrera's time as a Dodger, including some highlights.
Herrera probably isn't an option to play every day at third base, but he may get some time there if Aramis Ramirez struggles to stay healthy again in 2014. Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew wonders if it's time for the Brewers to move on at the hot corner given Ramirez's age and recent injury history.
Meanwhile, two more Brewers were returned to the 40-man roster yesterday: Ryan Braun was officially reinstated from his 65-game suspension and Rickie Weeks was activated off the 60-day DL. The 40-man roster still only has 36 players on it.
Those transactions weren't the Brewers' only news stories yesterday: They also kicked off the announcements of 2014 giveaway days with a pair of bobbleheads: All fans will receive a Carlos Gomez Gold Glove bobble on Sunday, April 27 and a Kyle Lohse likeness on Sunday, May 11.
Gomez will probably bat somewhere between first and eighth on his bobblehead day. Aaronetc took to the FanPost section yesterday with a look at the Brewers' often shuffled lineups from 2013.
Rob Wooten probably isn't going to get a bobblehead next season, but his performance out of the bullpen down the stretch may have earned him an opportunity to pitch for the Brewers again in 2014. Yesterday morineko profiled him as the final entry in the honorable mention portion of our MVBrewers series. The profiles continue today as we enter the next grouping.
Today in free agency:
- The Brewers opted not to make a $14.1 million qualifying offer to Corey Hart, so they won't be compensated if he signs elsewhere.
- @Mass_Haas noted that Hart lives in Arizona, making it somewhat less likely he'd consider signing with a Florida spring training team.
- Two of the eight writers at Pinstripe Alley are predicting the Brewers will sign Paul Maholm and Lyle Overbay.
- The Royals and Indians are among the teams believed to have expressed interest in Tim Hudson.
Any acquisitions the Brewers make this winter will have quite the challenge ahead of them if they're going to change the baseball culture in Milwaukee. Will Leitch of Sports on Earth lists the Brewers as baseball's fifth most tortured franchise.
In the minors:
- Minor league players without a contract for 2014 and with enough service time to qualify officially became free agents yesterday. Brewerfan.net has a list of the 21 Brewers on the open market, including former 40-man roster members Tim Dillard, Brock Kjeldgaard, Frankie De La Cruz, Santo Manzanillo, Chris Narveson, Josh Ravin, Mark Rogers and Jesus Sanchez.
- Catcher/infielder Joey Paciorek would have been a free agent, but @BrewersPD is reporting he re-signed yesterday. Paciorek appeared in 49 games between Huntsville and Nashville last season and hit .231/.336/.325 in 138 plate appearances. He's played seven professional seasons but is still only 25.
- Mitch Haniger went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and drove in three runs in Surprise's 9-6 win over Glendale in the Arizona Fall League yesterday (box score). David Goforth also worked around a pair of hits to pitch a scoreless ninth for his fourth save.
- Five Arizona Fall League games will be televised this week as MLB tests the proposed 2014 replay rules, but Surprise is not featured. The championship game will also be televised on November 16, though, and things look pretty good for Surprise to be a part of that. They currently lead the West division by 4.5 games and have a magic number of 6.
- Sean Halton went 1-for-5 and his tenth inning RBI groundout was the difference in Licey's 2-1 win over Aguilas in the Dominican Republic (box score). Juan Francisco also went 1-for-4 with a walk in the game.
Jean Segura isn't playing baseball in the Dominican Republic this winter, but he is back home following his All Star season. Sophia Minnaert of FS Wisconsin visited Segura in his hometown and posted several pictures on Twitter.
Braves: Made a qualifying offer to catcher Brian McCann and declined outfielder Reed Johnson's contract option for 2014.
Cardinals: Made a qualifying offer to outfielder Carlos Beltran.
Indians: Made a qualifying offer to pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.
Mariners: Made a qualifying offer to first baseman/DH Kendrys Morales.
Marlins: Claimed infielder/outfielder Jimmy Paredes off waivers from the Astros.
Orioles: Declined infielder Alexi Casilla's contract option for 2014.
Rangers: Made a qualifying offer to outfielder Nelson Cruz.
Rays: Declined reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo's contract option for 2014.
Red Sox: Made qualifying offers to shortstop Stephen Drew, outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and first baseman Mike Napoli.
Reds: Made a qualifying offer to outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.
Rockies: Exercised their $4.5 million mutual option with reliever Matt Belisle.
Royals: Made a qualifying offer to pitcher Ervin Santana.
Today in former Brewers: The "Expansion Era" ballot is out for consideration for induction into the Hall of Fame, and both Dave Parker and Ted Simmons are on it. The list is largely dominated by managers, as Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox are likely to lead the induction class.
This isn't really Brewer-relevant in any way, but I think today's best read came from Jack Moore of Sports on Earth and discusses how the Tigers' decision to name Brad Ausmus as their new manager displays a shift in the role over time.
Elsewhere in things that aren't Brewer-relevant, the Players Choice Awards were announced yesterday and apparently someone had to wake up Wil Myers of the Rays so he could be named the American League's top rookie. David Brown of Yahoo took one look at Myers' hair and concluded that "he definitely sleeps on his right side."
With that said, Myers had a much better day than Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez. Hernandez's house caught on fire yesterday.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've been here too long.