Some things to read while looking for more stoves.
We are 100 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and today's top story is a new face that'll report to the minor league side of training camp. Yesterday we heard a report that the Brewers will hire former Astros first base coach Dave Clark as the new manager for AA Huntsville, replacing new Nashville manager Darnell Coles.
Clark has been with the Astros organization for the last several seasons, and wrapped up the season as the team's interim manager after Cecil Cooper was let go in 2009. He also has 837 games of managerial experience in the minors, and played 13 MLB seasons as a member of six teams.
Back in Milwaukee, the Brewers continue to announce giveaways for the 2014 season. Yesterday they unveiled two more bobbleheads: A "vintage Brewer" model to be given away on June 15 and a Norichika Aoki in a Japanese uniform on June 29. Hopefully they have an option to switch the latter out if Aoki is traded this winter.
Carlos Gomez will also be the subject of a 2014 bobble, and maybe he'll get another award to go with his Gold Glove: Gomez is the Brewers' representative on the ballot for the MLB Players Alumni Association's Heart and Hustle Award, which is voted on by the fans.
Gomez repeating his 2013 performance would go a long way towards making the Brewers into a contending team in 2014. David S. Grant of Reviewing the Brew has a look at the best case scenario for next season's outfield.
In free agency:
- Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has predictions for the contracts of 65 free agents, and ranks Corey Hart 37th among them. He predicts Hart will sign a two year, $14 million deal while both an agent and a GM have him signing a one-year deal.
- Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner has an offseason plan for Seattle that has them loading up on former Brewers, signing Hart, Chris Capuano and Jose Veras.
- Bleed Cubbie Blue wonders if Hart would be an option for the Cubs.
- John Beck of Pinstripe Alley passed over Hart and put Rangers utilityman Jeff Baker on his All-Non-Qualifying Offer team. Baker has played in nine MLB seasons and averaged just 69 appearances in each of them, but hit .279/.360/.565 in a partial season for Texas in 2013.
- Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew wonders if Tim Hudson makes sense for the Brewers.
- Amazin' Avenue has a look at Dan Haren as a possible candidate for the Mets.
Meanwhile, Burke Badenhop has a few more weeks of waiting to find out if he'll be a 2014 Brewer or will be non-tendered and become a free agent. Yesterday we profiled Badenhop as part of our player-by-player look at the 2014 season. Stop by later this afternoon to see who we're profiling today.
Badenhop was acquired via trade last winter, and is one of 82 trades the Brewers have made since 2003. Baseball Nation notes that they're MLB's 22nd most active team on the market over that time. It's worth noting that Doug Melvin has been the Brewers' GM for the entire sampling here.
In the minors:
- Baseball America has the full list of 550 minor league free agents, including former Brewers first round pick Matt LaPorta.
- Getting back to players who are still in the organization: Jason Rogers went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI in Surprise's 4-2 win over Glendale in the Arizona Fall League yesterday (box score). Catcher Adam Weisenberger also went 2-for-4 in the game, while Mitch Haniger went 0-for-5 but scored a run.
- Teddy Cahill of MLB.com has more on Rogers' hot AFL season. The most newsworthy note from the piece might be that Rogers is scheduled to head to the Dominican Republic to continue playing winter ball after the AFL season wraps up at the end of next week.
- In the Dominican, by the way, Juan Francisco went 2-for-2 with a double and three walks and Sean Halton hit a pinch hit, two run double in Licey's 7-3, 12 inning win over Este yesterday (box score).
- Further south, Hunter Morris made his winter ball debut in Venezuela yesterday and went 0-for-4 in Margarita's 6-3 loss to Lara (box score). Longtime Brewers farmhand and current minor league free agent Anderson De La Rosa homered in the game.
Sophia Minnaert of Fox Sports Wisconsin is also in the Dominican Republic this week doing a story on Jean Segura, his background and his offseason workouts. She posted more pictures yesterday.
Angels: Promoted Dino Ebel to bench coach and named Gary DiSarcina as their new third base coach.
Mariners: Are expected to hire former Pirates manager and Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon as their new manager.
Rangers: Re-signed catcher Geovany Soto to a one-year deal.
Reds: Signed outfielder Jason Bourgeois to a minor league deal.
The biggest news story around baseball yesterday was the BBWAA announcing finalists for their 2013 awards. As you might expect, no Brewers were listed. I'm still expecting Carlos Gomez to garner a fair number of down-ballot votes for MVP.
Today in former Brewers: If you're planning on heading down to Arizona for spring training and would rather buy a mutlimillion dollar home than stay in a hotel, Eric Gagne's house is on the market.
I've already mentioned Surprise's Arizona Fall League win yesterday, but another pretty significant event happened in another AFL game. Last night was the first time MLB has used an AFL game to test the proposed instant replay system for 2014, and Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk has both some encouraging and discouraging notes from the debut.
Instant replay won't be used to review ball and strike calls, so for that we'll simply have to hope umpiring continues to improve. Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs has a great look at how the strike zone against left handed hitters has drifted back towards the rulebook definition.
With the 2013 MLB season all wrapped up, some of us are probably looking for things to do to help pass the time until spring training. If you're looking for a list of movies to watch or baseball books to read this offseason, Zack Reynolds of NotGraphs has a pretty good starting point.
Finally, with help from Brewerfan.net and the B-Ref Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to:
- 2013 Helena Brewer Andy Hillis, who turns 23.
- 2013 Brevard County Manatee Stephen Peterson, who turns 26.
- 1995-96 Brewer Brian Givens, who turns 48.
- Seattle Pilot Jim Gosger, who turns 71.
- 1961-65 Milwaukee Brave Mack Jones, who would have turned 75.
Plunk Everyone notes that Jones' 77 career HBP are the most ever by a position player born on November 6.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have complaining to do.