Some things to read while muting the TV.
We are 52 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and yesterday the Brewers freed up a roster spot that could allow one more acquisition to report to camp. They outrighted reliever Michael Olmsted to Nashville, almost exactly a year after signing him to a major league contract last winter. Olmsted throws hard but struggled last year in his first taste of AAA, posting an ERA up over five and walking over six batters per nine innings.
Olmsted will remain in the organization, is likely to get an invitation to major league spring training and, if the past is any indication, may still get a chance to make an impact as a Brewer at some point in the future. @Mass_Haas notes that key Brewers contributors Marco Estrada and Brandon Kintzler were also designated for assignment within the last few years, but cleared waivers and remained with the team.
At least one Brewer fan is hoping that the Olmsted move isn't opening the door for another transaction. Yesterday Fred teamed up with the Ghost of Christmas Past to remind us that not every offseason splash is a good one.
With the opposing view, we have Justin Schultz of Reviewing the Brew. He wrote a Brewers-themed letter to Santa Claus.
At present, the Brewers' biggest acquisition of the winter is pitcher Will Smith. Adam McCalvy interviewed Smith regarding his holiday plans, the transition to the Brewer organization and more. Smith, by the way, is currently second on David S. Grant of Reviewing the Brew's Brewer player power rankings. That's four spots ahead of Ryan Braun.
Smith is likely to join a Brewers bullpen that significantly improved in 2013. Bill Chuck of Gammons Daily notes that Milwaukee's bullpen posted a 3.19 ERA this season, the fifth best mark in all of baseball.
Back in Milwaukee, the Brewers have received approval on a plan to install three massive rain barrels outside Miller Park to capture water for irrigation around the facility. Three eight-foot tall and six-foot wide collectors will be around the outside of the park in 2014, with the possibility to add more going forward. This will both help the facility's water usage and lessen its impact on the city's stormwater system following a rainstorm.
Blue Jays: Claimed third baseman Brent Morel off waivers from the White Sox.
Cubs: Claimed pitcher Brett Marshall off waivers from the Yankees.
Dodgers: Signed relievers Chris Perez (one year, $2.25 million) and Jamey Wright (one year, terms undisclosed).
Mets: Claimed pitcher Ryan Reid off waivers from the Pirates.
Rangers: Claimed outfielder Alex Castellanos off waivers from the Red Sox.
Rays: Claimed outfielder Jerry Sands off waivers from the Pirates.
White Sox: Claimed pitcher Eric Surkamp off waivers from the Giants.
Skipping ahead a bit, thanks to the B-Ref Play Index for reminding me that today is Wright's 39th birthday. He was a Brewer from 2000-02, and we covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History last year. Plunk Everyone also notes that Wright's 151 career hit batsmen are the most ever for a pitcher born on December 24.
Elsewhere in former Brewers: Baseball Card Vandals had some fun with a Don August card.
This isn't really Brewer-relevant in any way, but the best thing I saw this morning was Jeb Lund of SBNation.com's long read on job seeking at the Winter Meetings. It'll take you a while to work through but, if you're anything like me, once you start reading you won't be able to stop.
Recently I mentioned that Brew Crew Ball is probably not going to host a book club again this winter, but suggested that anyone interested in participating in one jump in on Red Reporter's discussion of The Art of Fielding. Their first post, covering the book's first ten chapters, went up this morning.
Finally, today is the seventh anniversary of the Brewers signing Jeff Suppan as a free agent in 2006. We covered that event in Today In Brewer History two years ago.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm falling behind.