We are 42 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and the Brewers may need to dust off an old nameplate for a locker in big league camp: Rumor has it they're one of multiple teams interested in re-signing Francisco Rodriguez. He's been a part of the organization for parts of each of the last three seasons, posting a 3.15 ERA over 134 appearances for the Brewers.
Rodriguez was pretty good as a Brewer during partial seasons in 2011 and again in 2013, but concerns about his attitude and off-the-field issues have followed him across baseball. R.D. Topp touched on that in our Tweet of the Day:
If Rodriguez were to re-join the Brewers, he'd likely compete with Jim Henderson for the opportunity to close games this season. The Calgary Herald caught up with Henderson to discuss his first full season in the majors and look ahead to 2014.
Rodriguez wasn't on this list, but Justin Schultz of Reviewing the Brew has a look at several other players who have left the Brewers organization over the last few months.
Meanwhile, the door has not swung in the other direction. @AdamMcCalvy notes that the Brewers are the only team that has not signed a major league free agent this winter.
At least the Rodriguez rumor took our minds off the first base situation for a bit. There's no news on that front, aside from the formal completion of one-time possibility Brett Pill's new contract with Korea's KIA Tigers.
The Brewers spent most of last year moving players from other positions to play first, and Nicholas Zettel of Disciples of Uecker has a look at the patterns used to determine which players can play which positions.
In the minors:
- Mass Haas of Brewerfan.net has a note on changes within the Brewers scouting department this winter. The most notable change might be the departure of Mike Farrell, the scout who recommended 2009 first round pick Eric Arnett.
- Juan Francisco went 1-for-3 with a double and drove in a pair as Licey beat Aguilas 7-1 in the Dominican Republic last night (box score).
- Licey is now 3-2 in the round robin portion of the playoffs, tied for first with Escogido. Those two teams play tonight.
- Puerto Rico's round robin postseason opens tonight with Martin Maldonado, Hiram Burgos and Mayaguez visiting #1 seed Caguas.
Closer to home, I wandered over to the FanPosts section for a moment this morning to congratulate and thank the most active members of the BCB community in 2013. Thanks again to Yar Nivek, nullacct and all the commenters that come together to make this a great place to discuss the Brewers.
Mariners: Signed pitchers Matt Palmer and Ramon Ramirez to minor league deals.
Rays: Claimed pitcher Pedro Figueroa off waivers from the Athletics.
White Sox: Designated pitcher Santos Rodriguez for assignment.
Today in former Brewers:
- Todd Coffey hasn't pitched in the majors since July of 2012 but is looking to make a return to the majors in 2014 and is planning on holding a showcase for teams in January. He reports eleven teams were interested at the Winter Meetings.
- Yesterday was Jeff Suppan's 39th birthday, and he officially announced his retirement after taking a year off in 2013. Enrique Bakemeyer of The Brewers Bar remembers the time Suppan outpitched Adam Wainwright.
- It's Pronounced "Lajaway" has a tribute to the broadcasting work of Mike Hegan, who recently passed away following two decades of work with the Indians.
- Bruce Markusen of The Hardball Times also remembered Hegan in a recent post.
Meanwhile, longtime Brewers groundskeeper Harry Gill has been announced as a 2014 inductee into the MLB Groundskeeper Hall of Fame. Gill was in charge of the grounds at County Stadium from 1975-90.
Today in baseball economics: The Phillies are believed to be preparing to sign a new local television contract with Comcast Sportsnet that will lock up the team's broadcasting rights for 20-25 years, beginning following the 2015 season.
Finally, with help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to:
- 2003 Brewer Mike Crudale, who turns 37.
- Appleton Baseball Hall of Famer Bart Johnson, who turns 64.
- 1972 Brewer Archie Reynolds, who turns 68.
- Appleton Baseball Hall of Famer Adrian Garrett, who turns 71.
Plunk Everyone notes that Johnson's 15 career hit batsmen are the fourth most ever for a player born on January 3.
Today is also the 29th anniversary of the Pirates drafting Greg Vaughn in the secondary phase of the 1985 draft (he didn't sign) and the third anniversary of Chris Capuano signing with the Mets as a free agent in 2011, effectively ending his Brewers career. We covered those events in Today In Brewer History last year and two years ago, respectively.
Now, if you'll excuse me, something's wrong with this broccoli.