The year of 2014 is officially in the books, and it was an interesting one for the Brewers. From a great start to the season to a terrible finish, from Ryan Braun's thumb to Jonathan Lucroy's MVP candidacy, from the uncertainty of the coaching staff being retained to mid-season trades -- there were plenty of things that piqued fans interest.
Some stories drew more interest than others, though. Here are the top-10 articles on BCB from 2014, by page-views.
With the Brewers spending big on Gilbert Lara in the international free agent market this summer, there was some risk they might go over the cap of allotted money they can spend on such players. In an effort to relieve some of that pressure, they traded organizational filler piece Rodolfo Fernandez for the 57th slot bonus, worth $339,000.
9. Are the Brewers interested in Allen Craig? - Derek
This was the first we had heard about any potential interest by the Brewers in the current Red Sox and former Cardinals 1B/OF. It's also a story that's still ongoing, as Boston is still looking for a trade partner and every now and then there is a note that the Brewers are still looking into the possibility. It's unlikely to happen, but it's interesting to think about.
For one quick minute, there was a report that the Brewers might be a trade partner for the Red Sox for Jon Lester back at the trade deadline. That report was refuted the same day, by the same source (Heyman), and Boston would trade Lester to the Athletics for Yoenis Cespedes.
Another trade rumor, this one even worse than the first two. Howard is arguably the worst contract in baseball right now, and hasn't hit well since 2011. Fortunately, with Adam Lind being brought aboard, there has been no mention of Howard to Milwaukee since.
6. The 40-Man Roster: How Does It Work? - TheJay
TheJay wrote this back in 2009, over five years ago. Despite that time, it's still something a lot of people find and come to read. It's fun to track. Shows the value of SEO, I guess.
5. A short goodbye to Rickie Weeks - Jordan
After the Brewers officially declined Rickie Weeks' option, Jordan looked back at the long-time Milwaukee second baseman's career to-date. Though he never quite made it to superstar level, he's been a solid player more years than not. Weeks could still come back as he has not yet signed elsewhere, but the possibility seems slight.
Following uncertain reports that Brewers farmhand Zach Quintana had been dealt to the Brewers, it seemed like the two sides might be working on a more significant deal. Instead, it was a trade of minor leaguers as the Brewers picked of outfielder Kyle Wren. It's a small deal, but one most thought the Brewers came out ahead on.
It's been a strange off-season for Milwaukee. So far, all they've really done is traded for Adam Lind. Even rumors have been light. Meanwhile, with the other teams in the Central looking strong for 2015, it's seems like the Brewers are toeing the line between competing next year and building for the future. Trading Lohse or Gallardo would almost certainly fit into the latter category, though it would allow both Mike Fiers and Jimmy Nelson to enter the rotation.
Speaking of Fiers, his hitting superstar Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton in the face with a pitch by accident drew a lot of attention. JP had video of the incident up the next day as many were curious about what exactly happened that sparked a benches clearing fiasco.
Far and away our most-read article of 2014 was this one, on why I really don't like the St. Louis organization. Lots of Cardinals fans didn't like it, lots of Brewers fans did. But, hey, everyone can rally around talking about why the Cardinals are the worst.