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BCB Mailbag #11: Super sized edition

So many questions! I love it. Remember to leave more for next Friday!

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Youngmanblues asks, "You're the guy from the hamburger train, right?"

I had no idea what this was a reference to. Now I'm still not entirely sure. It's either from the Cheech and Chong movie--which I've never seen--or the Primus song--which takes the line from the C&C movie. I was so confused though, when I first saw the question. I was like, "Did I get blackout drunk at a Milwaukee bar and eat a bunch of hamburgers at some point?" Which if you know me, would not have been entirely out of character for my in my early twenties.

AKBrewerfan asks, "When is the proper time to go see the Force Awakens if you're not one to wear a costume?"

I'm there right now. I've set this article to publish at 10:00 AM which is when I'm seeing "The Force Awakens." I chose this time because I don't trust the internet not to spoil some big reveal if there is one. Also, I figured kids should still be in school at this time so hopefully it won't be stupid noisy. Though I did go see "Looper" earlier in the day once and it was apparently senior discount day/time. Good lord old people have no compunction about talking during a movie. Hey! If you don't understand what's going on tough. Zip it. Also wake up your husband, he's snoring! *Ahem* Sorry.

Also, since I'm sure it will be asked, I am not wearing a costume. I really dig the original trilogy, but I'm not like a super fan. I can't name the characters with 3 seconds of screen time or tell you the backstory of Han Solo before he met Luke Skywalker. I just grew watch the original trilogy a thousand times on VHS.

As for when someone else might want to go see it, unless you're worried about spoilers I might consider either going late at night when kids won't be there or perhaps as long as after New Year's when the kids go back to school. Really for me it's all about not having to deal with jerks that have no public manners.

ThatOneGuy1337 asks a very serious question, "What is your favorite flavor of Ice Cream?"

I'm actually not a very big fan of ice cream. I know, I'm weird. I was the kid that requested his birthday cake have no frosting on it. But I always made sure to either have half of it frosted or an entirely separate cake for my plebeian friends.

But to your question, I think my three favorites are Blue Moon, Butter Pecan, and Pistachio.

Dikembe Meiztombo asks, "Do you think Matt Garza is essentially untradeable at this point, or can he be reasonably moved?"

I feel like right now his value is too low to be moved. I'm not even sure they could do a pure salary dump where they still eat some of the contract and get nonprospects back. He was terrible on the field and very vocal of his anger at being removed from the rotation. Then he refused to pitch out of the bullpen and the Brewers just sent him home to be with his wife who was about to give birth, but also just so they didn't have to deal with him. Not a good look to prospective buyers.

I do think he can rehab his value though. A good half or full season and I think the Brewers can trade him. His contract is actually pretty good for a mid-rotation starter. The option year complicates things a bit. It'll vest at $13M if he starts 58 games over the next two seasons. But if he comes under that number it becomes a team option at $5 million. That's super cheap. So if he were to only make 24 starts in 2016 that would guarantee the option won't vest. That's something to keep an eye on next year. He hasn't made more than 27 starts since 2011 so there is already a good chance that option doesn't vest. He'd have to average 29 over the next two seasons.

Jgeisler95 asks, "Do you see the Cubs making a play for either of Salazar/Carrasco?"

I certainly think it's possible. I don't really know what to expect from them though. If it were me I wouldn't want to deal Soler. I like that outfield right now. I also like that rotation right now and I don't think they need to upgrade it. But they easily could. They have a really nice farm system still.

Roguejim asks, "Let's say [Ryan Braun] has a season like last year€” a very good season (ahem, offensively), maybe miss a game or two for another cryo-treatment. At what point, if ever, does he become tradable again?"

I think it won't be until next offseason at the earliest. I think teams are going to want to see that his back is fixed and can hold up over a full season and more evidence that he can manage his thumb. But I do think he can and will have another nice season. And should that happen I think teams will be a lot more willing to trade for him. His contract will be approximately 4/80 at that point and that's pretty darn reasonable these days.

Taterwithbacon asks, "If you could make one roster move, maybe pick a major and minor one what would it be and why?"

Major League: I would sign Austin Jackson for CF because I think he could be had on a one year deal. He's solid defensively and could rebound nicely on offense. Best case scenario they have an asset to trade similar to Gerardo Parra was for them this year.

Minor League: I would look to sign a guy like Brandon Beachy. He can probably be had on a minor league deal at this point. And he could come up mid-season and be a solid contributor. I might also be interested in signing a deal similar to the one he signed last time that was a one year deal with low base plus incentives and a cheap option. I still want to believe he can make a comeback and he could be a cheap mid-rotation starter if that happens. Pretty valuable trade commodity with very little risk. Henderson Alvarez is in a similar situation.

Taterwithbacon also asks, "How you feeling about the FF7 remake after the new trailer footage?"

I'm not sure how I feel right now. It sure does look pretty. Square is always good for that. I'm not too wild about the idea of episodes. One of the great things about FF7 when it came out was the open world exploration. I'd never played a game with that level of immersion before. It was stunning and absolutely blew my mind. My fear is that an episodic game will require it to be very limited in exploration. If they make FF7 into a linear game I think I'm out. I hated FF13 for that very reason...well and a lot of other reasons.

I don't mind so much that they're making other changes. And I'm not so worried about stuff like "Pay to save Aeris." But I am worried about the linearity and that they might change other key events, or leave out certain elements. I'm fine with updating the combat system but I hope they leave in the materia system, even if they adjust it some. They better leave in loot drops and different weapons and stuff like that.

I'm also open to adding on to the existing story. I just hope they don't change the original story. There's a reason people fawn over this game. But at the end of the day, I still have my copy of FF7 so if the new one sucks, I can always go back and play that.

Ted Simmons Speed Camp asks, "Is Tony LaRussa a sleeper agent for the Dodgers whose ultimate plan is to fire the entire Diamondbacks organization into the Sun? Alternatively, is it even possible for Dave Stewart to be as dumb as he seems?"

What a strange organization. It wasn't even a year ago they traded Touki Toussaint essentially for cash. Now they sign Zack Greinke to that mega deal--which I think is fine because they have that $1.5 billion TV deal starting soon. It just makes the Toussaint trade all the stranger. The deal I really was taken aback by was the Miller deal. He's a very good SP and they get him for 3 years. But damn that was a haul Atlanta got. I do actually think they'll be very competitive this coming season. They have a good rotation now--and it's not like they only got rental pitchers. They already had a good defense and a good offense. So I can understand why they have done these things. It just comes at a huge cost.

Duckbroh asks, "What is your expectation of Yadiel Rivera this year?"

I would expect him to start the season on the bench or perhaps even in AAA. He's a top notch defender in the middle infield, but his bat doesn't offer much. I don't think he'll be in the mix for a starting job. So think Elian Herrera with better defense.

GoGregGo asks, "After seeing what the Phillies got for Ken Giles the Brewers have to at least get a price check on Will Smith, right?"

I'm sure they've been listening to all offers for a while now. I'm still not sure if we should expect them to move him now or after he gets some saves under his belt. I suspect teams are willing to pay for good pitchers now regardless of the stat, but I could be wrong. Nice thing is they have 4 years of control over Smith so they can afford to wait until they get a package they like.

Drezdn asks, "What's your favorite baseball moment (non-Brewers)?"

A good 11 or 12 years ago I went to visit my brother in California. It was the first time I'd really spent time with his girlfriend--now wife--and her kids. We went to the Oakland Coliseum to watch the A's. I don't really remember the game very much. It was just a really fun time. Also, holy shit balls they have amazing garlic fries, yo.

Jgeisler95 follows up with, "What's your favorite non-baseball sports moment?"

It was the 2010 Super Bowl. I went to an employee party at Ale Asylum in Madison. Free food, free drinks (free taxi rides home). All or most of my friends were there. I've never been a huge football guy, but that night was awesome. And the Packers won so it was that much more fun.

Aaron128 asks, "When will the Brewers' current TV deal end?"

It ends after the 2019 season. I don't think the bubble will burst by then so I fully expect them to get a better deal than they one they have. It's not going to be worth billions since they operate in the smallest market in baseball. But I could see them getting as much as twice what they get now which is around $20-30 million a year--the lowest or second lowest in baseball. Though if they got less of an increase I wouldn't be shocked either.

Snowdarc asks, "Best Xbox one baseball game?"

I don't have an Xbox one. I'm usually a generation behind. From what I've read Xbone doesn't have a great sports library to choose from. I did find this game, "Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings" It's not an officially licensed MLB game so it doesn't have real teams or players. And it looks kind of cartoony. But apparently it's very good.

Also, I have to mention two things PC related:

1. Right now Humble Bundle has a NeoGeo 25th Anniversary bundle with Baseball Stars 2--which is a fun game--in the lowest tier.

2. Humble Bundle also has a bundle with OOTP16 in a $10 tier. It's regularly priced at $20. I've not played it, but everyone that I know who has says it's amazing. This is a management sim though, so you're not controlling players.

SANDYTOLAN asks, "What's the chance the Brewers will have a new AAA affiliate in 2017 and to your knowledge has Stearns been asked that question, and if so, what has he said?"

Honestly I don't know what the chances are. It'll depend on what other venues are available. I'm sure the Brewers are looking into that because it's not the best place to develop either hitters or pitchers. I think Stearns was asked if they would be more keen to "rush" pitchers to avoid them having to pitch in Colorado and he said no. They don't want to rush prospects and they think there is still value in pitching and developing at AAA, even if it's in Colorado. I'm paraphrasing of course. I don't think they would openly admit to looking elsewhere because they're essentially in a business arrangement with the Sky Sox and it would be poor form to do so. And if they couldn't find another venue it could make for an awkward situation.

Drezdn asks, "What players that are currently playing do you think have the best case for/shot at the hall of fame?"

Just off the top of my head I think Adrian Beltre has a good case. Maybe David Ortiz. Clayton Kershaw could be on his way, but he has many years left. Bryce Harper and Mike Trout also look like future Hall guys, but of course with years left. But seriously, Harper had one of the best offensive seasons in baseball EVER in 2015. It's exciting to realize we're watching a guy people might someday call "Living Legend."

Drezdn also asks, "What non-Futurama show/movie do you wish they would reboot?"

If we're talking all new cast then most certainly NOT "Firefly." A show like that is great because of the people involved. No one else can be Malcolm Reynolds in my mind.

How about we get FOX to reboot the steaming pile that is "Gotham." And we could, you know, PUT FREAKING BATMAN IN THE SHOW instead of making heavy handed references to characters that are relevant to the Batman years. * sigh *

I'm interested to see what the Star Trek reboot is like. I'd love to see a return to the more contemplative storytelling the series always had.

If I could choose one that I think could benefit from a modern translation it might be "Get Smart." They could cast Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart. Wait...

Ullsperj asks, "Have the odds of trading Lucroy gone up or down since the offseason began?"

My guess is they're exactly the same. I think Stearns has a plan and he's sticking to it. And that plan--with regards to trading Lucroy--was always to wait for the best offer. Whether that comes now or at the trade deadline I don't know. But I haven't seen anything to suggest Lucroy's market has changed in the last couple of months.

From Twitter:

For me Denard Span is a left fielder only. He's been really awful defensively in CF in recent years so I'm not sure the Brewers would be willing to deal with that. He does seem like a guy that would sign a one or two year deal--regardless of what his agent is saying right now--but I just don't think it's a fit.

I think both have a very good chance at sticking. I think Colin Walsh is the safer bet. He's had more upper level experience and the Brewers will probably only need him to be good enough in year one to stick in a utility role. Zack Jones is more of a wild card. He hasn't pitched above AA and can get pretty wild with his command. But he does have two plus or better pitches and the Brewers aren't going to be competing. So they can afford to let him work through his struggles--if they continue--at the major league level. I bet both stick.

Excellent question. If you asked me what the chances are that he will be traded before the season starts I'd say at best 50/50. But I think the chances that he doesn't get traded mid-season are very low. I'll say a 75% chance he gets traded by the July 31 deadline. I have two reasons.

1. The value of a player with only one year of control seems to be much less than the same player that a team can control for two playoff runs. The Brewers and David Stearns will know this.

2. I expect Lucroy to have a good first half and that will eliminate any questions about his poor first half in 2015. With that question out of the way Lucroy could become the hottest commodity on the market.

However, if Lucroy were to have a bad start to his season it would become very unlikely he gets traded because I think the Brewers will want to let him build up his value over the second half and try to trade him for more later. But depending on how bad he's doing--in this hypothetical--they might not end up trading him at all.

Don't be alarmed though, I'm a firm believer that Lucroy is still a 3-4 win catcher and that he'll be just fine next season.


And that brings an end to this super sized edition. Thanks for so many great questions! Sorry I couldn't get to all of them but I might break the editor by going passed 3000 words. Not really, but I was getting tired. So if I didn't answer one of you questions you can enter it into the comments again and I'll try for it next time. Enjoy the weekend!