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BCB Mailbag #13: Mailbag reports to spring training

Woo! Mailbag! I answered a bunch of your questions. So you better ask more!

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Great198 asks, "Super Mario Bros. 3 or Sonic the Hedgehog 2?"

I was actually lucky enough to have both an NES and Genesis--my mom managed a Kohl's department store and they got super discounts on returned or damaged items and one day a Sega Genesis box suffered some water damage and it became mine--so I did play both games as a kid. While I did enjoy the Sonic games, "Super Mario Bros. 3" is seriously one of the greatest video games I've ever played. They took the general gameplay mechanics of the first one, perfected them, added new abilities, and added more and better level design. Until mammoth sized jrpgs entered my life, I'm not sure I logged more hours on a video game unless it was "Super Mario World" or "Street Fighter II."

Sidenote: I didn't have a ton of games for Genesis, but my favorite was Kid Chameleon, which I now own on PC via Steam!

Eddiemathews asks, "if, say, Arcia hits .450/.550/.1.300 this spring will the Brewers be sure enough in their plan to start him at AAA or succumb to the temptation to bring him north on the 25?"

We're actually going to do a five part series looking at some of the spring training position battles next week and I'll have more to say about this then. But the short answer is no. I'm pretty sure Arcia could hit 1000/1000/4000 this spring and he'll still go to AAA to start the season. Part of it is they'll want to manipulate service time--right or wrong. But I think more importantly, they'll want him to log time in AAA--a level he's never played at.

AKBrewerfan asks, "Barring a Lucroy trade, is there anything left for Slingin' Stearns to do before the season?"

For the most part I think he's probably done. I wouldn't be shocked to see something like Scooter Gennett to the Angels (not a rumor I've heard or anything, just something I see as a fit). After Jason Rogers was traded I no longer rule anything out. And a team like the Angels could really use a player like Gennett to help solidify their middle infield. But it's probably more likely that the Brewers don't make another move--though my gut says Lucroy does get moved before opening day.

Oh, also I wouldn't be shocked to see Will Smith get traded if someone is willing to pony up the proper prospect package. Say that three times phast. The Twins are reportedly interested in him.

From Twitter:

I'm not sure Stearns has done anything that I would consider a bad move. He did DFA LHP Michael Strong earlier this year resulting in another team claiming him. He probably was never going to be much more than a LOOGY, but the timing just seemed strange. I though maybe it would have been better to wait until after he made a move and actually needed the space on the 40-man roster. But this was leading up to the Rule 5 draft. So maybe it was just a strategic move on Stearns' part which ended up not working out.

The best move is also hard to pick out. I think Jacob Nottingham was the best prospect Stearns has been able to pick up so far. But he also got tons of value in the Jean Segura/Ty Wagner deal. I thought the Brewers got good value in both, but I think the Davis/Nottingham trade was closer to equal value for both teams. So in terms of value gained vs value traded, I think the biggest payoff might be that Segura deal. But Rymer Liriano and/or Garin Cecchini turn into even average (2 win) regulars at their respective positions then they might be his best pick-up because he essentially gave up nothing to get them--especially in the case of Cecchini who was acquired for cash considerations.

Looking at the additions they've made, I think only Chris Carter and Aaron Hill may be on the mid-season trading block this year. All the rest--Rymer Liriano, Jonathan Villar, Ramon Flores, Garin Cecchini, Chase Anderson*--were young upside plays and there wouldn't be any reason to trade them. Either they fail and have no value or hit their upside and the Brewers will have team control over them for years.

Between Hill and Carter I think the latter has the best chance of building trade value (and interest). But it's more complicated than that. Carter is a big power guy and teams tend to buy that at the deadline--and are more willing to overlook deficiencies because of it. That being said, teams look for versatility too and Hill can play 2B and 3B. If he can log enough plate appearances and play better than he has the last two years, some team will want him. But he might not get regular starting time, and he might not be good.

The other thing to consider is team control. Hill is a free agent at season's end. Carter has two more years of arbitration after this season. So the Brewers can be way more patient when looking at trade packages for Carter. If they don't find one they like, they can hold him until they get one.

So I guess in the end, my answer is: I'm not really sure.

*I think Chase Anderson could build significant trade value if he can log an above average season, but it's more likely he would get moved in the offseason.

So this question is kind of related to the above question. Besides Lucroy, I do believe Will Smith has the most trade value. If he doesn't get traded before the season begins, I bet he'll be a hot topic leading up to the trade deadline. Dude is already a top 20 or 30 reliever and I think he could easily break into the top 15, maybe even the top 10 this year.

I think guys like Scooter Gennett and Wily Peralta could get traded too. If Matt Garza has a nice season I think he could get traded in the offseason. Ryan Braun has to prove he's healthy, but if he is and has a nice season I think he could have moderate to significant trade value next winter too.

I think it really depends on what the team thinks of Aaron Hill. The only reason they got him in the first place was because, by taking on $5.5 million of his salary, the Diamondbacks included SS Isan Diaz. But do the Brewers want to try and squeeze more value out of him by trading him this offseason or are they fine with him riding the bench? If they want to trade him he'll need to get regular plate appearances, and the path of least resistance is at third base. If they're fine with not being able to trade him they can use him in a back-up role and then I think Garin Cecchini gets the starts at third base.

I think the most exciting minor league affiliate this year might be low-A Wisconsin. The Appleton Timber Rattlers could have Gilbert Lara, Trent Clark, Monte Harrison, Jacob Gatewood, Demi Oriomoloye, Marcos Diplan, Trey Supak, Freddy Peralta, Daniel Missaki, Carlos Herrera, and others at some point. They might not all play at the same time though--some may open the season in rookie ball and others might receive mid-season promotions.

VERY Honorable mention for the AAA Colorado Sky Sox: Orlando Arcia, Michael Reed, Brett Phillips, Victor Roache, Jorge Lopez, Josh Hader, Adrian Houser, Zach Davies, etc.

Wily Peralta