> The Brewers signed reliever Jairo Asencio to a minor league deal on Monday. The deal includes an invite to Spring Training.
It’s probably unfair for me to judge him based on just parts of three seasons in the Majors, but I’ve never been a huge fan of the guy. His numbers in the Majors, though they are a small sample size, are unimpressive: he has a 5.23 ERA over 58 1/3 innings. In 2012, he threw a career-high 40 1/3 innings between the Indians and Cubs. Asencio had a 4.91 ERA overall in 2012, but was significantly better with the Cubs, posting a 3.07 ERA in 12 games with them.
The Brewers are doing exactly what I expected them to do: attempt to rebuild the bullpen from scratch. Not saying that’s a bad thing; sometimes it works. I think Michael Olmsted, if he stays healthy, could be a huge contributor at the big league level. I don’t feel quite as strongly about Asencio, but you never know.
> Apparently Doug Melvin and Zack Greinke recently had a conversation, but it was “just about baseball.” Of course, the media has tried to blow this into a “the Brewers are extremely interested in Greinke” situation, but they didn’t take into consideration that Melvin and Greinke became very good friends outside the game during Greinke’s time in Milwaukee.
Not saying that I don’t want the Brewers to bring Greinke back, but it’s extremely unlikely. The Angels and Dodgers seem to be his most likely suitors at this point.
> Melvin also continues to preach that the Brewers are a “long shot” for Josh Hamilton, who recently announced he’s seeking $175 million years over seven years (not like he’s actually going to get that kind of deal with his injury/drug history, though).
One thing I’ve forgotten to take into consideration this offseason is that Melvin has probably been turned off of mega-deals because of his history with them. In 2001, when Melvin was the general manager of the Rangers, he was the man who signed Alex Rodriguez to the infamous 10-year deal. Of course, the Rangers wound up not being able to afford it and had to send A-Rod to the Yankees. But perhaps that’s why Melvin is being so hesitant with these big-name free agents.
> The finalists for each major award were announced tonight. I’m really not a big fan of this “finalist” concept that has been introduced this year for awards, but here they are:
AL Rookie of the Year: Yoenis Cespedes, Yu Darvish, Mike Trout
NL Rookie of the Year: Todd Frazier, Bryce Harper, Wade Miley
AL Manager of the Year: Bob Melvin, Buck Showalter, Robin Ventura
NL Manager of the Year: Dusty Baker, Bruce Bochy, Davey Johnson
AL Cy Young Award: David Price, Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver
NL Cy Young Award: R.A. Dickey, Gio Gonzalez, Clayton Kershaw
AL MVP: Adrian Beltre, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano Hamilton, Trout
NL MVP: Ryan Braun, Chase Headley, Andrew McCutchen, Yadier Molina, Buster Posey
I’ll reveal my own picks for each award sometime before next week. (By the way, all of my picks were correct last year.)
> Juan Nieves, who threw the only no-hitter in Brewers history back in 1987, was hired as Boston’s hitting coach today.
> Brooks Conrad signed with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan. Maybe he’ll hit higher than .000 over there.
> Minor moves:
Twins: Re-signed Sam Deduno and Esmerling Vasquez to minor league deals.
Braves: Signed Wirfin Obispo to a minor league contract.
Orioles: Outrighted Steve Tolleson, who elected free agency.
Mariners: Claimed Scott Cousins off waivers from the Blue Jays.
Yankees: Claimed David Herndon off waivers from the Blue Jays; claimed Josh Spence off waivers from the Padres.
Mets: Outrighted Mike Nickeas and Fred Lewis, both of whom elected free agency; released Jason Bay (that’s probably more than a minor move, but he was so hilariously bad for them that I can’t consider it major).
Diamondbacks: Signed Eddie Bonine to a split contract.
White Sox: Acquired Blake Tekotte from the Padres.
Padres: Acquired Brandon Kloess from the White Sox.