Haudricourt shoots down Hamilton rumors

October 27, 2012

> Leave it to Tom Haudricourt to crush the dreams of Brewers fans.

Kidding, but he might be right on this one. Yesterday, Jon Heyman clarified some rumors of the Brewers going after free agent Josh Hamilton this offseason. Naturally, Brewers fans- myself included- became hyped around this news.

However, Haudricourt himself interviewed Mark Attanasio last night, and apparently Attanasio “gave no indication that adding a hitter was a priority.”

Attanasio also added: “We’ve got the No. 1 offense in the league. We know what’s working. We have to fix the bullpen. We were last in the Majors. That has to be fixed. We’ve done a lot of work to see what the options are there.”

Fair enough. While I’d love for the Brewers to add Hamilton, it’s almost useless if the bullpen doesn’t improve too. So if that’s where all the money needs to go, so be it; the Brewers could still easily be contenders if that’s the only improvement they make this offseason.

At the same time, though, I wouldn’t completely shut the door on the Brewers signing Hamilton. If the opportunity presents itself and Hamilton doesn’t get any substantial offers from other teams- which he might not, because the “big spenders” don’t need outfield help- why not go for it? Since the departure of Prince Fielder, the Brewers have had a very right-handed dominant lineup, and Hamilton would nicely slot in between Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez at the core of the lineup.

But, as good as the Hamilton rumors have sounded, the bullpen should come first.

(You can read Haudricourt’s full article here.)

THE NEWS

> Not really any major news today, so let’s move right into the minor moves.

Diamondbacks: Claimed Gustavo Nunez off waivers from the Pirates.
Royals: Claimed Chris Volstad off waivers from the Cubs.
Cubs: Outrighted Manny Corpas, who elected free agency; outrighted Joe Mather, Blake Parker, and Justin Germano to Triple-A.
Angels: Signed Angel Sanchez to a minor league deal. (I don’t think I need to tell you why that’s funny.)
Astros: Claimed Che-Hsuan Lin off waivers from the Red Sox; designated Enerio Del Rosario for assignment.
Rays: Outrighted Rich Thompson, who elected free agency.
Orioles: Released Dontrelle Willis.
Padres: Outrighted Dustin Moseley and Tim Stauffer, both of whom elected free agency.

> That’s not a weird MLB highlight video title regarding Sergio Romo. No, not at all.


Brewers could make a serious run at Hamilton

October 26, 2012

> I’m not going to get my hopes up, but it would be amazing if the Brewers actually pulled this off.

A few weeks ago, Buster Olney suggested that the Brewers could be a good home for Josh Hamilton, who will probably one of the most coveted free agent sluggers this offseason. The immediate reaction by most to Olney’s statement was that Hamilton would be to the Brewers this offseason what Jose Reyes was last offseason- he makes sense logically, but perhaps not financially. I agreed with that at the time (but I’ve been clinging to hope that we can bring him in somehow).

Today, though, Jon Heyman wrote that sources “familiar with the Brewers’ thinking” believe that the Brewers are going to make a serious run at Hamilton. Heyman cited a few good reasons for this: first and foremost, the Johnny Narron factor. Narron, currently one of the Brewers’ co-hitting coaches, was Hamilton’s “life coach,” so to speak, in Cincinatti and Texas (if you didn’t know, Hamilton used to have serious alcohol problems). If Hamilton gives the Brewers any discount, it’ll be because of that.

But another factor I didn’t consider a few weeks ago was that the big spenders- the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers- are more than likely to stay away from Hamilton, all for their own reasons. The Rangers, his current team, are hinting that they won’t try and retain him. That leaves the door wide open for the Brewers.

And I get the feeling Doug Melvin might pull it off. Though he couldn’t net Reyes last offseason, people seem to forget he brought in an even more valuable piece- Aramis Ramirez- and he put up an MVP-caliber season. Melvin took a gamble with Norichika Aoki, and he had a sensational rookie season.

Again, I don’t want to get my hopes up, but- as Heyman states at the end of his article- the Brewers have a better chance than people think.

POSTSEASON COVERAGE

> The Giants took a 2-0 advantage over the Tigers in the World Series tonight, also winning their game 2-0. The Tigers managed just two hits in the shutout, and cost themselves a run early on (none other than) Prince Fielder’s baserunning blunder.

Madison Bumgarner and Doug Fister were both stellar, but Drew Smyly let in Fister’s inherited runner in the seventh inning, handing him the loss.

THE NEWS

> I haven’t talked much about the Brewers minor leaguers who are participating in the Arizona Fall League, but it’s worth noting that Brock Kjeldgaard, Josh Prince, and few other guys have been able to make names for themselves down in Arizona.

> Minor moves:

Pirates: Claimed Chad Beck off waivers from the Blue Jays; claimed Ali Solis off waivers from the Padres.
Mets: Claimed Anthony Recker off waivers from the Cubs.
Padres: Outrighted Thad Weber to Triple-A.
Cubs: Outrighted Adrian Cardenas, Jason Berken, Miguel Socolovich, and Marcos Mateo to Triple-A.
Diamondbacks: Outrighted Jonathan Albaladejo, Tyler Graham, Mike Jacobs, Joe Martinez, and ex-Brewer Cody Ransom to Triple-A.
Mariners: Outrighted Luis Jimenez to Triple-A.

THE EXTRAS

> This was sort of a cool way for the Brewers to thank their fans.


More news on Aoki, Braun situations

January 6, 2012

> The two biggest offseason situations for the Brewers may have been resolved today, or are at least closer to being resolved.

> The Brewers announced that they’re going to be working outfielder Norichika Aoki this weekend at their Spring Training complex in Maryvale, Arizona. I saw an interesting article earlier today regarding Aoki’s role with the Brewers, and one particular thing in it caught my eye.

Aoki is going to be the Brewers’ fifth outfielder, assuming they sign him. That gives the Brewers Ryan Braun, Corey Hart, Nyjer Morgan, Carlos Gomez, and Aoki, and that’s obviously not going to work, because one of them isn’t going to get any playing time.

Morgan and Gomez platooned in center last year, which would have probably happened again next year. Hart has right field locked up, and same with Braun for left. But, there’s no guarantee Braun will be playing for the first 50 games of next year (which I’ll get to later), which could be part of the reason the Brewers are going after Aoki.

But let’s just assume that Braun does get suspended (which he hopefully won’t, but I’m just talking hypothetically). If he does, then the Brewers have four outfielders. But, when Braun comes back after the 50 games, then they have five, which, again, is too many. That article I mentioned earlier suggested the possibility of Gomez getting traded or cut at that point, which would make sense, since the other three are more valuable to the Brewers. But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens- we don’t even know the fate of Braun yet.

> Which leads me to my next topic. According to Lance Allen (@lanceallen), Braun’s case is to be held after the BBWAA MVP award ceremony, which means it would happen around January 22nd or 23rd.

Also, according to Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS), Braun does plan to attend that ceremony to officially accept his MVP award. But I can’t even start to imagine how awkward that’s going to be.

> The Marlins officially acquired Carlos Zambrano from the Cubs today in exchange for Chris Volstad and cash. I still think they’re going to regret this…

But the funny part is that the Marlins only have to pay $2.5 million of the $18 million that Zambrano is owed in 2012. Who has to pay the rest? The Cubs.

> And that’s about it. Not much news today, but at least some light was finally shed on the Braun and Aoki situations. Anyway, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.


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