Loe, Morgan, Veras, and Ishikawa likely gone

November 2, 2012

> Schoolwork- endless schoolwork. That’s basically my excuse for getting articles up the past few days. The past three days have been the worst of the year for me. I’m hoping the next few weeks will be at least a bit lighter, otherwise my time to write on BWI will get mercilessly crunched. Anyhow, I’m not going to write a big article today, but all the news I’ve missed should cover that up.

THE NEWS

> So far, the offseason is going as planned- the Brewers are getting rid of the useless players, so to speak, in order to create roster space. The first batch of players to go is Kameron Loe, Nyjer Morgan, Jose Veras, and Travis Ishikawa.

Morgan’s outright to Triple-A (and eventual election of free agency) probably gathered the most national news, especially because of the role he played on the postseason team in 2011. He was responsible for getting the Brewers to the NLCS on that unforgettable walk-off hit against the Diamondbacks in the NLDS, and he ingrained himself into the minds of Brewers fans (and into the minds of other fans, but in a negative way) with all of his aliases. But it just wasn’t Nyjer’s season in 2012. He hit a measly .239, and lost practically all of his playing time so that Carlos Gomez could prepare for a possible starting role in 2013. The emergence of Norichika Aoki didn’t help his cause either. And, with the left-handed Logan Schafer proving that he could possibly play the role of the fourth outfielder in 2013, there just wasn’t a spot for Morgan. So I thank Morgan for all of his contributions in 2011, but his antics and things weren’t fitting this year.

Loe and Veras also elected free agency following outright assignments. Loe was one of the Brewers’ best relievers in 2010, posting a 2.78 ERA. He had a second-half surge after getting off two a rough start in 2011, but it was the opposite this year. He had an ERA below 4.00 for most of the season, but it faded all the way to 4.61 in September. Statistically, Veras was one of the Brewers’ best relievers this year (though it’s not good when a guy with a 3.90 ERA is your best reliever). But he quietly had innings just about as frustrating as some of Francisco Rodriguez’s innings, so I’m relatively glad that he’s gone.

Lastly, Ishikawa was outrighted to Triple-A today, and is expected to elect free agency after he clears waivers. Ishikawa had his moments with the Brewers, but overall was the poster-boy of an extremely weak Brewers bench.

After their 2012 performances, I don’t think any of these players will be missed. However, Morgan will always be remembered: he’s written his legacy into Milwaukee history.

> The Brewers claimed reliever Arcenio Leon off waivers from the Astros.

> K-Rod was charged with domestic abuse for that incident in Wales that popped up two months ago.

Just stay away from Wisconsin, K-Rod.

> Speaking of K-Rod, the Brewers did not give “qualifying offers” to him or Shaun Marcum.

This “qualifying offer” thing is something brought about by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, and basically replaced the Type A/Type B free agent system, which usually determined whether or not a team would receive draft picks as compensation for losing key free agents. Qualifying offers now play that role, and they are determined by the average salary of the top 125 player salaries from the previous season. That salary this season was $13.3 million.

As if K-Rod or Marcum are going to get $13.3 million on the market anyway. This was a no-doubter for the Brewers.

Only nine players received qualifying offers from their respective teams: Michael Bourn, Josh Hamilton, Rafael Soriano, Nick Swisher, Hiroki Kuroda, Adam LaRoche, David Ortiz, B.J. Upton, and Kyle Lohse.

> Minor moves (and a lot of ‘em):

Tigers: Exercised 2013 options for Octavio Dotel and Jhonny Peralta; outrighted Don Kelly to Triple-A.
Rays: Exercised 2013 options for James Shields, Fernando Rodney, and Jose Molina; declined 2013 option for Luke Scott.
Braves: Exercised 2013 options for Brian McCann, Tim Hudson, and Paul Maholm; claimed Jordan Schafer off waivers from the Astros; outrighted Erik Cordier, J.C. Boscan, and Robert Fish off their 40-man roster.
Astros: Designated Matt Downs for assignment; declined 2013 option for Chris Snyder; outrighted Fernando Abad, Sergio Escalona, Edgar Gonzalez, Jose Valdez, and Kyle Weiland to Triple-A.
Athletics: Outrighted Dallas Braden and Joey Devine, both of whom elected free agency.
White Sox: Signed Jake Peavy to a two-year extension; exercised 2013 option for Gavin Floyd; declined 2013 options for Brett Myers and Kevin Youkilis.
Mets: Exercised 2013 options for R.A. Dickey and David Wright.
Rangers:
Declined 2013 options for Scott Feldman and Yoshinori Tateyama; claimed Konrad Schmidt off waivers from the D-backs.
Cubs: Outrighted Justin Germano to Triple-A, who elected free agency.
Dodgers: Re-signed Brandon League to a three-year deal.
Orioles: Declined 2013 option for Mark Reynolds.
Indians: Exercised 2013 option for Ubaldo Jimenez; declined 2013 options for Travis Hafner and Roberto Hernandez (I still call him Fausto Carmona); outrighted Kevin Slowey and Vinny Rottino to Triple-A; claimed Blake Wood off waivers from the Royals.
Royals: Declined 2013 option for Joakim Soria; acquired Ervin Santana from the Angels; claimed Guillermo Moscoso off waivers from the Rockies; claimed Brett Hayes off waivers from the Marlins; designated ex-Brewer Jeremy Jeffress and Jason Bourgeois for assignment.
Yankees: Outrighted ex-Brewer Casey McGehee to Triple-A, who elected free agency; returned Rule 5 Draft pick Brad Meyers to the Nationals.
Reds: Ryan Ludwick and Ryan Madson each declined his side of his mutual option for 2013.
Pirates: Exercised 2013 option for Pedro Alvarez; declined 2013 option for Rod Barajas; released Hisanori Takahashi.
Blue Jays: Claimed Scott Maine off waivers from the Cubs; designated Scott Cousins and David Herndon for assignment; exercised 2013 option for Darren Oliver; re-signed Rajai Davis.
Diamondbacks: Declined 2013 options for ex-Brewer Henry Blanco and Matt Lindstrom.
Rockies: Ex-Brewer Jorge De La Rosa exercised his player option.
Nationals: LaRoche and Sean Burnett each declined their player options.
Giants: Declined 2013 option for Aubrey Huff.
Twins: Claimed Josh Roenicke and Thomas Field off waivers from the Rockies.
Orioles: Claimed Alexi Casilla off waivers from the Twins.
Padres: Designated Josh Spence and Blake Tekotte for assignment.


Hart finishes off Pirates

September 2, 2012

POSTGAME

> The only way the Pirates were going to make the postseason this year was if they could get over their mental issues against the Brewers and Padres, two non-contending teams they’ve struggled against in the past. It looked for awhile like the Pirates were on the road to the playoffs for the first time in 20 years, but, even though they were (and still are) contending, they couldn’t pull the trigger against those two non-contenders.

That trend continued today in a thrilling Brewers win over the Pirates, 3-2. The Pirates put in Joel Hanrahan in a 2-2 game in the ninth, and the first batter he faced was Corey Hart. But Hart quickly disposed of him, hitting a walk-off home run on the second pitch of the inning.

A.J. Burnett held the Brewers hitless through the first five innings, but they broke through against him and took the lead in the seventh on Carlos Gomez’s RBI double (Gomez’s mad run around the bases was what manufactured the first run). Jim Henderson, on in relief of a stellar Marco Estrada, got screwed in the eighth inning on an Andrew McCutchen jam-shot RBI single, crediting him with a blown save he didn’t deserve.

But John Axford, despite being as wild as usual, put up a scoreless ninth, setting the stage for Hart’s blast.

MY TAKE

> I’m going to be very disappointed if Aramis Ramirez doesn’t win the Gold Glove for National League third basemen this year. He had another highlight reel play tonight, and has the fewest errors among NL third basemen. He wasn’t a defensive specialist early in his career (particularly with the Pirates), and I think people still underrate him because of that. He wasn’t too bad defensively his last few years with the Cubs, and is doing something special for the Brewers this year.

Some are going as far to say that Ramirez should also take home the third base Silver Slugger. While he’s been having an unbelievable offensive year since his slow April start, I don’t know if it’s enough for him to win it. The NL is very strong in the third base department: David Freese, Pedro Alvarez, Ryan Zimmerman, Chipper Jones, David Wright, Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez, Chase Headley… I could go on.

But I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing him take both.

THE NEWS

> Mark Rogers said he disagreed with the idea of being shut down. At least someone is sane about the subject.

> Mat Gamel started hitting off a tee today. 

> Eric Farris was recalled to take Cody Ransom’s spot on the roster. Spots on the roster don’t really matter now that it’s September, but this move was actually made yesterday, so they needed someone to fill in the roster spot for the day.

THE NUMBERS

> Estrada went seven innings while giving up just one run on four hits. He also had 10 strikeouts and one walk. He’s had bad luck with the win total this year, but he’s likely to have a rotation spot next year, where he could thrive when given the full-time job.

> The Brewers are four games under .500 and 7.5 games out of a Wild Card spot. I don’t know; just felt like throwing that out there.

> Tomorrow’s match-up: 

James McDonald (12-6, 3.57 ERA) vs. Yovani Gallardo (14-8, 3.52 ERA)

After the starts each got off to, I don’t think anyone expected Gallardo to have better numbers than McDonald at this point of the season. But Yo owns the Pirates, so we should be in for a nice sweep tomorrow.

THE EXTRAS

> Shaun Marcum’s calf injury is worse than I thought. Although I have to wonder what it feels like when your own calf goes camping without you.

> This year’s dose of streaking took place in Seattle last night. Deadspin has the story.


Loe picks up Axford in shaky ninth

August 25, 2012

POSTGAME

> It was another bullpen classic tonight. The Brewers squeezed past the Pirates, 6-5, in a game that should have been a much easier win. They had a three-run lead going into the ninth inning, but, after a dominating performance on Wednesday, John Axford couldn’t handle it today.

The Brewers jumped on Wandy Rodriguez early, with back-to-back RBI hits from Corey Hart and Jonathan Lucroy to give them a 2-0 lead. But the Pirates answered back on an Andrew McCutchen two-RBI single in the fourth.

It was a pitchers’ duel between Mike Fiers and Rodriguez until the Brewers finally broke the game open in the seventh. Rodriguez was removed with a runner on second and two outs in favor of Jared Hughes, who got his head blown off by the Brewers. He started by hitting Rickie Weeks with the first pitch he threw, then walked Ryan Braun to load the bases. Aramis Ramirez made him pay with a bases-clearing double.

The Brewers had a 6-3 lead going into the ninth, so Axford was put in for what looked like an easy save situation, especially after his save Wednesday. But nothing is easy for him nowadays. He walked McCutchen and Garrett Jones to start the inning, then gave up an RBI single to Neil Walker. Axford seemed to find it for two batters, notching back-to-back strikeouts of Pedro Alvarez and Jeff Clement. But then he gave up another RBI single to Michael McKenry, and Ron Roenicke decided to yank him for Kameron Loe, who struck out Gaby Sanchez to record the save.

AXFORD CAN’T HANDLE IT ANYMORE

> I wrote an article yesterday regarding Axford’s confidence coming back after he recorded back-to-back saves. I also mentioned that he himself went up to Roenicke and personally asked for the closer’s role back.

But I guess I was wrong. Axford just no longer has the ability to string together good outings. I want to say he’ll get better, but each blown save (or practically blown save, which was the case tonight) just lessens my confidence in him more and more.

Yes, I know it’s probably too early to judge him, and there’s no reason that he can’t still turn it around before season’s end. But, at the same time, there’s no reason that he can’t become the next Derrick Turnbow, which, scarily enough, seems to be exactly what’s happening to him. Axford had a ton of saves last year and sub-2.00 ERA, and now can barely string together two good outings.

Sound familiar? Yes, it sounds very familiar. The exact same thing happened to Turnbow. And we all saw what happened to Turnbow after this happened to him.

I hate to be all negative about Axford, because he has great stuff, and still has the potential to be that dominant closer. But, just like Turnbow, he can’t get it together mentally anymore.

(Sorry if I brought back any bad memories with that photo.)

THE NEWS

> Randy Wolf said the Brewers organization treated him with respect and “has been outstanding” even after they released him. He’ll return to his home in Los Angeles to work out and hopefully wait on another big league opportunity.

> Shaun Marcum was offically reinstated from the disabled list today and will make his first start since early June tomorrow.

THE NUMBERS

> Fiers bounced back nicely after two rough outings against the Rockies and Phillies. He went 6 2/3 innings while giving up three runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out 10, which tied a career-high.

In Fiers’ two previous starts, he had a whopping 15.43 ERA.

> Braun got walked three times tonight, one of those times intentionally. Ramirez made the Bucs pay for all of those by going 2-for-4 with three RBIs.

> Jean Segura’s average has fallen to .189.

> Fiers finally recorded his first career hit, which was a bunt single to ignite the seventh inning rally.

> Tomorrow’s match-up:

Shaun Marcum (5-3, 3.39 ERA) vs. Jeff Karstens (4-3, 3.79 ERA)


Gallardo’s 14 K’s give Brewers series win

July 16, 2012

> Despite last night’s ugly loss, the Brewers have had a successful start to the second half. They took two out of three in the first series after the second half from the first place Pirates by winning today, 4-1. The star of the show was Yovani Gallardo, who threw by far his best outing of the year today. He went seven innings while giving up one run on just four hits. Yo struck out a career-high 14 hitters and, to make it even more impressive, didn’t allow a walk. He lowered his ERA to 3.59, and, like I said after his last start, his numbers are starting to look more Yovani-like.

There wasn’t much offense today. The Pirates got one run, and you can probably guess who it came from- the extremely hot-hitting Andrew McCutchen. He hit a solo shot off Gallardo in the fourth inning to give the Bucs a 1-0 lead.

Up until the sixth inning, Pirates starter A.J. Burnett appeared to be on cruise control, like he has been so many times this year. But, the Brewers finally got to him in the sixth. Nyjer Morgan singled to lead off the inning, and Ryan Braun followed that up with a single to right field. Morgan tried to advance to third on Braun’s hit, and it appeared he would have gotten there anyway. But right fielder Garrett Jones decided to try and test Morgan’s speed, only to airmail into left field. Morgan ended up scoring on the play to tie the game, and Braun advanced to third base. Aramis Ramirez promptly drove in Braun with a single to give the Brewers a 2-1 lead. After Corey Hart struck out, Rickie Weeks hit an RBI double through the legs of third baseman Pedro Alvarez (it was originally scored as an error but was changed later). Martin Maldonado then put the icing on the cake with an RBI double to give the Brewers their fourth and final run.

After Gallardo left the game, it was up to the bullpen to preserve his stellar start, something they were unable to do for Marco Estrada and his 11 K’s last night. But Francisco Rodriguez came in and tossed a 1-2-3 eighth with two strikeouts, and John Axford picked up his 16th save of the season.

> Even though the Pirates lost this series, I have to give them a lot of credit for how far they’ve come this year. McCutchen is hitting a Major League-leading .371 after going 3-for-4 today (two of the four hits Gallardo gave up were by him). Coming into today, Burnett had gone 9-0 over his last twelve starts, which makes it impressive that the Brewers were able to snap that streak. James McDonald is also having a great year and is developing into the ace everyone thought he would be (though the Brewers knocked him around in the first game of the series). So the Pirates have definitely put all the pieces together up to this point in the season.

They were having a similar story up until the All-Star break last year, which led to a second-half collapse. But something about them feels different this year. I don’t think they’ve playing over their heads right now; I think they’re legit for the first time since 1992.

> This series aside, the Brewers crucial stretch continues. They start a three-game set with the Cardinals at Miller Park tomorrow. Here are what the pitching matchups look like:

Lance Lynn (11-4, 3.41) vs. Michael Fiers (3-3, 2.31 ERA)

Joe Kelly (1-1, 2.70 ERA) vs. Randy Wolf (2-6, 5.80 ERA)

Adam Wainwright (7-9, 4.62 ERA) vs. Zack Greinke (9-3, 3.57 ERA)

So it’ll be Lynn vs. Fiers tomorrow. Fiers was hot entering the All-Star break, and tomorrow is his first career start against the Cards. We’ll see if he has better luck than the most of the other Brewers’ starters against the Cardinals. It’s a good thing Gallardo started in this series, because he’s 1-9 with a 7.07 ERA in his career against the Cardinals, including a 23.60 ERA in two starts this year (imagine his overall ERA without those two disasters). Wolf is on and off against them. Greinke has a 0.69 ERA in two starts against the Cards this year. But the starter who has the most success against the Cardinals is out for the year- Chris Narveson has a career ERA below 2.00 against them.

Anyway, I think Fiers will throw fine, because against the teams I’ve expected him to have trouble against, he’s done well (i.e. Dodgers, White Sox, Diamondbacks, Marlins, etc.).

> And that’s about it. Thanks for reading.


Ransom gives Brewers grand start to second half

July 14, 2012

> The Brewers have a very crucial stretch of games coming up. Their next nine games are against division opponents, and this will definitely determine if the Brewers are indeed sellers for the first time in the Mark Attanasio era, or if they can come back and at least contend.

> They certainly started that stretch in a good way tonight. They defeated the first place Pirates, 10-7, in a back-and-forth slugfest that was expected to be a pitchers’ duel. There were a ton of storylines behind this game, so let’s start with a few of them.

Zack Greinke didn’t have a start to remember, but he will remember it. This was his third consecutive start, as he got ejected by Sam Holbrook in the first inning two games before the All-Star break, then started the next day as well. He became the first pitcher since Red Faber of the White Sox in 1917 to accomplish this feat.

Like I said, it wasn’t very special otherwise- he went five innings while giving up six runs (five earned) on seven hits. He walked two and struck out six. But, the Miller Park magic once again came into effect, and Greinke’s home record remains perfect.

His counterpart, James McDonald, didn’t do so well either. He couldn’t even make it out of the fifth inning, going just 4 2/3 innings while giving up five runs (four earned) on eight hits. He also walked five, which contributed to his pitch count of 109 in the short outing.

The Brewers put up a three-spot in the first inning. Ryan Braun hit a solo shot, followed by a Rickie Weeks two-run double to start the second half with a bang. But the wheels fell off for Greinke a few innings later. The Pirates got a run in the third thanks to a Weeks error with bases loaded, then they took the lead in the fourth on Drew Sutton’s RBI double and Neil Walker’s go-ahead three-run homer. Braun got the Brewers a run back in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single, but Pedro Alvarez made the deficit 6-4 in the fifth with a solo shot.

Then the comeback trail began. Travis Ishikawa hit a pinch-hit RBI single in the fifth, then Braun tied the game up in the sixth with his second home run of the night.

The Brewers managed to come full circle in the eighth inning and finally take the lead. Braun and Aramis Ramirez hit back-to-back singles with one out. Corey Hart then struck out, but the Brewers pulled a double steal on the pitch. That prompted Pirates reliever Tony Watson to intentionally walk Weeks, which was surprising, unless you consider Cody Ransom was coming up next.

But, boy, did Ransom make them pay. All the Brewers would have needed was a little bloop single, which are usually what Ransom’s hits are like when he isn’t striking out. Instead, Ransom smashed a line drive in to deep left field for a go-ahead grand slam. I can tell you honestly that it was the craziest Miller Park had been since October of last year; I was at the game.

Andrew McCutchen hit a solo home run in the ninth, but it wasn’t enough for the Pirates.

> Even though the Brewers won this game, I’m still worried about Axford. He did get a save the other day, but was shaky. And now he gives up another home run tonight. If the Brewers truly want to contend in the second half, they’re going to have to find out what’s wrong with Axford (and the rest of the ‘pen for that matter).

> And that’s already about it. I got home late from the game, so I don’t have much time right now. But, for now, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.


The 2011 Pirates could be a signal…

December 4, 2011

> A signal that they may be coming back from the dead.

The Pirates had a typical Pirates season in 2011, typical meaning what we’ve come to expect of them ever since 1992. They went 72-90, which was at least an improvement from their 57-105 season in 2010. But, it was still nowhere near contention, as they finished 24 games back of the first place Brewers.

The Pirates can say the finished ahead of the Cubs and Astros for the first time in a few years, but each of those two teams had excuses- the Cubs were managed by Mike Quade, and, by the end of the season, the Astros didn’t have one household name (AKA star player) on their team.

But, it appeared at the All-Star break that the Pirates weren’t going to finish the season like they usually do. Around that time, they were actually in first place for awhile. The terms “first place” and “Pirates” hadn’t been associated with each other since 1992.

By the All-Star break, the Pirates were just one game out of first place. And they had rode pitching all the way there. At the time, their starters- Paul Maholm (6-9, 2.96 ERA), Kevin Correia (11-7, 4.01 ERA), James McDonald (5-4, 4.42 ERA), Charlie Morton (7-5, 3.80 ERA), and Jeff Karstens (7-4, 2.55 ERA)- were all giving the Pirates a chance to win. And their bullpen was solidified by All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan, who, at the time, had yet to blow a save all year.

On one fateful night, however, everything fell apart.

It was July 26th, and the Pirates record at the time was 53-48- good for third in the NL Central and still in the heat of the pennant race (the Cardinals and Brewers were tied for first). The Pirates were in the final game of a three-game series with the Braves in Atlanta, and looking for a series win. Little did they know that when the game started, they’d have to wait around seven hours for a result- a very frustrating result.

The game ended up going 19 innings. The starter that night, Karstens, had turned in just five innings, forcing the Pirates to use nearly every pitcher in their bullpen.

In the bottom of the 19th inning, the game tied 3-3, reliever Daniel McCutchen was in his sixth inning of work (and he was supposed to have a night off). Scott Proctor, the relief pitcher for the Braves, was at the plate, while Julio Lugo stood at third base. McCutchen threw a slider, and Proctor tapped a grounder to third baseman Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez threw it home to catcher Michael McKenry, who caught the ball and tagged out Lugo.

But home plate umpire Jerry Meals had other ideas.

The Pirates playoff hopes were crushed by an umpire in the 19th inning of a game in Atlanta.

After McKenry obviously tagged Lugo, Meals called Lugo safe, and the Braves won, 4-3, in 19 innings. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle came bustling out of the dugout to join an argument that McCutchen and McKenry were already having with Meals. But there was no changing it- the wrong call had been made, and it stood.

The next day (actually the same day, as the game ended early the next morning), Meals did what only an idiot umpire would do- come out and admit that the call was wrong after the game is over. I hate it when umpires do that, because they’re simply enraging the team they screwed over more, because now that team knows that they actually had a shot at continuing the game and possibly winning.

Anyway, in some Pirates’ fans minds, that was probably the end of the season for them. You can’t blame them for not recuperating in time after a game like that because of the exhausted bullpen (and everyone else was probably exhausted as well).

Remember the numbers I listed for the Pirates’ starters earlier? Yeah, they looked a little different by the end of the season. Maholm finished didn’t win another start all year, finishing 6-14 with a 3.66 ERA. Correia,  who had already started his decline before the numbers I showed, faltered even more before he went on the DL to finish the year, going 12-11 with a 4.79 ERA. McDonald actually pitched decent, finished 9-9 with a 4.21 ERA. Morton couldn’t continue what appeared to be a great comeback season for him, going 10-10 with a 3.83 ERA. Lastly, Karstens finished 9-9 with a 3.38 ERA, a significant increase in ERA from 2.55.

But, I have a feeling the Pirates aren’t going to be pushovers in the Central for much longer. They have loads of talent, such as Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata, and so on. If they can get a little more pitching and just put everything together over the next few years, they could be a force in the Central.

But first, they need to find a way to beat the Brewers, who have flat-out punished them over the past few years. Since 2009, the Pirates have a total of nine wins against the Brewers. Personally, I hope that continues, though.

> Rumor has it that the Brewers may have already made an offer to free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez. I’ve heard that it’s a three-year deal with a mutual option for a fourth, but it’s nowhere near confirmed- it may have not even happened yet.

Still, I kind of hope the Brewers sign him. That would at least help fill the void that Prince Fielder is going to leave in the offense.

> I’ve also heard from various sources that Doug Melvin has spoken with free agent shortstop Jose Reyes‘ agents. A few weeks ago, it was supposedly “guaranteed” that Reyes was going to sign with the Marlins, but I haven’t heard anything between the two teams since

Now, Brewers might sign one of them (meaning Reyes or Ramirez, but I kind of doubt they’ll sign either. But imagine if they signed both. The payroll simply won’t permit (and that new salary cap isn’t helping either), but those two on the Brewers would make up for Fielder’s absence.

UPDATE: The Marlins and Reyes have reportedly agreed to a six-year, $106 million deal, which officially puts the Brewers out of the mix for him.

> Unless Fielder can’t find a job with another team. It doesn’t appear anyone wants him, and same goes for Albert Pujols. Who would have thought that the two most coveted free agents on the market might be forced to sign with their former team if they want to keep playing in the MLB?

> Former pitcher Pedro Martinez officially announced his retirement last night, after not pitching in the Majors since 2009 with the Phillies.

Say what you will, but he’s going to the Hall of Fame.

> A minor trade happened yesterday, as the Blue Jays sent lefty starter Brad Mills to the Angels in exchange for catcher Jeff Mathis.

> It’s still early in the day, and nothing’s really happened yet. But, if something does happen, I’ll update ASAP. Anyway, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.


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