Brewers make a few announcements on first day of Meetings

> The first day of the Winter Meetings were highlighted by the Miami Marlins, as they officially announced their major signings of Heath Bell and Jose Reyes. The Brewers also made a few announcements, but nothing near the caliber of those top-tier free agents.

> Jerry Hairston Jr. won’t be returning to the Brewers. Earlier today, he signed a two-year deal with Dodgers.

Hairston hit .274 with the Brewers after being acquired from the Nationals at the Trade Deadline, and was a great fit with the Brewers. He filled in at second base while Rickie Weeks was injured, in center field while Carlos Gomez was injured, and at third base (particularly in the postseason) while Casey McGehee was slumping.

Hairston was also valuable in the postseason, hitting .333 and getting big hits when the Brewers needed it. However, he also made some defensive miscues that may have cost the Brewers a few games in the postseason.

> The Brewers announced that lefty reliever Zach Braddock is part of their future bullpen plans. Braddock missed most of 2011, but, when he did pitch, he wasn’t very effective, as he put up a 7.27 ERA in 25 games. He was hampered with disorders and personal issues all season as well, as he went on the disabled list two different times due to a sleeping disorder (which was based similarly to the disorder that Zack Greinke has). Then, while in the Minors, Braddock was placed on the inactive list for matters that the Brewers kept private. I’m kind of surprised that nothing about that leaked at all.

Anyway, Braddock has potential. In 2010, his rookie season, he put up a 2.94 ERA in 46 games. I’ll be satisfied if he can get back to that point, but that could take awhile.

> If Prince Fielder doesn’t re-sign with the Brewers, Weeks might slide down to the four-hole in the lineup, Ron Roenicke announced today.

This makes me shiver, just a bit.

Nothing against Weeks, but he’s more of a lead-off hitter, in my opinion. And we all saw how unproductive he was in the five-hole, but then again, that was a trend throughout everyone on the Brewers.

Weeks is going to need to become much more consistent for me to be comfortable with him in the four-hole. Primarily, he needs to bring his average up and strike out less.

But hopefully it doesn’t come to that. If the Brewers can somehow manage to sign Aramis Ramirez, he would slide perfectly into the four-hole behind Ryan Braun. If the Brewers can’t get a decent four-hole hitter and leave Braun in the three-hole, he’s going to be walked like crazy, being the reigning NL MVP.

> Unfortunately for the Brewers, the Phillies are actively pursuing Ramirez as well. If the Phillies are after him, odds are they’re going to get him.

> The Brewers are apparently interested in bringing back reliever Todd Coffey. I don’t know about this, since he’s just never been the same since that injury in 2010. But hey, I’d rather have him setting up than Kameron Loe.

On another reliever note, the Brewers have apparently displayed no interest in bringing back LaTroy Hawkins. Yes, let’s not bring back one of our most consistent relievers all year, right? I hope this changes.

> So at least there was some news today. There should be a lot of news this week, as the Winter Meetings will be going on for the next few days. Maybe we’ll see another top-tier free agents sign (hopefully with someone other than the Marlins).

Anyway, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave your thoughts.

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