Brewers reportedly decline Yuni’s option; full list of free agents

October 31, 2011

I didn’t look much at news today because I was busy, but here was the first thing I saw when I finally did- “Brewers decline Betancourt’s option.” My day was instantly made.

That’s right, Yuniesky Betancourt-haters (including myself). He probably won’t be playing shortstop for the Brewers next year, which means better defense at that position and better offense in the lineup- hopefully.

Betancourt had a pretty bad 2011. But it may have been good for his standards, actually. He hit .252 with 13 home runs and 68 RBI. All of those stats are worse than his 2010 season with the Royals, in which he hit .259 with 16 home runs and 78 RBI. Anyway, if you add his 2011 stats to his lazy defense at shortstop, you can see why the Brewers declined his option.

My guess is that Doug Melvin will make a push for Jose Reyes, the Mets’ All-Star shortstop who is now a free agent. His .336 batting average won him the NL batting title (although he technically cheated to get it). Reyes doesn’t hit for much power, but he did lead the NL in triples with 16. His offense, defense, and speed all make him a giant upgrade from Betancourt.

Oh yeah, and the Brewers are also expected to be top contender for lefty starter C.J. Wilson. He went 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA as the ace of the Rangers this year, but he had an ugly postseason, as he went 0-3 with an ERA hovering around 7.00. But, he would make a great addition to the Brewers’ rotation, and would probably push lefty Chris Narveson (11-8, 4.45 ERA) back into the bullpen.

And just a couple more things before I move onto my next topic- the Brewers’ declined reliever Francisco Rodriguez’s $17.5 million option, but that was expected, as there was no way the Brewers would have been able to afford that. Also, Dale Sveum is going to be interviewed as one of the possible managerial candidates for the Red Sox. No idea why they’d want him, unless they’ve already given up on next year.

Anyway, onto the next topic. Here is a list of every free agent from every team, with their respective position next to their name:

Atlanta Braves

Alex Gonzalez, SS

Scott Linebrink, RP

Nate McLouth, OF

George Sherrill, RP

Jack Wilson, SS

Arizona Diamondbacks

Jason Marquis, SP

John McDonald, SS

Xavier Nady, OF

Lyle Overbay, 1B

Baltimore Orioles

Vladimir Guerrero, DH

Cesar Izturis, SS

Boston Red Sox

Erik Bedard, SP

J.D. Drew, OF

Conor Jackson, OF

Trever Miller, RP

David Ortiz, DH

Jonathan Papelbon, RP

Jason Varitek, C

Tim Wakefield, P

Chicago Cubs

John Grabow, RP

Reed Johnson, OF

Rodrigo Lopez, SP

Ramon Ortiz, RP

Carlos Pena, 1B

Kerry Wood, RP

Cincinnati Reds

Ramon Hernandez, C

Edgar Renteria, SS

Dontrelle Willis, SP

Cleveland Indians

Chad Durbin, RP

Kosuke Fukudome, OF

Jim Thome, DH

Colorado Rockies

Aaron Cook, SP

Mark Ellis, 2B

Kevin Millwood, SP

J.C. Romero, RP

Chicago White Sox

Mark Buehrle, SP

Ramon Castro, C

Juan Pierre, OF

Omar Vizquel, SS

Detroit Tigers

Wilson Betemit, SS

Carlos Guillen, 2B

Magglio Ordonez, OF

Brad Penny, SP

Ramon Santiago, 2B

Joel Zumaya, RP

Florida Marlins

Greg Dobbs, 3B

Jose Lopez, 2B

Javier Vasquez, SP

Houston Astros

Clint Barmes, SS

Jason Michaels, OF

Kansas City Royals

Bruce Chen, SP

Jeff Francis, SP

Jason Kendall, C

Los Angeles Angels

Russell Branyan, OF

Joel Pineiro, SP

Horacio Ramirez, RP

Fernando Rodney, RP

Los Angeles Dodgers

Rod Barajas, C

Casey Blake, 2B

Jonathan Broxton, RP

Jamey Carroll, SS

Jon Garland, SP

Hiroki Kuroda, SP

Mike MacDougal, RP

Aaron Miles, 2B

Vicente Padilla, SP

Juan Rivera, 1B

Milwaukee Brewers

Yuniesky Betancourt, SS

Craig Counsell, SS

Prince Fielder, 1B

Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B

LaTroy Hawkins, RP

Mark Kotsay, OF

Francisco Rodriguez, RP

Takashi Saito, RP

Minnesota Twins

Matt Capps, RP

Michael Cuddyer, OF

Jason Kubel, OF

Joe Nathan, RP

New York Mets

Miguel Batista, RP

Chris Capuano, SP

Scott Hairston, OF

Willie Harris, 2B

Jason Isringhausen, RP

Jose Reyes, SS

Chris Young, SP

New York Yankees

Luis Ayala, RP

Eric Chavez, 3B

Bartolo Colon, SP

Freddy Garcia, SP

Andruw Jones, OF

Damaso Marte, RP

Sergio Mitre, RP

Jorge Posada, DH

Oakland Athletics

Coco Crisp, OF

David DeJesus, OF

Rich Harden, SP

Hideki Matsui, DH

Josh Willingham, OF

Philadelphia Phillies

Ross Gload, OF

Raul Ibanez, OF

Brad Lidge, RP

Ryan Madson, RP

Roy Oswalt, SP

Jimmy Rollins, SS

Brian Schneider, C

Pittsburgh Pirates

Derrek Lee, 1B

Ryan Ludwick, OF

San Diego Padres

Heath Bell, RP

Aaron Harang, SP

Brad Hawpe, 1B

Chad Qualls, RP

Seattle Mariners

Josh Bard, C

Adam Kennedy, 2B

Wily Mo Pena, OF

Jamey Wright, RP

San Francisco Giants

Carlos Beltran, OF

Pat Burrell, OF

Orlando Cabrera, SS

Mark De Rosa, 2B

Guillermo Mota, RP

Cody Ross, OF

St. Louis Cardinals

Edwin Jackson, SP

Gerald Laird, C

Albert Pujols, 1B

Nick Punto, 2B

Arthur Rhodes, RP

Tampa Bay Rays

Juan Cruz, RP

Johnny Damon, DH

Casey Kotchman, 1B

Texas Rangers

Endy Chavez, OF

Michael Gonzalez, RP

Darren Oliver, RP

Matt Treanor, C

Brandon Webb, SP

C.J. Wilson, SP

Toronto Blue Jays

Shawn Camp, RP

Frank Francisco, RP

Kelly Johnson, 2B

Jose Molina, C

Washington Nationals

Rick Ankiel, OF

Todd Coffey, RP

Alex Cora, 3B

Jonny Gomes, OF

Livan Hernandez, SP

Laynce Nix, OF

Ivan Rodriguez, C

Chien-Ming Wang, SP

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Lopez, offense gives Wolf well-deserved win over Astros

July 30, 2011

9:47p Welcome back to the Brewers, Felipe Lopez.

Astros-Brewers Wrap-Up

The Brewers defeated the Astros today, 4-0. Randy Wolf got his first win since June, and the Brewers offense actually gave him some run support today. Lopez, who I mentioned earlier, was a big part of the Brewers’ charge, going 2-for-4 in his first Brewers appearance since 2009.

The Brewers couldn’t really muster anything off of Astros starter Jordan Lyles until the fifth inning, when Casey McGehee got an RBI single from a swinging bunt. George Kottaras followed that up with an RBI single of his own to give the Brewers a 2-0 nothing lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.

The Brewers tacked on a few more runs off the Astros’ bullpen when Corey Hart hit a two-run single to extend the lead to 4-0.

Wolf exited after seven innings due to a pitch count of 117, his second highest of the year, but had a stellar outing nonetheless. He gave up four hits while striking out five and walking three. The bullpen, Takashi Saito and Kameron Loe, combined for two perfect innings to finish off the game and give a break to Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford, who had both been used for three consecutive games.

Lyles, meanwhile, had a solid start, but is still searching for his first career win. He went six innings and gave up two runs on six hits while walking none and striking out three.

Lopez makes strong return to Brewers

Lopez made his first start with the Brewers since 2009 today, and he didn’t disappoint, going 2-for-4 with two singles. He also made a decent defensive play in the eighth inning to rob Jose Altuve of a bloop single.

Brewers GM Doug Melvin reacquired Lopez in a trade with the Rays in exchange for cash considerations yesterday. It was part of an emergency move because the Brewers regular starting second baseman, Rickie Weeks, went on the DL with a severely sprained ankle. Lopez appears to be the best option as the starting second baseman until Weeks’ return.

Lopez hit .320 during his time with the Brewers in 2009.

Pence traded to Phils mid-game

This was definitely one of the more awkward moments of the game. In the middle of the game, the Astros announced that right fielder Hunter Pence had been traded to the Phillies in exchange for four prospects. But, Pence was in right field at the time, so his replacement, Jason Michaels, had to go out and tell him that he’d been traded. So he shook hands and waved to everybody as he left the field for the last time on the worst team in baseball. Tomorrow, he’ll go onto the field for the first time with the best team in baseball.

SLOW curve…

I’ve been waiting for this to happen for a long time, and it finally happened today. Wolf lobbed a 58 MPH sweeping curve as a strikeout pitch to Michael Bourn, and it was the first time I’ve seen Wolf throw a curve below 60 MPH. I was waiting to see whether it would be Wolf or Zack Greinke, who both have part-eephus curveballs, to throw a curve below 60 MPH. I guess Wolf won that.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers will play the second game of a three-game set with the Astros tomorrow. They’ll send Yovani Gallardo (11-7, 3.89 ERA) to the mound, who will be in search of his 12th win of the season. Gallardo has completely dominated the Astros in his career, going 8-2 with a 3.32 ERA against them.

The Astros will counter J.A. Happ (4-12, 6.12 ERA), who is having the perfect definition of an awful season. He’s given up at least five runs in seven of his last eight starts, and has an 8.63 ERA over that span.

Elsewhere around the division…

  • The Pirates were hammered by the Phillies, 10-3. They now fall to 2.5 games back.
  • The Cardinals defeated the Cubs, 9-2. They are 1.5 games and 15.5 games back, respectively.
  • The Reds are locked up with the Giants in the 13th inning, 3-3. They are currently seven games back.