Transactions from the past few days

November 29, 2012

> Gord Ash has announced that adding arms– whether they be starters or relievers- is going to be the priority for the Brewers at this year’s Winter Meetings.

> Josh Prince was named to the Arizona Fall League Prospects Team.

> According to Buster Olney, the Brewers are still bidders for Josh Hamilton. But, if his price reaches anywhere around $214 million- the amount Prince Fielder got last offseason- Olney doesn’t think the Brewers will sign him.

> The Braves overpayed B.J. Upton with a five-year contract for $75.25 million. On the bright side, that means they’re out of the running for Hamilton.

> The Angels signed Ryan Madson to a one-year deal to be their closer. He could have been an option for the Brewers, but it would have been a risk, seeing as Madson didn’t pitch at all last year due to Tommy John surgery.

> Yet another relatively mediocre reliever has been signed to a multi-year deal. This time, the Reds gave Jonathan Broxton a three-year, $21 million deal. This means it will only be tougher for the Brewers to bring in a reliever.

> One more relief note: it’s been reported that the Giants are probably going to non-tender Brian Wilson. But he’s one guy who I want to stay away from the Brewers.

> Minor moves: 

Reds: Re-signed Todd Redmond to a one-year deal.
Mets: Re-signed Tim Byrdak to a minor league deal; acquired Brandon Hicks from the Athletics.
Yankees: Designated Eli Whiteside for assignment; re-signed Andy Pettitte to a one-year deal.
Red Sox: Outrighted Ivan De Jesus off their 40-man roster; signed David Carpenter and Jose De La Torre to minor league deals.
Cubs: Signed Scott Feldman to a one-year deal; designated Casey Coleman for assignment.
Orioles: Signed Logan Mahon and Chase Johnson to minor league deals; acquired Danny Valencia from the Red Sox; designated Joe Mahoney for assignment.
Giants: Signed Omar Javier and Guillermo Quiroz to minor league deals.
Twins: Signed Jeff Clement to a minor league deal.
Phillies: Signed Brandon Erbe, Humberto Quintero, and Pete Orr to minor league deals; acquired Wilton Lopez from the Astros.
Astros: Signed Edgar Gonzalez, Trevor Crowe, Sergio Escalona, and Jose Valdez to minor league deals.
Diamondbacks: Signed Mark Teahen to a minor league deal.
Nationals: Signed Bobby Bramhall to a minor league deal.
Indians: Designated Rafael Perez for assignment; added Nick Hagadone to their 40-man roster.
Pirates: Acquired Zach Stewart from the Red Sox; acquired Vin Mazzaro and Clint Robinson from the Royals; designated Matt Hague and Yamaico Navarro for assignment.
Rangers: Acquired Cory Burns from the Padres.
Athletics: Acquired Sandy Rosario from the Red Sox; designated Jermaine Mitchell for assignment; re-signed Pat Neshek to a one-year deal.
Mariners: Released Chone Figgins.

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Potential relief options for the Brewers

November 25, 2012

> As I stated the other day, relievers could be hard to come by this offseason, largely in part to the multi-year deals that Jeremy Affeldt and Brandon League have already signed with the Giants and Dodgers, respectively. But the Brewers are certainly going to need at least one relatively-known name in the bullpen by the end of the offseason in order to shore up what proved to be the anchor of the team in 2012.

Here’s a list of potential closers who are on the market this offseason. Some of them are far out of the Brewers’ reach because they won’t fit financially, some are middle-of-the-pack (the most likely for the Brewers to sign), and some should be stayed away from for other reasons.

Jonathan Broxton
Matt Capps
Francisco Cordero
Kyle Farnsworth
Ryan Madson
Juan Carlos Oviedo
J.J. Putz
Mariano Rivera
Francisco Rodriguez
Joakim Soria
Jose Valverde

You can probably immediately tell who the Brewers are interested in and who they aren’t. In my opinion, the Brewers’ best bet would be Farnsworth, because he’d come relatively cheap and showed huge potential as the Rays’ closer in 2011. It’s doubtful that he’d close for the Brewers, since they seem pretty intent on keeping John Axford in the role, but Farnsworth could fill a gaping hole in the eighth inning if the Brewers fail to sign another setup man (which I’ll get to later). Oviedo- or Leo Nunez, who most probably still know him as- might not be a bad option for that role either, but he hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2011 because of identity issues and injuries. Soria and Madson also haven’t pitched in a big league game since 2011. Capps, Valverde, Cordero, and obviously K-Rod were all flat-out ineffective in 2012. I suppose I wouldn’t mind Broxton after the 2012 he had, but I have to wonder where his asking price would be.

So, of that group, Farnsworth would be the most logical signing for the Brewers. I’ll admit my confidence in him wavered after his 2012, but what more do the Brewers have to lose?

Next is a list of free agent right-handed pitchers, ranging from guys with previous closing experience to near no-names. There are far more names on this list that I wouldn’t mind the Brewers bringing aboard.

Jeremy Accardo
Mike Adams
Luis Ayala
Miguel Batista
Todd Coffey
Jose Contreras
Juan Cruz
Chad Durbin
Jason Frasor
Kevin Gregg
LaTroy Hawkins
Clay Hensley
Bobby Jenks
Brad Lidge
Matt Lindstrom
Mark Lowe
Brandon Lyon
Mike MacDougal
Guillermo Mota
Micah Owings
Vicente Padilla
Chad Qualls
Ramon Ramirez
Jon Rauch
Fernando Rodney
Takashi Saito
Rafael Soriano
Yoshinori Tateyama
Carlos Villanueva
Dan Wheeler
Jamey Wright
Jason Grilli

My wish list from this series of names (while trying to stay within the Brewers’ budget) would be Adams, Frasor, Lindstrom, Grilli, and/0r Padilla. Adams, a former Brewer, has become a different pitcher since he left, featuring a nice cutter to go along with nasty breaking stuff. He would slot perfectly into the eighth inning role. Grilli, Frasor, Lindstrom, and Padilla are all power arms, which is what the Brewers are looking for this offseason.

Anyway, Rodney is by far the best name on the list, but he’s going to draw far too many suitors for the Brewers to compete with; same goes for Soriano. I wouldn’t be completely opposed to bringing Hawkins or Saito back on one-year deals, but health is obviously an issue for both of them at this point in their careers. I also wouldn’t mind seeing Villanueva in a Brewers uniform again, but he’s reportedly looking for a job as a full-time starter.

If it weren’t already obvious, the guys the Brewers need to stay away from include Durbin, Jenks, and Qualls.

Lastly, here is the list of lefty relievers on the market. Seeing as Manny Parra might not be back next year (and he wasn’t effective as the only lefty in the bullpen anyway), I’d like to see the Brewers pick up at least one of these guys.

Sean Burnett
Tim Byrdak
Randy Choate
Pedro Feliciano
J.P. Howell
Will Ohman
J.C. Romero
Hisanori Takahashi

Two of these lefties- Burnett and Choate- would be nice additions for the Brewers, but both are more than likely going to re-sign with their current teams. I’d love for the Brewers to sign Howell- which they are probably capable of doing- but the market for him is reportedly at least eight teams. Feliciano, however, could be a very interesting option. He hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2010 with the Mets due to injuries. But, before that, he was one of the best lefty specialists in the game, and led the league in appearances from 2008-2010. Even though there are some question marks surrounding him, he might be the best option for the Brewers.

The bottom line is the Brewers need to add at least one or two of these relievers, but there are certainly more than enough to choose from.

(Note: these free agent lists are courtesy of SportsCity)

> Minor moves: 

Indians: Signed Nate Spears and Jose Flores to minor league deals.


After long delay, Marcum, Brewers dominate Mets

August 20, 2011

11:54p The Brewers definitely needed a game like this to at least show that their offense is still alive.

Brewers-Mets Wrap-Up

The Brewers beat the Mets today, 6-1, in a game that was nearly rained out. But, after a two hour and 46 minute long rain delay, the Brewers were able to beat up on the Mets, and also got another great road start from Shaun Marcum. Marcum went seven innings while giving up a run on six hits. He walked one and struck out three, and lowered his road ERA to 2.47.

The Brewers jumped on Mets starter Mike Pelfrey right away in the first inning, when Prince Fielder hit an RBI single following an error by third baseman David Wright.

That would be it until the fifth, when the Brewers broke it open. They got back-to-back RBI singles from Fielder and Casey McGehee, then Yuniesky Betancourt followed with a RBI double.

The Brewers tacked on two more in the sixth inning on another McGehee RBI single, and a gifted run from the Mets (in other words, a wild pitch by reliever D.J. Carrasco, allowing Fielder to score from third).

The Mets avoided the shutout in the seventh inning on Josh Thole’s RBI single, but they couldn’t muster up enough offense to avoid the loss.

Tempers flare in New York

At first, I was angry about this, but was able to laugh it off later. In the eighth inning, Mets reliever Tim Byrdak threw WAY inside to Fielder, and Fielder wasn’t happy with the pitch location. He kept it to himself, until after he grounded out and started running back to the dugout. As Byrdak was walking back to the Mets’ dugout, he said something to Fielder (which you obviously don’t want to do to him). It clearly phased Fielder, who got in Byrdak’s face. The umpires managed to break it up before the benches completely cleared, but a few guys from each dugout made their ways out. Now, for the funny part.

Jerry Hairston Jr. was one of those guys who came out from the Brewers’ dugout, and he got into it right away. He started pointing at the Mets’ dugout, and I couldn’t tell why at first. But, during the next inning, announcer Brian Anderson showed that Hairston was pointing at his brother, Scott Hairston, who just so happens to be on the Mets, and was sitting in the dugout at the time. I don’t know why, but I found that hilarious, and I wouldn’t have minded seeing the brothers get at it.

Braun get ejected

Ryan Braun got ejected in the third inning today for arguing balls and strikes. But, it was an awful pitch, so I can’t blame Braun for fighting back. Home plate umpire Angel Campos, who ejected Braun, was making questionable ball-strike calls all night, however. He was giving them to Pelfrey more than he was Marcum, but, it’s nice when the Brewers beat the umpires as well as the opposing team.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers will play the second game of this three-game set in an afternoon game tomorrow. Randy Wolf (10-8, 3.30 ERA) will go for the Crew, and is coming off a great start against the Dodgers, in which he went eight shutout innings. He’s also won four consecutive decisions. Wolf has pitched a lot against the Mets in his career, being a former Phillie, and he’s had success against them. He’s 12-5 with a 3.21 ERA against the Mets in his career.

The Mets will counter with ex-Brewers Chris Capuano (9-11, 4.58 ERA). He’s having a season worse than any he ever had with the Brewers for the Mets thus far this season. He has one career start against the Brewers, which came earlier this season, when he gave up a run over six innings and got the win.