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.


> 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.
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.

Braun’s deadline extended

February 15, 2012

> Can’t we just hear the results already?

It was announced earlier today that Shyam Das, the panel chairman for this case, has been given more time to decide the fate of Ryan Braun, and whether or not he’ll start the season with a 50-game suspension.

Honestly, I have no idea what’s taking so long. To me, it’s a simple decision- the drug test, which tested positive, was legitimate, or it was defective. There’s probably much more to it than that, but how much more? It couldn’t be that much.

But something has to be going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about. My guess is, by now, that the people in charge of the case are arguing amongst themselves about whether or not Braun should be given another test, or at least something along those lines. I don’t know what else would be making this whole process take so long.

I’ve been saying this all along, but the test was clearly wrong in the first place. Twice the amount of testosterone than the previous record was? I’m not doctor, but if it were truly that much, I’m pretty sure Braun wouldn’t even be alive, if not very ill. But who knows- that could be another thing the arbitrators are discussing, which would be why it’s taking so long.

This better be resolved by the time Spring Training games start, at least. I don’t want the pressure of this thing to be on Braun for all of Spring Training, because odds are it’ll affect his performance.

Heck, they might as well start a new case for how long this case itself is allowed to last.

> But here’s one case that didn’t take very long- less than a day, in fact. Reliever Jose Veras lost his arbitration against the Brewers today, and will earn $2 million in 2012.

In my opinion, Veras wasn’t worth going all the way to arbitration with in the first place. The gap between what the Brewers offered and what Veras wanted wasn’t very wide at all, at just $375,000, but for some reason they couldn’t come to an agreement. Veras should just be happy to be with a team that has a chance at contending, though. It’s kind of a shame that everyone (or at least most players) in baseball nowadays only cares about the money, no matter what the amount is.

But I’m glad the Brewers at least won this case. It wouldn’t have made them look very good to have lost an arbitration case to a 31-year old reliever who has averaged over four walks per nine innings in has career, and has just had a mediocre career overall.

> The Royals picked up Ned Yost’s 2013 option today. Sometimes I wonder what direction that franchise is headed.

> The Pirates and Yankees are still talking about an AJ Burnett trade, and it appears to be becoming more likely, as the Indians were counted as contenders for Burnett earlier today. (They nearly traded Travis Hafner for him…)

Anyway, it sounds like the Pirates are still just arguing with the Yankees about the amount of Burnett’s salary they’ll have to eat up. The Yankees are willing to take a lot of it, but my guess is that the Pirates will probably have to take at least a third of the salary.

> And that’s about it. Slightly more of a news day than yesterday, at least.

By the way, I’ll probably have a post up on Reviewing the Brew tomorrow. I’m still trying to think of a topic, but I’ll have one by tomorrow night.

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