Hamilton, Dempster wiped off the market

December 15, 2012

> For the second straight offseason, the Angels have picked up the best hitter on the market with a sneaky deal that no one saw coming. Following a year in which they gave Albert Pujols a 10-year, $254 million deal, they handed out another huge contract to Josh Hamilton, this one for five years and $175 million. 

If you told me you saw this coming, I’d call you a liar. Their outfield seemed set with Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, and Peter Bourjos, a young core that could last them a long time. But, much to the chagrin of their division rival Rangers, they went out and stole the best free agent on the market, and will insert Hamilton into one of those outfield slots (likely Bourjos’).

It was speculated all offseason that the Brewers had interest in Hamilton, and there were articles as recent as December 6th saying that Milwaukee would make a run at him. But, realistically, the Brewers were never going to get him, especially at his price tag.

Anyway, the Angels’ lineup now looks something like this: Trout, Erick Aybar, Pujols, Hamilton, Kendrys Morales, Trumbo, Howie Kendrick, Alberto Callaspo, and Chris Iannetta.

Looks like Los Angeles is the new New York.

Hamilton

> The Brewers’ top starting starting pitching target, Ryan Dempster, was also taken away, as the Red Sox wooed him with a two-year, $26.5 million deal. Apparently, the Brewers were willing to give Dempster two years plus an option for a third, but they didn’t come close to what Boston was offering cash-wise. Anyway, I don’t see Dempster doing well in the American League after what he did for the Rangers last year, but that was his choice.

With Dempster off the market, the likelihood of the Brewers bringing in a free agent starter this offseason decreased by a lot. The rest of the crop is either too Jeff Suppan-like or won’t fit the Brewers financial situation. The next best option after Dempster would be Edwin Jackson, but that would only happen if he would be willing to take a one-year or two-year deal. If the reports of Jackson wanting a four or five-year deal are true, then the odds of him coming to Milwaukee aren’t very good.

But, as I’ve been saying, it isn’t the end of the world if the Brewers don’t bring in a new starter for 2013. I’m completely fine with them staying in-house and using the prospects who are big league-ready. If that is the case, the ideal rotation for the Brewers would be Yovani Gallardo, Marco Estrada, Chris Narveson, Wily Peralta, and Mike Fiers. While that seems like a relatively inexperienced rotation to someone who doesn’t watch the Brewers everyday, I think the Brewers will get by, especially with the best offensive lineup in the National League backing them up.

> One more major signing: the Tigers finalized a deal with Anibal Sanchez, who nearly went to the Cubs, this morning. The Cubs reportedly had a five-year, $75 million deal in place with Sanchez as recent as last night, but the Tigers were given the opportunity to counter the offer, and wound up getting him back.

Sanchez was one of the starters who the Brewers probably wouldn’t have been able to afford, but at least it’s good that the division rival Cubs won’t get him.

> Doug Melvin basically said that he doesn’t want Shaun Marcum back.

> The Brewers have been linked to Mike Adams, one of the better relievers on the market, recently. But Tom Haudricourt considers them out of the hunt for him. Adams started his career with the Brewers, pitching for them from 2004 to 2006.

> Long-time Brewers farmhand Amaury Rivas has signed a minor league deal with the Marlins. He was always one of my favorite minor league pitchers for the Brewers, but I figured he’d be gone at some point.

> Minor moves: 

Rangers: Signed Brandon Snyder to a minor league deal; outrighted Konrad Schmidt to Triple-A.
Padres: Signed Juan Oramas, Sean O’Sullivan, Gregorio Petit, and Rene Rivera to minor league deals; acquired Chris Rearick from the Rays.
Twins: Signed ex-Brewer Brandon Boggs, Ray Olmedo, Bryan Augenstein, Reynaldo Rodriguez, Scott Earlton, Virgil Vasquez, Mike O’Connor, and Jason Lane to minor league deals.
Giants: Signed Andres Torres to a one-year deal; signed Chad Gaudin to a minor league deal.
Braves: Signed Ramiro Pena to a one-year deal.
Rockies: Signed Tommy Manzella to a minor league deal.
Mets: Re-signed Manny Acosta to a one-year deal.
Yankees: Signed Bobby Wilson and Gil Velasquez to minor league deals; designated Josh Spence for assignment.
Cardinals: Signed Alex Reyes to a minor league deal; signed Ty Wigginton to a two-year deal.
Nationals: Signed Neivy Pilier and Brian Bocock to minor league deals.
Rays: Acquired Vince Belnome from the Padres.
Phillies: Signed Andres Blanco, Josh Fields, Cesar Jimenez, Steven Lerud, Michael Martinez, Zach Miner, Jermaine Mitchell, Pete Orr, and Humberto Quintero to minor league deals; claimed Mauricio Robles off waivers from the Mariners.
Royals: Signed Xavier Nady to a minor league deal.

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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


Wolf struggles early as Brewers fall again

July 6, 2011

9:57p Diamondbacks-Brewers Wrap-Up

Not too many things are going the Brewers’ way right now.

Starter Randy Wolf struggled early and would end up giving up seven runs to the Diamondbacks as the Brewers lost, 7-3. It was their seventh loss over their past eight games, that only win being the comeback in Minnesota last week.

The Diamondbacks jumped on Wolf early,  getting four quick runs in the first inning. Miguel Montero hit a two-run single, and Xavier Nady and Gerardo Parra both had RBI singles. On Parra’s single, he tried to go for second base, assuming center fielder Carlos Gomez’s throw was going to the plate. Wolf, however, cut it off and threw him out at second. Who knows how much more bleeding would have happened in that inning had Wolf not cut off the throw. The Brewers answered immediately in their half of the inning, as Prince Fielder hit an infield single off of Diamondbacks starter Zach Duke to drive in Rickie Weeks from third. It was Fielder’s league-leading 70th RBI of the year. He would tack on another RBI later in the sixth inning, with his 22nd homer of the year.

The Diamondbacks got to Wolf again in the third, as Justin Upton and Parra both hit home runs. Parra’s was a two-run shot while Upton’s was a solo, and the Diamondbacks took a 7-1 lead.

In the eighth inning, Corey Hart hit his 10th homer of the year, making it a 7-3 game. It wouldn’t matter much, however, as David Hernandez put the game away by getting the last out in ninth after Alberto Castillo gave up a hit and a walk.

Duke finally gets it going against Crew

Duke, a former Pirate, got his first career win against the Brewers at Miller Park. Duke, and the rest of the Pirates, struggled a lot at Miller Park. He was 0-6 in his career at the home of the Crew coming into today. He pitched a decent game today, going seven innings and giving up just two runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out one.

Wolf, meanwhile, couldn’t find his rhythm, and had one of his worst starts of the year. He was forced to go six innings because of a taxed bullpen, giving up seven runs on 10 hits, while walking four and striking out four. He likely would have been taken out earlier, but Brewers starters haven’t been going very deep into games lately, leaving the bullpen with a lot of work.

Braun sits for third straight game

This is not a good sign.

Ryan Braun sat out for the third time in as many games, still appearing to be nursing his strained calf. Utility man Josh Wilson started in left field instead, making his first career start in the outfield. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke claimed that he did not want to use Mark Kotsay for the fourth straight game, considering Kotsay has had health issues in his career. Roenicke also wanted a right-hander in the lineup against the lefty Duke, as he’s usually pretty tough on lefties, which is why Roenicke opted not to use the lefty outfielder Nyjer Morgan.

Braun was actually going to pinch-hit in the ninth inning with two men on base, but Hart grounded out for the last out of the game.

Brewers can’t continue home dominance

Coming into today, the Brewers were the only team in the Majors to not have lost consecutive home games. That changed after back-to-back losses to the Diamondbacks at Miller Park. To be honest, I was eager to see if the Brewers could go the entire season without losing back-to-back home games, which would have been quite the feat. Sadly, that won’t happen now.

Fielder announces Home Run Derby picks

Fielder, named the captain of the National League Home Run Derby team, finalized his picks today. These will be the sluggers joining him in the first ever team derby this year:

Prince Fielder (captain), Brewers- 22 home runs

Rickie Weeks, Brewers- 15 home runs

Matt Holliday, Cardinals- 10 home runs

Matt Kemp, Dodgers- 22 home runs

Kemp was obviously a must-have for the team, being tied with Fielder for the league lead in homers at 22. Weeks kind of surprised me, but I’ve heard he kills the ball during batting practice (which is pretty much what the derby is, competitive batting practice). Holliday surprised me the most. He’s had a few stints on the DL this year and has just 10 homers, but he was in the derby last year and should be a help to the NL team.

And, as long as we’re on the topic, I’ll list the American League team, led by Boston’s David Ortiz:

David Ortiz (captain), Red Sox- 17 home runs

Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox- 16 home runs

Jose Bautista, Blue Jays- 27 home runs

Robinson Cano, Yankees- 14 home runs

I’m actually kind of surprised Gonzalez accepted the invitation to the derby, since he isn’t exactly what you’d call an extreme home run hitter, and you’d think that trying to hit homers on purpose would mess with his swing. Cano was the main surprise of the AL team for me, since he has only 14 homers. If it were me, I would have chosen Mark Teixeira over Cano, but I’m not the derby captain. Lastly, I don’t think I need to say anything about Bautista- those 27 home runs speak for themselves.

Haha, I guess I got pretty off topic with that whole derby thing. So let’s get back to the Brewers now.

Up next for the Crew…

The Brewers will attempt to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Diamondbacks tomorrow, and will send Yovani Gallardo (9-5, 3.92 ERA) to the mound, in hopes he can bounce back from a rough outing against Minnesota. He gave up five runs (three earned) against the Twins his last time out. In his career against the Diamondbacks, he is 3-0 with a 1.06 ERA.

The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, will counter with Josh Collmenter (4-5, 3.17 ERA), who will hope to get back on track. In six starts after being moved out of the bullpen to the starting rotation, he compiled a stellar 1.05 ERA. However, in four starts since, he is 0-4 with a 7.54 ERA. Hopefully the Brewers will jump on him while he’s still struggling, because he can be hard to pick up when he’s on his game.

Elswhere around the division…

  • The Cubs lost to the Nationals again, 3-2. They are 12 games back.
  • The Pirates defeated the Astros, 5-1, and overtook the Brewers in the Central. Hopefully this doesn’t last long, but I guess the Pirates are finally proving their worth. I doubt this will change the fact that the Brewers destroy the Pirates, however.
  • The Cardinals defeated the Reds, 8-1. They are in first in the division and four games back, respectively.

Quick blog update…

Earlier today, I added a new page to BreakingWI. It was list of all of the Brewers currently on the 25 man roster, and I thought it would be handy to have a page for it on BreakingWI. I might add a page for the 40 man roster later as well.