Posts Tagged ‘Hot Stove’

Melvin’s End-of-Season Media Blitz

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Doug Melvin had his year-end press conference then he went on 620 with Bill Michaels…some highlights of both:

- Melvin basically said Braun and Prince won’t be traded. On 620, Michaels asked if they were going to look into locking up Prince and Melvin said something to the effect of when we have those discussions, it will be quiet like how we approached Trevor about an extension. Does this mean that Melvin will talk huge extension with Boras this offseason???

- Probably not, because right after that he said that he wants to figure out pitching before position players

- That included decisions on Mike Cameron, Jason Kendall, and Craig Counsell he said on 620.

- He said that keeping both J.J. and Escobar would be “very difficult”, which Haudricourt basically believes (and I agree) means “OPEN MARKET ON HARDY”

- Lopez and Weeks were brought up. Listen up, everyone…no matter how many message boards you read or sports talk shows you listen to, Rickie Weeks ISN’T moving to the outfield. Rickie is considered the second base starter right now. Lopez might fall into that group of players that Melvin won’t decide on until some pitching is figured out.

- Finally, Melvin very bluntly said that the Brewers were looking to get two starting pitchers.

Melvin will also be on 620 tomorrow morning for his last Brewers 360 of the year where he will probably rehash all of this…but maybe there will be some new news

Strong Finish to Stoke the Hot Stove

Monday, October 5th, 2009

It was real nice to sweep the Cards, even though their fate was already decided. Prince finished his season starting in all 162 games, tied Howard for most RBI’s, and mashed Coop’s record. Gamel got a hit off of a lefty for an RBI. There are some things to look forward to. Let’s check some other news as we prepare for a Brewer-less playoffs, but an important winter.

- Macha and Co. coming back, minus the Bos and the bullpen coach. I think Wille might jet to a managerial job.

- Trevor Time? It’s been reported that the Brewers are already close to another deal with the all-time saves leader.

- Will Pitching Woes turn into Pitching! Woah!?

- Will J.J. be traded? Rickie? Hart? Prince? (First one is possible, second one is slightly possible, and the third one I hope doesn’t happen)

- Will the Brewers re-sign any of their free agents?

- What will the Brewers do in the outfield?

- What will happen to Soup and Loop if the Brewers pick up new starters?

Feel free post your burning questions/thoughts and we’ll keep an eye out for you. Brewmors should be returning.

RFB Offseason Roundtable - Winter Meetings

Friday, December 12th, 2008

This Week’s Topic: How was Winter Meetings Week for you?

Joe -

This year’s Winter Meetings, for me, were…well…fine. That’s it. My emotions never got “down” and they certainly didn’t get high.

I’m sure many fans are pretty upset about losing CC, but my reaction to that is “what did you expect?” Sure, there was definitely a part of me that was really hoping he’d sign, but I knew better. Discounts are very few and far between in Major League Baseball. I’ll always be a CC fan. P.S. I fricking hate the Yankees. More on that later.

I don’t really have much of an opinion on the likely trade of Cameron for Melky Cabrera that gained a lot of speed towards the end of the Meetings. I think a straight one-for-one trade is good for the Brewers, but I agree it may mean the Brewers are looking past this year. Cameron is hands down the better option in center this coming year, but Melky has great upside and could be huge for the Brewers in the not-so-distant future. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Melvin can manage to make Hall part of the deal and get Ian Kennedy. I don’t see the Brewers getting Philip Hughes, but that would be great in my opinion.

I’m hoping Melvin can manage to get the pieces necessary for the Brewers to again be competitive this year. We’ll just have to sit back and see what happens. As for right now, I’m remaining level headed and patient.

Jared -

The Winter Meeting Week has sort of been like middle school for me. My body (or, in this case, team) is changing rapidly and I’m not sure what to expect. My voice is changing (Ned Yost to Ken Macha). My old friends (Sheets, Gagne, Shouse, Torres) are leaving only to be replaced by new, less reliable friends (Julio, Swindle, Melky Cabrera?). I was dating the hottest girl in school (CC Sabathia) and I thought things were getting serious, but when I asked her to go steady (contract offer) she cut me loose for that douchebag with money (New York Yankees). My dad (Doug Melvin) says everything will be fine and that I should try going after the older, more experienced girls (Smoltz, Johnson, Wolf, Moyer), but I don’t think I have much of a chance with them either. They’ve been flirting with the trendy guys with the flashy Trapper Keepers (West coast/East coast teams). It feels like I’ll never be kissed again (Wild Card), much less get handsy (division title) or do the things I’ve really been thinking about (World Series). But, hey, things could be worse (I could be a Cubs fan…). And at least I’m not that smelly kid sitting in the corner that everyone makes fun of (Pittsburgh Pirates).

OK, so that’s not exactly what the Winter Meetings week has been like for me and I really just took that convoluted illustration way, way, way too far (and, trust me, this awkward kid definitely never got any kind of middle school action), but you get the point… It’s been a frustrating week. I can see that Melvin and company are working towards something, but I’m not sure what it is and I’m not sure I like it at this point. I’ll give management the benefit of the doubt for now though and say I hope/expect some significant activity from the Crew in the coming weeks.

Bryan -

Winter meetings week is usually fun, what with all the tossing around of names and destinations. For awhile it was fun. I was constantly checking the every rumor blog update site I could find.

One thing that has really brought me back to reality this week was that almost every big name can be traced back to New York. I almost forgot what it was like to have New York absolutely DOMINATE major league free agency, but now I remember…it blows for those who don’t get the YES network.

As far as the Brewers go, I appreciate the offer they gave to C.C. We all knew it probably wasn’t going to happen; we’re used to it. I’ll still be a C.C. fan, just not a Yankee one. I’m sad to see him go, but he did more than we could have asked in the short time he was around. I’m actually worried for him, that he might fall apart like Alex Rodriguez and I honestly hope that doesn’t happen to the guy. He deserves better.

The Cameron/Cabrera rumor that popped up was an interesting one. I’d like to keep Cam; I think he’s a great with the Brewers’ young outfielders, but you can’t deny it’s interesting to think about having another young outfielder who has proven he can play in the largest media market to some extent and the Brewers could have him until 2013 if they wanted. That said, I’m glad it hasn’t gone down especially with the Bill Hall, Kei Igawa, Brewers picking up Cam’s tab rumors. C’mon Yankees…you’re going to spend a quarter of a billion dollars this offseason! What’s a measley ten million more? It’s like we say at the bar, if you’re gonna go…go all out!

The fact that I’m talking more about the Yankees than the Brewers can tell you how the Winter Meetings went down this week. Now I can get back to my regularly scheduled offseason.

Tyler -

The four-plus day span that was my Winter Meetings week to this point was OK. I woke up early like an overgrown and out-of-shape child on Christmas day to read the latest news, views and speculation on what teams were up to, who would sign where and how the chips fell. As you might be aware, I used my four consecutive days of 20-hour conciousness to scribe numerous up-to-date posts on both this fine Web site and HERE. I was so preoccupied that I thrice forgot to shave and subconciously weened self gratification to am almost prudish 5-6 times a day. The week was like one long religious holiday, except one for intelligent people who invested their interest in something worthwhile.

As far as the Brewers go, what can be said? I expected CC to go, and vowed to be happy for him no matter where he decided. His choice of the Yankees is a bit tougher to swallow than, say, any non-Cubs franchise, but I would’ve done the same thing if I had any flash of skill at a valued task. In all, I’m just happy to officially know his destiny so the Brewers front office can move on in their quest to field a decent team. I love the Todd Coffey signing, like the Eduardo Morlan Rule 5 pickup, feel numb and bored just thinking about the Mike Lamb re-sign, and - in all - feel like the groundwork has been placed for a modest signing and/or huge trade in the coming days,weeks or month.

In terms of feelings, I am sad that moments after this is posted, the Brewers will likely trade Mike Cameron and this thing I spent like 12 minutes writing will be stale and outdated. But, as is the case in almost every time wasting thing I choose to do in my unfufilling existence, I’m still happy I was involved… and that I probably did better than Jared. Lolz.

Report: Cam traded to Yankees for some Melk(y)

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

ESPN is reporting this morning that the Brewers are trading Mike Cameron for Melky Cabrera. Mike Cameron, who I believe was a very good influence on our outfield defense, only had one year left in Milwaukee where Melky, who was considered the Yankees “CF of the Future”, doesn’t become a free agent until 2013. Melky had two solid years in 2006 and 2007, but didn’t produce last year and was sent to the minors. More info when it becomes available…

UPDATE: Haudricourt says the deal is probably not completed yet, but it seems close. The Yankees may also be asking the Brewers to include Bill Hall. While Hall’s trade value is limited since he has a couple big money years coming up (at least for the production he’s put up the last two years), I think the Yankees would have to kick in pitching to make this happen. Their starting rotation already includes Sabathia, Wang and Chamberlain for sure. They’re looking to add at least one more top free agent (probably out of Burnett, Lowe and Sheets) and could also re-sign Pettite. It seems that they could part with Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy (more likely). If it’s Kennedy, I think they’ll have to include another prospect to get Cameron and Hall since Melvin was reportedly asking for Cabrera AND Kennedy for Cameron when trade discussions started in November. Haudricourt mentions the Brewers might have to pay some of Hall’s remaining salary to make a deal happen. More as it comes in…

UPDATE 2: It looks like the sticking point may be the pitcher the Brewers receive in addition to Cabrera and how much money the Brewers would pick up:

Cameron was due to make $10 million next season and the deal, according to a source, might be contingent on how much the Brewers are willing to pay of that. The source said the more that Milwaukee pays the better the pitcher they could receive in addition to Cabrera.

There’s no mention of Hall in that story.

UPDATE 3: It looks like the Cameron/Cabrera trade has hit a snag. Haudricourt says it may have to do with how much of Cameron’s salary the Brewers are willing to pay. Really? As the Yankees offer ridiculous coin to any free agent with a pulse, they’re asking the Brewers to pick up salary on a player they apparently asked about in the first place? It’s easy to hate the Yankees… Anyway, it looks like Hall will likely not be a part of the trade since the Brewers wisely passed on adding Kei Igawa to the deal for him.

Jared also contributed to this report. (Always wanted to do that…)

In the News (12/09)

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Brewers News

- As stated earlier, Mike Lamb was signed for a year at the rate of 400K

- Bill Hall didn’t make a pitch for C.C. to stay. Way to stay un-clutch William.

Rumors and Speculation

- C.C. has been rumored to have met or to meet with many teams including the Brewers, Yankees, Red Sox, Giants, Dodgers, and Angels. And believe it or not, all the teams feel they have a legitimate shot at him. That’s how good his agent is doing so far.

- ESPN is madly fueling rumors of Prince Fielder on the trading block. Both Peter Gammons and Buster Olney have said as much. Steve Phillips on the ESPN Winter Meetings Blog has even asked the question of a Prince for Putz trade. I’d say “Are you f**king kidding me? No way in hell do the Brewers do a deal in which the centered around J.J. “I Swear it’s Pronounced Pootz” Putz.” Rattler Radio also has some thoughts on bringing in Putz that do not involve Fielder.

- Somebody told Andrew Baggerly of the San Jose Mercury News that the Brewers are emerging as the front runners for C.C. Sabathia, but then doesn’t say anything to back up his source.

- According to a nice, information filled post on the Boston Globe, the Brewers might not bring back Gabe Kapler because they are in need of left handed bats. If that’s true, it would be sad. If you’d bring in the switch hitting Punto for the infield, then maybe…(I know, I know, not happening, get over it)

- Last night, a deal was imminent for Peavy to go to Chicago and now, reports are that a deal is not even remotely close. The Cubs are also looking at Milton Bradley. Cubs are also rumored to be willing to part with fan favorite Mark DeRosa and ship him to Philidelphia. This move would be seen as a way to free up money to bring in Bradley and Peavy. Well, they already bankrupt the Trib, why not more?  UPDATE: ESPN rumor page has the Peavy deal “close” again. It’s the equivilant of a see-saw and it’s making me sick.

- Yankees might offer Ben Sheets a contract. Maybe the All Star performance was an open interview?

- A couple names that fans were interested in are off the table. The Dodgers swept up Casey Blake and Mark Loretta.

NL Central

- The Reds had a busy day. They were reported to have signed veteran pitcher Livan Hernandez, which was later retracted and later traded Ryan Freel and prospects to Baltimore for Ramon Hernandez.

- Are the Pirates going to sell off some goods? Many teams are inquiring about Paulino, Maholm, and Snell.

Other News

- BrewCrewBall runs the numbers on Soup, then runs him through the shredder. They also gave some projections on how the Brewers bullpen is shaping up.

- Closer News: K-Rod is probably going to the Mets and former Cub Kerry Wood is close to a two year deal with the Indians.

- It’s interesting, but unconfirmed: On a Brewers message board, it was posted that the Brewers were interested in Rick Ankiel. While a left-handed centerfielder makes sense, I don’t see it happening.

RFB Offseason Roundtable - Realistic Trade?

Friday, December 5th, 2008

This Week’s Topic: With the winter meetings starting next week, come up with a realistic trade idea for the Brewers

Joe -

I’m taking the high road on this one. Yeah, super lame and weak, I know. I was really pumped about the idea of trading for Matt Cain; however, that seems less and less likely. The Giants are reportedly interested in JJ Hardy (as Jared linked in Wednesday’s “News” post), but apparently the Brewers are not. On top of that, the Giants have signed Edgar Renteria to a two year deal. Although, if reports of the Giants courting CC Sabathia ring true and he does choose to sign with his “home town” club, the Giants might try to push a trade for one of their starters (besides little Timmy of course). Since the Matt Cain talk has subsided, there is no one in particular that gives me that J-Riv hard on. So I’ve taken the empty-minded, wait and see approach to this offseason.

Bryan -

One thing I love reading are all the crazy trade ideas people have and all the possibilities for players to land. That’s why this week’s topic asks for semi realistic trades but, in the grand scheme of things, are probably still terribly unrealistic. I’d still prefer it if more baseball players stayed put, but this is the system we have so might as well enjoy the drama that comes with it.

One trade that I think would make sense for both teams is this:

Bill Hall and a PTBNL to the Tigers for Zach Miner or Nate Robertson. The Tigers have a bunch of starting pitchers and have already looked into getting rid of Nate Robertson for Julio Lugo…allegedly. Even if they get rid of Robertson to another team, they still have stud-in-waiting named Rick Porcello in the minors. The Tigers also need a third baseman so Brandon Inge can go back to catching.

It won’t happen but maybe, just maybe, the Angels believe that Brandon Wood is their future and Chone Figgins would be on the Brewers radar. Or vice versa. They need a first baseman if Texeira doesn’t return and Brad Nelson wouldn’t be a bad piece in a trade that would also probably need to include a high prospect or current pitcher.

That said, I’d be shocked if the Brewers made a trade that would affect any starting roles. I believe we will see more signings and trades like the Julio signing this year and Torres trade from last year.

Next week, the roundtable will be back on Friday morning like it used to be. Until then, feel free to comment and enjoy the winter meetings.

RFB Offseason Roundtable - Free Agents?

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

This Week’s Topic: What non blue-chip free agents should the Brewers go after?

Tyler -

Free agency is a magical time where destinies are revised, teams once declared non-threats now lead the pack, and shirt jersey sales for a franchise’s newest member are comparable only to that of personalized No. 69 “Big Sexy” apparel. As a Brewer fan, one becomes accustomed to zooming past the flashy new products in store and, instead, sifting through the thrift store bargain bin for a misplaced Talking Heads record that is an affordable yet useful and even entertaining free agent tool.
To keep my picks shorter than my epic introduction, I’ll list a pitcher and a position player along with some benefits to Milwaukee acquiring their services.
Starting Pitchers:
Jon Garland – This 29-year-old would be a prime candidate to sign should Milwaukee want a long-term resolution to a lack of top of rotation-type hurlers on staff.
- He averages just below 32 starts a year… about 35 games/year.
- He’s coming off a not-so-hot 2008 so might be more of a bargain than initially expected.
- Career 4.47 E.R.A. (all in the American League).
Reserve:
Eric Hinske – I know I sound like a broken record with my odd adoration for Menasha’s (other) wunderkind. But with Craig Counsell’s (awesome) exit at least for the time being, a player like Hinske would be a versatile and effective piece for Milwaukee. The only hole in the starting lineup is third base which – if not addressed internally by moving Hardy or by a trade – won’t be given the relatively barren market at the position. Might as well fill in the bench.
- Left-handed bat with some pop (20 homers, 60 RBI in part time play last year).
- Not great numbers, but all obtained as a member of competitive AL East teams; I’d assume a slight j ump in numbers with a move to the NL.
- Can play decently (no worse than Hall or Fielder respectively) at either corner infield spot and legitimately well in the outfield.
- Flashes of speed for a guy his size… or plain good base running, call what got him 10 swipes in limited time last season what you will.
- Cheap. And with a possible return to the motherland, maybe even more affordable. He’s not a flashy choice, or even the best choice. But try to find better for the money along with the knowledge of exactly the production you’ll get.

What’d you want me to say, A.J. Burnett and Joe Crede? Unless by way of trade (which I see as likely), I don’t see Milwaukee making any splashes in free agency. Hunker down for a quiet winter in Brewland.

Jared -

As the Brewers look to fill holes this offseason, they’ll likely look at starting pitching, relief pitching, third base and the bench.


Third Base - The options at third base in free agency do not appear to be great and the team may end up handing the job to prospect Mat Gamel if they can’t find a third baseman via the trade market.

Starting Pitching - The starting pitching field is deeper in free agency, but expensive. The Brewers are likely to lose Ben Sheets and C.C. Sabathia. Getting a full season of Yovani Gallardo would help, but they could still use another arm. If they don’t work a trade, I think Jon Garland would be fairly inexpensive (compared to the top free agents) and could be a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter. A rotation of Gallardo, Parra, Garland, Bush and Suppan would not blow anyone away, but it would be relatively solid. I think they should also look to sign Chris Capuano to a minor-league deal so he can rehab and be an option a month or two into the season.

Relief Pitching - While there are a glut of closers available via trade or free agency, I don’t think the Brewers want to spend much in a swap or in a contract on a 9th-inning man so they may look for a closer internally. If they go with that approach, it would be smart to bring in some reliable bullpen arms. Brandon Lyon might be someone they look towards. He has been a fairly reliable bullpen option and even has some closing experience. They should also look to resign Brian Shouse as their lefty specialist.

The Bench - The Brewers need a utility infielder and may bring Craig Counsell back, but I think they should make a run at Mark Loretta first. Loretta might get an offer for a starting job and then he’s probably not coming to Milwaukee. Loretta is a valuable player off the bench because he can play first, second, third and shortstop and he puts up decent hitting numbers. He could probably count on hitting the field a lot in Milwaukee too since there are some question marks at second and third and he’d be the top option if Weeks, Hardy or whoever is playing third go down.
So, recapping, I’d say Garland, Lyon, Shouse and Loretta would be a good group of less costly vets to target to round out the team. They might not be flashy choices, but they’d help fill out depth on a young team.
Bryan -
With the Cubs making a push for Peavy and the Cardinals waving both Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick as trade pieces, the Brewers can’t afford to be completely dormant this offseason. Third base is a concern, but the free agent crop is very thin at third this offseason. I’d be alright with the Brewers giving Hall another shot while having Gamel in the background getting ready. I actually would like to see Nick Punto playing the role Craig Counsell has the past two years if the Brewers could get him. Hopefully Ray Durham can re-sign with the Brewers as well, providing veteran leadership and an insurance policy for Rickie Weeks.
I actually liked the scheme the Brewers took to their bullpen last season, which was aquiring veteran arms to one year deals. I thought Gagne was risky (not Riske), but when I saw that he was backed up by Mota, Riske, Shouse, and Torres, I felt much better. We now have Riske, Villa, and Stetter in the pen (with the possibility of McClung and others), but we need someone to close. This is why the Brewers need to get an offer out to Brandon Lyon. He’s young and has been a closer, but lost his job halfway through the year (much like Cordero). Hopefully the Brewers can re-sign Shouse to a deal, because he has been a great professional in Milwaukee and it’s always nice to have two lefties in the pen. Braden Looper is also an interesting option. He was a starter last year, but has relief and post season experience.
The Brewers also need one starting pitcher. I hope, like most of you, that Sabathia will take the Brewers offer, but that would be pure gravy and is not very likely. If they don’t land one of the biggest free agents in baseball this offseason, they shouldn’t feel helpless. Jon Garland would be a great addition. He’s a hard working pitcher that you can count on. However, I don’t think he’s coming. I actually would take Carl Pavano. I think New York had too much media and too many high standards that the Brewers could sign him to a one or two year deal. I know he may be considered blue chip, but it’s worth noting that there has been an eerie silence on the Ben Sheets front as well, which makes me think that they could possibly bring him back as a starter or closer, but that’s still about as likely as landing Sabathia albeit slightly more likely in my opinion. No matter what happens in free agency, the Brewers shouldn’t feel the need to bring in a long term contract which effectively makes any free agent acquisition less of a risk.
For those of you keeping track at home, that’s 3 for 3 for Jon Garland, a mention of former Brewer Mark Loretta, but no mention of former Brewer Glendon Rusch. Anyone else wanna throw some mac and cheese on the hot stove?

Brewmors

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Editor’s Note: The Brewmors post has grown beyond a simple blog post. It was just too big. So, we’ve created a whole page dedicated to the Brewers’ trade and transaction rumors and speculation. You can check it out HERE. Bookmark the page. In the future, we’ll include a link to it when we discuss free agency or trades and you can also click on the link to it under “RFB Features” in the sidebar on the right.

We’d love your help too. If you find a link to some new tidbit we haven’t put on the site yet, e-mail it to jared@rightfieldbleachers.com.

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