Archive for the ‘ Rumors ’ Category

Will Davies Be Joining Santana in Milwaukee This Week? Yup.

If you follow my timeline on Twitter (@BrewerNation), you are probably already aware of the following information. In fact, I’ll lay out the principal statements to this point by way of linking my tweets. That way, I’ll be able to simply supplement them.

Note the date. Manager Craig Counsell has said similarly themed words in the weeks since. Counsell also more recently reiterated that “the latest” they need a fifth starter would be in Cincinnati. That led me to believe that perhaps they’d call on someone earlier than the last possible day (Saturday, September 5) to join the rotation.

Counsell was asked before Sunday’s game whether he was willing to say who would be coming up and when they would arrive as far as September call-ups are concerned.

I did a little counting and realized that if the Brewers wanted Davies for a start this week, something would need to happen.

Then last night, I caught wind that Jorge Ortega was headed from High-A Brevard County to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

It stands to reason that Ortega was going up to Triple-A because a spot was opening. And nobody would be going up from Double-A Biloxi because of the moratorium on moving players away from that playoff-bound squad until said playoff run was concluded.

Then in a moment of connecting the dots, I tweeted the following about how perhaps 9/5 wasn’t the target date for a rotation addition after all.

And finally from this morning, what looks to be the account of Davies’ old high school coach tweeted this…

It certainly does appear as though things are lining up.

***************

UPDATE…

So to answer the question in the title? Yup.

***************

ADDITIONAL UPDATE…

BREAKING: More (Reported) Trades!

Here are the latest two trades breaking this morning:

(with a hat tip to Lookout Landing who heard of the discussions yesterday)

Nothing announced yet on that one.

The other deal, as first reported…

…has been announced.

BREAKING NEWS: Carlos Gomez Reportedly Traded (This is not a repost)

GomezOh

So after we got done talking to Carlos Gomez, Doug Melvin, and Craig Counsell all about the Gomez-to-Mets trade that got called off last night, and sitting at Miller Park preparing to watch Gomez man centerfield at least one more time, word is breaking that he’s been traded after all.

But not to the Mets. Melvin said earlier this afternoon that he doesn’t see any trades happening with the Mets anytime soon.

So where is he headed?

And the return?

Hey Ken, you got anything on the return?

But what about potential medical issues?

Friends, when it comes to Scott Boras clients, Jon Heyman is seldom never wrong.

More soon.

Gomez to Mets? Not So Fast (Or At All)

GomezOh

Sandy Alderson, who is the General Manager of the New York Mets, told reporters following their game tonight that Carlos Gomez is not now and will not by Friday be a New York Metropolitan.

This is too convoluted to put together after midnight now, but here’s the short version of all the reports:

  • The deal (Gomez to NYM, Zack Wheeler & Wilmer Flores to MIL) was agreed to, pending physicals.
  • Gomez was informed while on the Brewers charter flight back to Milwaukee from San Francisco by manager Craig Counsell that a deal was in place, pending medicals, once the news was breaking on Twitter.
  • Flores was informed at some point during Wednesday evening’s game but remained in the game, an uncommon practice for a player in an agreed upon trade.
  • Word started coming out that the hold up was pending review of medical reports.
  • After the game, Alderson met with the media at CitiField to tell them that there was no trade for Gomez. Media talked to Flores who said he was told that there was no trade after all.
  • Assumptions were apparently made that it was Wheeler’s post-Tommy John surgery medicals that were the issue and that the Brewers backed out of the deal.
  • Reports then started to come out (likely leaked by the Mets) that they bailed on the deal over concerns about Gomez’s hip.
  • Those concerns were characterized as slight. Also, that they shouldn’t have nixed the deal.
  • Scott Boras (Gomez’s agent) was quoted that Gomez has no hip issue, never has, and anyone claiming otherwise is being untruthful.

Got all that? Good. I’m going to sleep at some point.

Rumor: Francisco Rodriguez “Agrees to Sign”…Somewhere

FranciscoRodriguez

According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, free agent relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez won’t be a free agent much longer.

Spencer tweeted out the following blurb Thursday morning.

With the word that Rodriguez isn’t headed to Miami, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports checked in on whether the Blue Jays were the team who had successfully wooed the man they call K-Rod.

So combine those reports with what FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal revealed the other day…

…and it certainly seems as though the Brewers could be reconciling with their most recent closer.

Stay tuned.

Rumor: Brewers In Agreement With Free Agent Left-Hander

NealCotts

Not one to break many free agent signings, Tom Haudricourt just tweeted the following…

Neal Cotts is a left-handed reliever, and has pitched parts of nine seasons in the big leagues for both Chicago teams and, most recently, the Texas Rangers. He missed significant time following Tommy John surgery in 2009 and four hip surgeries which started in 2010.

Cotts will be 35 by Opening Day. As recently as 2013, he pitched to a 1.11 ERA in 57.0 IP. He struck out 65 that year. Last year was harder for Cotts. In 66.2 IP, Cotts wound up with a 4.32 ERA in 73 (!) appearances. He struck out 63 but tripled his home runs allowed from two to six.

Cotts reportedly made $2.2 million in 2014. If he signs a major league deal, you’d have to think he would come in right around there, hopefully lighter given his most recent campaign.

Notably, Cotts struggled against left-handed hitters in 2014, allowing a slash of .270/.337/.438, but he’s carried a reverse platoon split overall in his career anyway.

***UPDATE***

Haudricourt and Ken Rosenthal are now concurring that Cotts has passed his physical with the Brewers and that a deal is done.

***UPDATE***

Rosenthal checks back in with the money.

More than I would have liked to commit given the specifics, but not outlandish given the marketplace.

It us a major league deal which means that the Brewers will have to make a corresponding move to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

Rumor: Brewers In Trade Talks to Acquire Papelbon?

JonathanPapelbon

According to a tweet that came in just after midnight CT on Friday morning, the Brewers are in “serious discussions” to acquire Jonathan Papelbon from the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Phillies have been selling off several of their high-priced veterans, and Papelbon fits that M.O. The 6’4″ veteran closer is set to make $13 million in 2015 and has a vesting option for 2016 as a part of his contract as well. The Brewers did just save ~$9 million when they traded Yovani Gallardo, so conventional logic would seem to infer that the Phillies might be paying a portion of Papelbon’s contract in any deal.

The now 34-year-old Papelbon saved 39 games for a Phillies team that only won 79 all season. He pitched to a 2.04 ERA in 66.1 IP. He struck out 63 batters and walked just 15. In stark contrast to the outgoing Brewers closer of 2014, Francisco Rodriguez, Papelbon gave up only two (2) home runs last year. His FIP (2.53) and WHIP (0.905) are encouraging peripherals as well.

Papelbon does have a 17-team no-trade list, but it’s unknown whether the Brewers are on the list.

An acquisition of Papelbon would certainly satisfy Doug Melvin’s oft-stated desire to have multiple guys in the his bullpen who have experience closing games. In fact, Papelbon was a rumored target for the Brewers last season before they ultimately acquired Jonathan Broxton from the Cincinnati Reds. At the time, the idea of Papelbon in Milwaukee was panned due to the financial commitment due him. For the record, his 2016 option (also at $13 million) vests if Papelbon finishes 48 games in 2015 as that would bring his two-year total up to 100.

***UPDATE***

As often happens when one baseball writer breaks news, others react to it by checking in with their own sources and then share what they’ve learned. So far today, that role has been filled by FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal and ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark.

So all that seems to counter, to a degree, what Jeff Passan originally reported. However, Jayson Stark then chimed in.

Stay tuned.

Rumor: Yovani Gallardo Headed to Rangers In Trade

Gallardo091914

As first pinpointed by FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi, the Brewers followed through on my report from early last week and are reportedly on the verge of trading away homegrown starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo to the Texas Rangers.

Gallardo, as you may recall, became the Brewers’ career strikeout leader late in 2014 and was on pace to overtake several statistical categories in Brewers history in the near future. It now appears as though the man we call “Yo” will finish where he currently sits.

I’m writing to discuss why I think this trade went down, some of the logistics without yet knowing all the names involved for sure, as well as my generalized thoughts about trading Gallardo from a macro level.

First, the Brewers are basically maxed out on their payroll as the day begins. Principal owner Mark Attanasio has been flexible over the years in adding payroll in season when the chance to compete is there. Just look at 2014. He authorized acquiring Jonathan Broxton (the likely closer to begin 2015) and Gerardo Parra (a pricey current 4th outfielder) after all. But entering a season where they sit after avoiding arbitration with all three of their eligible players (~$97 million committed to 12 players per Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel beat writer Tom Haudricourt), it’s not that far of a stretch to understand why Attanasio might want to trim a little payroll fat. Gallardo is set to make $13 million in the final season of a six-year, $42.5 million contract he signed before the 2010 season. This is also pretty strong evidentiary support of the idea that the Brewers had no plans to offer Gallardo another long-term contract or even a qualifying offer after the season.

That’s just one of the logistical points of this situation. Another that I’ve been told is that the Brewers might not be moving all of Gallardo’s $13 million. There is chatter that they’ll be paying a portion of his deal. That’s normally done to offset the cost to the acquiring team, thereby increasing the return in quality and/or quantity of players.

But why now? Why move Gallardo at all? He was drafted by the Brewers, after all. I’ve heard all this and more since the trade rumor was first floated out. To those questions, I answer thusly.

Gallardo rebounded a bit in 2014 and actually had a better overall season than many give him credit for. He still struggled against St. Louis, had a poor May after an excellent April and limped through September when everything around the team seemed to be collapsing together, but his season was strong as a sum of its parts. Gallardo’s fastball came back to life and he posted a career-best BB/9 ratio of 2.5 overall. With a full season of control, Gallardo is more valuable to the Brewers to move now than he would be at any other point in 2015. And outside of the money issues, Gallardo is the most moveable piece among the pitchers. He’s the best combination of return, savings, and striking while the iron is hot on the team.

You aren’t moving the cheap Wily Peralta, Mike Fiers or Jimmy Nelson. Kyle Lohse is the oldest of the group and wouldn’t bring as much in return since there’s less projectability left on his arm than that of Gallardo. And after bringing in Matt Garza on an expensive deal, that’s not changing yet, plus the fact that Garza is already on pace to providing an extremely inexpensive contract option.

You also can’t let yourself worry about the fact that he was drafted and developed by the Brewers. So was Rickie Weeks. So was Prince Fielder. So was Corey Hart. There is a time for the vast majority of players in the era of free agency to move on from their original teams. If Gallardo isn’t in the long-term plan and he can bring you back someone who is, you move him. It can be a hard thing for a franchise like Milwaukee to do when homegrown talent under team control is a necessity to win, but when that talent prices themselves out of town decisions must be made regardless of the potential public relations hit. In a perfect world every Brewer is Robin Yount, but a perfect world this ain’t.

As for the return, well that just might be another column once we learn the particulars. Rosenthal speculates that Luis Sardiñas might be involved, but as of Sunday afternoon Gallardo hadn’t even been informed that he’d been traded. A principal agreement could be in place without all the details sorted out. I’m told that Gallardo’s agent leaked the report though so somebody knows something. Understandably, both front offices are upset as the track record exists for both to operate quietly.

In regards to the next step that so many people wanted to jump to on social media already, the agent for James Shields wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t reach out to the Brewers to discern their plan and see if his client might fit. After all, the talk for a bit now is how nobody is in on Shields at the number he wanted. Engaging the Brewers could get things a bit more towards where Shields would like them to be. Then again, the conspiracy theorists point to how shortly after the Gallardo news broke, the Nationals agreeing to a contract with free agent pitcher Max Scherzer came out. They are pointing to the coincidence to indicate that maybe the Brewers desiring to trade for Wisconsin-native starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann and needed to free up a rotation spot and some money to do it and that now that the Nationals feel confident in trading Zimmermann, they could fully engage on Scherzer. While that’s all plausible, it certainly feels like a couple of steps past where things stand as the sun comes up on Monday, January 19th.

Stay tuned. I have a feeling that things could get fun today.

Rumor: Is Something A-Brewin’?

So a friend reached out early Tuesday and told me that there would likely be transactions over the next handful of days. It was said that the A’s, Braves, Blue Jays and Brewers were all set to be active.

I asked for details, such as whether the teams would be involved in trades together. Details were declined.

I didn’t share because details are important. Then on Wednesday the Braves traded Evan Gattis to the Astros and the A’s traded Yunel Escobar to the Nationals and my curiosity was certainly piqued.

I pressed for anything else specific to the Brewers and was told to be patient. Well…I’ll do my best. Now you can be impatient with me.

Misery loves company.

Brewers Reportedly Exercise Contract Option

Gallardo esta ganador!!! (Brewers 5, Giants 4)

According to Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors.com, the Milwaukee Brewers exercised their 2015 contract option on starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo.

The option, worth $13 million, had a buyout of a mere $600 thousand, but it was universally agreed that the Brewers would not be able to find similar production on the free agent market for that kind of cost.

Gallardo’s strikeout numbers have dropped the last couple of years, but he’s remained a relatively consistent performer by many other metrics including FIP, WHIP, innings pitched, home run rate, and more. The senior member of Milwaukee’s rotation also posted the best full-season ERA of his career at 3.51, over half a run lower than 2013. Gallardo also posted his lowest BB/9 (2.5) at the MLB level.

The Brewers now appear to have four of their five rotation spots secured for 2015 in Gallardo, Matt Garza, Kyle Lohse, and Wily Peralta. Jimmy Nelson and Mike Fiers would seem to be in line to compete for the fifth job and almost certainly other options will be considered come camp. But if everyone stays healthy, four jobs appear set.

There is also the matter of the holes on the team, most notably at first base where both Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay are free agents. Overbay, who said on MLB Network radio that he’s leaning toward retirement, isn’t likely to return. Neither, it would seem, is Mark Reynolds who played quality defense but was either hitting home runs in bunches or hitting nothing at all. If the Brewers decided that there is value in moving an affordable asset to shore up a bigger hole, it’s conceivable that the Brewers could install Fiers and Nelson in their rotation or return to Marco Estrada who is arbitration eligible.

The point is that by picking up Gallardo’s contract option, the Brewers will be picking up other options as well, metaphorically speaking.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 28,863 other followers