Archive for the ‘ Transactions ’ Category

Brewers Officially Announce Three Draft Pick Signings

(The text between the —‘s and the photo of Trent Clark signing are from the Brewers official press release.)

The Milwaukee Brewers today announced the signings of three selections from the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. The signings include 15th pick outfielder Trent Clark, right-handed pitcher Cody Ponce (second round, 55th pick) and right-handed pitcher Nash Walters (third round, 90th pick). The announcements were made by Vice President of Amateur Scouting/Special Assistant to the General Manager Ray Montgomery.

Trent Clark (Photo credit: Scott Paulus)

Trent Clark (Photo credit: Scott Paulus)

Clark, 18, batted .552 with 3 HR, 24 RBI and 11 stolen bases during his senior season at Richland (TX) High School.  He bats left-handed and plays center field.  Clark was ranked as the number 10 prospect entering the draft according to Baseball America. He was scouted by area scout KJ Hendricks and national crosschecker Steve Riha.

Cody Ponce (Photo credit: Dave Coggin)

Cody Ponce (Photo credit: Dave Coggin)

Ponce, 21, recently completed his junior year at Cal Poly Pomona, going 5-3 with a 1.44 ERA in 13 starts.  The 6’6 right-handed pitcher struck out 67 and walked 14 on the season. Ponce entered the draft as the number 36 prospect according to Baseball America. He was scouted by area scout Josh Belovsky.

Walters, 18, attended Lindale High School in Texas. The third-round draft pick was a 2015 Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-America and a member of the Texas-All Region First Team.  He was scouted by KJ Hendricks.

Here’s the audio from their introductory press conference, recorded earlier tonight at Miller Park.

Official Release: Brewers Make First Selection in 2015 Draft

Trent_Clark_Graphic

MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Brewers selected outfielder Trent Clark out of Richland (TX) High School with their first pick (15th overall) of the First-Year Player Draft. Vice President of Amateur Scouting/Special Assistant to the General Manager Ray Montgomery made the announcement.

“We are excited to have Trent in the organization,” said Montgomery. “He has proven to be a team leader and is one of the better bats in the draft. He is a potential five-tool player and we are excited to get that type of player with the 15th selection”

Clark, 18, batted .552 with 3 HR, 24 RBI and 11 stolen bases during his senior season. He bats left-handed and plays center field. He was scouted by national crosschecker Steve Riha.

The Brewers have two more draft picks tonight, coming in Competitive Balance Round A (#40 overall) and in the second round (#55). The Draft will resume tomorrow at 12pm CT with rounds 3-10. Day three of the Draft will begin at 11am CT with rounds 11-40.

TrentClark

Official Release (with quotes) Regarding Tyler Wagner’s Promotion

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TYLER WAGNER PROMOTED TO MILWAUKEE, BECOMES FIRST SHUCKER IN THE MAJORS

Wagner will make his Major League debut on Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Miller Park in Milwaukee

CHATTANOOGA, TN – In concordance with the Milwaukee Brewers, the Biloxi Shuckers are thrilled to announce that starting pitcher Tyler Wagner will be the first Biloxi Shucker to play in the big leagues, when he makes his Major League debut on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. CT for the Brewers against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Miller Park. Wagner will make the start for the “Brew Crew” in game three of the weekend series.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling to know how much you have worked to get to this point in your career and everybody that has helped you along the lines, said Wagner after learning that he would be promoted from the Shuckers to Milwaukee. “It’s a surreal feeling right now.”

In nine starts for the Shuckers this season, the 24-year-old was 5-1 with a 2.01 ERA, posting 38 strikeouts and 15 walks in 53.2 innings and a 1.12 WHIP. The Brewers’ fourth round selection in 2012 out of the University of Utah ranked third in the league in ERA and tied for second in wins. He has paced a starting rotation for Biloxi that has gone 18-12 with a 3.37 ERA this season.

Shuckers’ manager Carlos Subero announced the news to the entire clubhouse.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” added Wagner. “I believed I was ready for the moment but you never expect something like that. He built it up quite a bit and my heart was pumping a lot and then he finally broke the news that I was going up.” Everybody was cheering and happy for me and it was great to have the support from the clubhouse.”

The Las Vegas, NV native is rated by Baseball America as the Milwaukee Brewers’ No. 9 rated prospect and was a 2014 mid-season and postseason Florida State League All-Star. On May 14, infielder Yadiel Rivera become the Shuckers’ first position player to be promoted to Triple-A, but Wagner becomes the first to play in the big leagues.

“That’s an awesome honor to have,” Wagner stated on being the first Shucker to play in the Majors. “Hopefully it’s not too soon before someone else gets the call from this team.”

The parent club of the Shuckers are currently 16-32 on the young season. Wagner will be just the sixth Brewer to start a game this season.

“There is a whole bunch of emotions going through my head,” said Wagner. “Just thoughts of what I am going to do and how I am going to act – what I am going to wear – what kind of cleats I will wear. But, it all comes down to controlling what you can control and living in the moment.”

Wagner became the Southern League’s first four game winner after an 8-2 win over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos on April 27, and followed it up with two consecutive seven inning outings that yielded no decisions.

The preceding press release was provided by the Biloxi Shuckers.

Segura Latest to Hit Disabled List for Brewers

In the time leading up to Wednesday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox at Miller Park, the Milwaukee Brewers alerted everyone that their posted lineup would be changing. Jean Segura, who had been set to play shortstop and lead off for Craig Counsell, would no longer be participating in that evening’s contest. The given reason was soreness in Segura’s pinky finger on his right hand.

Scorebook pages were swapped out or updated with the new player and the new batting order, but beyond that nobody gave it another thought, really. Well, until this morning anyway.

That’s when a pair of tweets hit the interwebz from the Brewers official account. The first alerted us that Segura’s finger soreness was being understandably caused by a fracture.

The second filled us in on how the Brewers would be managing the roster in light of the news.

While it’s obviously terrible news that “Seggy” will miss time, that he will is an unavoidable certainty. Therefore, let’s not dwell on that part of things. Instead, let’s focus on the latter half of this transaction news.

Luis Sardiñas, who will turn just 22 years old on Saturday, is a switch-hitting infielder who hails from Venezuela. He is the same switch-hitting Venezuelan infielder acquired from the Texas Rangers over the off-season in the Yovani Gallardo trade.

So far this season, Sardiñas has slashed .288/.324/.386 for Triple-A Colorado Springs. That includes seven doubles and three triples but no home runs. He’s struck out just 19 times in 141 plate appearances, but also walked but seven.

Defensively capable at shortstop, third, and second, Sardiñas is a true shortstop first and foremost. That’s been reflected in his defensive log with the Sky Sox inasmuch as he’s played in 31 games at shortstop with just one appearance at the keystone and zero at the hot corner.

Sardiñas made his Major League debut in 2014 for the Rangers, appearing out of necessity after that team suffered an ridiculous amount of injuries at the big league level. That’s how he gets his next opportunity as well, though his time was certainly coming at some point regardless of why.

It wouldn’t shock me if Sardiñas is given the opportunity to start some over the next two weeks. As mentioned, he’s a switch-hitter which gives Craig Counsell another player for whom he needn’t worry about late-game matchups.

All that said, let’s look at one more potentially impacted part of the Brewers organization by way of this promotion. The Sky Sox don’t exactly have another true shortstop on their roster. Donnie Murphy and Pete Orr could fill in (and maybe Chris Nelson too, though I don’t know if he’s played short and I don’t have time to check right now), but this seems like the right time to promote from within.

The Brewers are currently carrying two true shortstops at Double-A Biloxi in the persons of Yadiel Rivera and top prospect Orlando Arcia. They carry surprisingly similar stat lines to this point, for what it’s worth. Also, when a spot opened at Double-A last year, Rivera was promoted first. Granted he’s older (having turned just 23 in his own right on May 2nd) and has been a professional longer (by a year) than Arcia, but that doesn’t always amount to a hill of beans in the grand scheme.

Doug Melvin should use this opportunity to see what he’s got in one of these Double-A shortstops. I’d guess they’d opt to move Rivera first.

Either way, there exists a chance to make the most of this unfortunate situation. Sardiñas gets his call back to The Show and someone should, in my humble opinion, be given the chance to ply their trade just one step away from Milwaukee.

BREAKING NEWS: Craig Counsell Named Nineteenth Manager in Brewers History

CounsellManager

After Ron Roenicke was relieved of his managerial duties late Sunday evening by the Milwaukee Brewers — and once the requisite hot takes about whether the firing was the right move died down — chatter sparked up about who would replace the man who has been at the helm of this club since taking over prior to the 2011 season.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports was the first to go on record late last night, quoting a source who said that the new manager will be former Brewers player and of late member of Doug Melvin’s front office Craig Counsell. (For what it’s worth, I was able to independently confirm the same earlier Monday morning.)

Rosenthal wasn’t the first person to suggest that Counsell could be the choice. Speculation was running rampant on social media as everyone tried to determine who made the most sense. Names like Ron Gardenhire and even *shudder* Dusty Baker were offered as out-of-work managerial types who weren’t all that busy over the weekend. In the end, Counsell got the nod.

General Manager Doug Melvin told reporters last night that the decision to relieve Roenicke and go in another direction was made following the series loss in Cincinnati during the just completed road trip. It then took a couple of days to ask and subsequently negotiate a deal. Roenicke nor his coaches were informed of the decision until Sunday evening and while the rest of the coaching staff is being retained for the rest of the season (for now anyway), Roenicke’s firing could signal the beginning of much bigger changes on the horizon.

Counsell is another in a recent trend of hirings at the Major League level of former players who lack managerial experience. Mike Matheny has had the most success in St. Louis to this point but Brad Ausmus in Detroit and Robin Ventura with the White Sox, Walt Weiss in Colorado, Matt Williams with Washington. There are only 30 of these jobs, after all.

Counsell has signed a three-year contract to manager the Brewers.

Following is the official press release:

The Milwaukee Brewers have named Craig Counsell the 19th manager in franchise history, signing him to a three-year contract through the 2017 season. Counsell replaces Ron Roenicke, who was relieved of his duties last night. The announcement was made by President – Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin.

“Craig has many years of Major League playing experience, and his three-plus years of learning all aspects of baseball operations helps prepare him for this managerial position,” said Melvin. “There will be challenges, but Craig has never shied away from leadership responsibilities on the field as a player or in his most recent role. I believe his on-field success as a player and his awareness for preparation should resonate in the clubhouse. Growing up in Milwaukee, it is very important for him to bring a winning culture and team success to Brewers fans.”

Counsell, 44, joined the front office on January 17, 2012 as special assistant to the general manager. The former infielder enjoyed a 16-year Major League playing career, batting .255 with 42 HR, 390 RBI and 103 stolen bases in 1,624 games with Colorado (1995, ‘97), Florida (1997-99), Los Angeles (1999), Arizona (2000-03, 2005-06) and Milwaukee (2004, 2007-11). He was a member of World Series championship teams with Florida (1997) and Arizona (2001), and was named Most Valuable Player of the 2001 National League Championship Series.

“I am grateful and honored to have the opportunity to manage the team that I rooted for, played for and worked for in the front office,” said Counsell. “In the 10 years that I have been a member of the organization, I have grown to feel a great responsibility to baseball in the city of Milwaukee. This has been a difficult time for the Brewers, and we all share the responsibility. I understand the work ahead to be the team our fans deserve. We have challenges ahead of us and I look forward to working tirelessly to achieve our goals.”

Counsell, a 1988 graduate of Whitefish Bay High School and 1992 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, resides in Whitefish Bay with his wife, Michelle, their sons, Brady and Jack, and daughters, Finley and Rowan. His father, John, worked in the Brewers front office as director of the speakers bureau (1979-85) and director of community relations (1986-87).

Roster News: Another Starter Hits the DL

Gennett

The Brewers announced Tuesday morning that Scooter Gennett has been placed on the 15-day Disabled List (retroactive to Monday, April 20) due to the left hand laceration he suffered during a post-game shower in Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Taking his place on the active roster will be Elian Herrera. Herrera’s contract was purchased from the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox which gets him back on the 40-man roster. Herrera has been scorching hot for the Sky Sox after an impressive spring training…

To clear a spot on the 40-man, RHP Brandon Kintzler was designated for assignment. Kintzler was just activated off of Colorado Springs’ disabled list Tuesday morning after a reported fingernail avulsion.

Broken: Lucroy’s Toe

Sad Lucroy

Jonathan Lucroy left Monday night’s game early a half-inning after taking a foul ball squarely off the toes of his left foot while catching. He finished the inning and flew out in his next at-bat but then was lifted in favor of Martin Maldonado. Lucroy limped out of the batter’s box and down the first base line on the play.

Following Monday’s game, the Brewers tweeted the following worst-case scenario news.

In the off-season, the Brewers claimed Juan Centeno off waivers from the New York Mets. Centeno is on the 40-man roster and will join the team in Milwaukee tomorrow.

Entering play Monday, Centeno was hitting a mere .192 in 27 plate appearances across seven games for the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox.

Centeno, 25, made his MLB debut back in 2013 for the Mets and has a career batting average of .225 in 14 games.

Breaking News: Return of the K-Rod

KRodCelebrate

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com broke the news via Twitter, so you know it’s good.

Francisco Rodriguez has agreed to a two-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers with a team option for a third year. (Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that Scott Boras agreed to a deal with Mark Attanasio, but that’s an argument for a different time.)

Rodriguez closed games for the Brewers last year, stepping in (after stepping on a cactus) for the injured Jim Henderson. He posted 44 saves and pitched mostly effectively, but he was hammered by the long ball at a frightening clip. He was a streaky performer, with his struggles coming in bunches for the most part (confirmation bias alert!), but still can be an effective pitcher. He needs to maintain his fastball command more consistently though to aid him in avoiding posting another career-worst home runs allowed total. For the record, it was 14 last year in just 68.0 innings pitched. That’s a 1.9 HR/9, math majors.

The ISO against his fastball in 2014 was .301. That’s terrifying. Still, Rodriguez did post a career best WHIP at 0.985 and struck out more than a batter an inning en route to a 3.04 ERA across 69 games.

But for this multi-year marriage to work out, the home run ball needs to exit from Rodriguez’s repertoire.

***UPDATE***

Tom Haudricourt tweeted full contract details.

Broken News: Cotts Contracts With Crew

OFFICIAL RELEASE

The Milwaukee Brewers have signed free agent left-handed reliever Neal Cotts to a one-year contract. The announcement was made by President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin.

To make room for Cotts on the 40-man roster, the team designated infielder/outfielder Elian Herrera for assignment.

Cotts, 34, went 2-9 with a 4.32 ERA and 2 saves in a career-high 73 relief appearances last season with the Texas Rangers. He owns a career record of 20-24 with a 4.05 ERA and 4 saves in 415 games (5 starts) with the White Sox (2003-06), Cubs (2007-09) and Rangers (2013-14).

Over the past two seasons, he is holding opponents to a .223 batting average with 128 strikeouts in just 123.2 innings pitched.

Cotts enjoyed his best Major League season just two years ago as he went 8-3 with a 1.11 ERA and 1 save in 58 relief appearances with Texas. His ERA in 2013 was the second lowest in the Major Leagues among relievers and marked the lowest by a reliever in Rangers franchise history. His win total that season tied for the most among Major League relievers, and opponents batted just .180.

A member of the 2005 world champion Chicago White Sox, Cotts appeared in each game of the 2005 World Series (4 games), earning the
victory Game 2 against Houston.

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.

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