Milwaukee Brewers: In the News (Jan. 5)

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Milwaukee Brewers: In the News (Jan. 5)

Brewers News

- Ned Yost and Dale Sveum only issued six “definitely not smart” intentional walks last year, according to Fire Jim Bowden. They ranked near the middle of the pack of managers in the category Fire Jim Bowden came up with.

- Jeff Suppan as the closer? In-Between Hops proposes the off-the-wall idea.

- Rotoprofessor compares Hardy and Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki for fantasy baseball and gives the edge to Tulowitzki. Huh? Hardy has been a top shortstop the last two years and plays in a much better line-up. And Tulowitzki has way too many question marks. I give the edge to Hardy and I don’t think it’s even close.

- Should Mark Attanasio run his team like a mob family?

Rumors and Speculation

- There is another mention of the Brewers having interest in Mark Mulder. There was one HERE last week and one HERE in late December. Mulder is a big injury risk as he’s only pitched in 23 games over the last three years as a member of the Cardinals. But when healthy, the lefty puts up some pretty nice numbers.

Melvin is likely bargain shopping as Mulder should come at a reduced rate due to his injury history. He’s just 31 and is reportedly healthy and with an improved delivery.

His most successful seasons were with Ken Macha in Oakland and he’s from the Midwest (born in Illinois, pitched collegiately for Michigan State), so Milwaukee could be an appealing destination for him.

The blurb from the second Boston Globe story on Mulder linked above is interesting from Milwaukee’s perspective (with glowing quotes from Macha):

Lefthander Mark Mulder, meanwhile, who has endured almost three years of shoulder problems, feels his arm angle is almost as high as it was before he first hurt his shoulder, with thanks going to Arizona therapist Joe Hipp.

“Mark was in the office the other day and the excitement in his voice over his arm angle was pretty touching,” said agent Gregg Clifton of Mulder, who has a career record of 103-60. “The arm angle isn’t quite as high as it was in his prime, but in his mind it is, and the fact he’s come so far from where he started is so encouraging to him. He has the confidence now that he’s going to pitch at a high level again.”

New Brewers manager Ken Macha remembers managing Mulder in Oakland, when he called him “one of the most dominating pitchers in baseball. He had four pitches, a split, a cutter. He jams you. He had a good curveball and he threw downhill. I remember one game in Seattle, a guy hit a bloop to right field and he got to second. There were runners at second and third, nobody out, and Mark just reared back and struck out the side. That, to me, is what makes a great pitcher - a guy who can turn it up a notch when he has to, and Mark did that all the time.

“What a good guy on a team. Great teammate. He had that [6-foot-4-inch] frame, strong, powerful. As a manager he was everything you ever wanted in an ace pitcher.”

When told of Mulder’s comeback, Macha said, “That’s the kind of guy you root for.”

 

I think Mulder would be a nice addition for the Crew. I certainly wouldn’t bank on him pitching like he did in the early to mid-2000s, but the upside is there and the risk is minimal.

- Fan Graphs looked at the Type-B relievers left on the market. All of these guys are projected to be worth about $3 million in 2009 and most should have some appeal to the Brewers. Personally, of those options, I’d like to see the Brewers bring Gagne back on a one-year deal. He was very effective in the second half and will come much cheaper than last year.

- Fan Graphs also looked at the Type-B starters left on the market. They say a team could get a nice deal on Braden Looper with a two-year, $18 million deal. The Brewers are rumored to be interested in Looper.

- Alex Brown at Examiner.com sees Jon Garland landing with the Brewers

- How about John Smoltz or Curt Schilling? Ty Jackson at Bleacher Report says they could be good options for Milwaukee.

- Derek Lowe wants $16 million a season. He probably won’t get that. And he probably won’t get an offer anywhere close to that from the Brewers so I think we can forget about Lowe in Milwaukee.

- There are reportedly five teams after Ken Griffey Jr., including two unknown N.L. teams. Could one of them be the Brewers? Unlikely… I’m sure Griffey will not want to play behind Cameron, Braun and Hart.

- Southside Rob at BrewerNation asks if the Brewers should trade for Ichiro Suzuki. I’d be thrilled to have Ichiro in Milwaukee as he’s one of my favorite MLB players, but I’d be very surprised if it happened. Ichiro is gold to the Mariners for marketing and he’s the face of their team.

I believe he just signed a long-term deal last offseason to stay there. I can’t see Jack Z trading him and I doubt Ichiro (who probably can reject trades as part of that new contract) would want to play in the Midwest.

- Us Brewers fans aren’t the only ones wondering why Ben Sheets isn’t getting more attention. I hope the Brewers are talking with him and his agent…

- Jon Heyman lists the top-20 remaining free agents. A few players that have been mentioned in Brewers circles are on the list: Crede (5), Dunn (6), Garland (7), O. Perez (11) and Sheets (14).  I don’t see how Sheets is that low… Or how Garland is that high and Looper isn’t even on the list.

- The Red Sox would like to trade for a young, star player. This is purely my speculation…But would Prince Fielder qualify? And what would the Brewers want in return?

How about Fielder and Cameron for Clay Buchholz and Jacoby Ellsbury? Buchholz is a young, developing starter  that would look nice in the rotation and Ellsbury would be the leadoff hitter the Brewers so badly need.

The Red Sox would get a premiere power hitter in his prime and would have the resources to resign him when he’s up for free agency in three years and they’d get a solid bat and defender for center field to replace Ellsbury.

The deal would clear a lot of money for the Brewers and they could use that money to sign Adam Dunn to play first base (replacing Prince’s slugging production while providing a better OBP). I sincerely doubt it will happen, but it’s an interesting idea anyway...

Minor Leagues

- Al at Al’s Ramblings lists his Top 10 Brewers Prospects.

- Brent Brewer comes in at No. 22 on Between the Green Pillars Brewers prospect list and Wily Peralta is No. 22 on Bernie’s Crew’s list.

- Don’t forget that Community Prospect Ranking voting is still going on at Brew Crew Ball.

Mat Gamel lands at No. 4 on Project Prospect’s Top Third Base Prospect List.

- Baseball America took a look at catching prospects’ caught stealing rates recently and broke down Jonathan Lucroy’s and Angel Salome’s play. Pjpaulus at Brew Crew Ball posted the analysis there.

NL Central

- Buster Olney says the Cubs are making offseason mistakes. He discusses trading a reliable, versatile player in Mark DeRosa and looking to bring in Milton Bradley, who cannot stay healthy. Regardless of the moves, the Cubs look to be the clear front-runners in the division going into the season and they’re probably not done this offseason.

- Chris Carpenter could be considered for the closer role in St. Louis. Carpenter can’t stay on the field as a starter. The switch to reliever seems to have worked for Kerry Wood. Maybe it would work for Carpenter too.

- Hal McCoy says the Reds will finish no better than fifth in the NL Central if they don’t make more moves this offseason. I think they have a shot to catch the Astros for fourth. That said, I don’t think they’re one or two players away so it would foolish to run out and spend a bunch of money on players. They do have some nice young players though and they’ll be a contender in a year or two if they fill in around those developing players.

- Speaking of the Reds, it doesn’t look likely that Andruw Jones will end up there, despite some reported interest.

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