Quick Hits: Brewers, Twins, Mulder, Angels, Red Sox

It wouldn't make sense for the Brewers to move Rickie Weeks or Ryan Braun to first base, MLB.com's Adam McCalvy writes. The Brewers have been connected to Corey Hart, Ike Davis and other first basemen this winter, but they haven't landed any of them. Scooter Gennett figures to be the Brewers' second baseman next season, leaving no obvious spot for Weeks. Weeks doesn't have an ideal bat for first base, and the Brewers could try to trade him, if they can find a taker. Milwaukee sees Braun as a long-term fix in right field, McCalvy notes. (Also, we might add that Braun's performance at third base in 2007 very persuasively suggests that he stay in the outfield.) Here are more notes from around the Majors.

  • McCalvy also notes that Rule 5 pick Wei-Chung Wang's chances of sticking with the Brewers are "very slim," noting that the Brewers haven't kept a Rule 5 pick for an entire season since 2004 with reliever Jeff Bennett (who, like Wang, was selected out of the Pirates organization). Wang has also never pitched above the Gulf Coast League. McCalvy does point out, however, that there will be chances to stick in the Brewers' bullpen, particularly if they use lefty Will Smith as a starter.
  • The Angels want to keep their first-round pick in this year's draft, MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez writes. They're still looking for pitching, though, and if they don't want to surrender their pick, then signing Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez, who each rejected qualifying offers, won't be possible for them. That limits them to Masahiro Tanaka, Matt Garza, and Bronson Arroyo, followed by less-desirable options like Paul Maholm, Jason Hammel and Chris Capuano.
  • The Twins had "some interest" in Mark Mulder, 1500ESPN.com's Darren Wolfson tweets. Mulder was not interested in signing with Minnesota, however, and he ended up heading to the Angels instead.
  • Mulder says he's open to pitching in the minors if he feels like he's on a path back to the big leagues, but he doesn't want to stay in the minor leagues the whole season, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tweets.
  • It looks more and more likely that the Red Sox will re-sign Stephen Drew, and if so, that doesn't mean they'll necessarily trade Will Middlebrooks, writes Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. A number of potential suitors, including the Mets, Pirates, Twins and Yankees, appear content to go with internal options rather than signing Drew and losing a draft pick, which could leave the Red Sox as the only team standing. Boston currently figures to head into the season with Xander Bogaerts at shortstop and Middlebrooks at third, but if they re-signed Drew, Bogaerts would head to third and Middlebrooks wouldn't have a place to play. The Red Sox could then keep Middlebrooks for depth. MacPherson points to the example of Mike Carp, who demonstrated last year that a player need not have an obvious starting role to be helpful — perhaps Middlebrooks could follow in his footsteps.


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43 Comments on "Quick Hits: Brewers, Twins, Mulder, Angels, Red Sox"


kdub53
1 year 7 months ago

im glad to see the anahiem angels do something so low risk. No one knows how this will turn out. I hope the best for mulder and the halos.

pft2
1 year 7 months ago

Drew was ranked 7th among all SS in WAR and 6th in w/OBA. It defies belief that nobody would want him. Its not like losing a draft pick is a new thing, and the Yankees would be losing a 2nd round pick while the Mets would be losing a 3rd round pick, and neither of those picks are worth much more than a lottery ticket

I would be very surprised if Drew resigns with Boston for 1 year and risks being on the bench before the seasons end. This won’t help him land a good free agent deal although he would probably not get a QO. Boras will find him something better, even if he has to wait for June 15

Its not like he would be looking for more than 3/35 at this point.

Zak A
1 year 7 months ago

Pretty sure he’s looking for more than 3/35. But if you look at him, he’s pretty comparable to a guy like Alexei Ramirez and most of what you hear about his deal which was 4/32.5 is a lot of ‘wish we could trade him’ sentiment & they produced almost identical fWAR in 2013. Anything over 10MM/year is an overpay for this guy. He’s got the 2nd highest K% from 2010-2013 and his glove is more valuable than his bat, so he’s a semi-glorified glove.

Karkat
1 year 7 months ago

He won’t be on the bench. He’s leaps and bounds beyond Middlebrooks.

Zak A
1 year 7 months ago

Rickie Weeks for Dan Uggla straight up maybe some cash exchanges hands as well. Uggla moves to 1B (has the ‘bat’ for it). Weeks holds a .321/.426/.560 slash at Turner field in 101 PAs, which is his best slash anywhere with more than 50 PAs. Also, if Uggla played vs the NL Central exclusively he’d be a .280 hitter.

Guest
1 year 7 months ago

One reason why i dislike that idea.

On January 4, 2011, Uggla and the Atlanta Braves agreed to a 5-year, $62 million contract

jhawk1000
1 year 7 months ago

Except that Uggla only has two years remaining on his deal, Weeks is set to make 11 mil this year with an option for next year. The money is close to even with 3mil or so being the difference, assuming the option is picked up.

daveineg
1 year 7 months ago

What makes you think Weeks’ option will be picked up? He needs 600 PA for that to happen and he’s not in the Brewer plans. If he’s not traded this spring, he may well be cut. Uggla is not an option for the Brewers.

jhawk1000
1 year 7 months ago

Oh I don’t think it will, just saying that his possible option makes the money for the next two seasons more even. I suggested on another thread mid point of this past season a swap of Weeks for Uggla as a bad contract/ fresh start for both and got lit up for it.
Ultimately if I could I’d like to see a 3 way deal between ATL,TOR, and MIL.

Weeks to Atl to be 2B

Uggla + 10mil to Tor to be 2B/DH/bench bat

Lind + 5mil to Mil to be 1B
Just thinking out loud mostly

daveineg
1 year 7 months ago

Weeks is coming off a serious injury so that factors in as well. I know Toronto has a need at 2B, but I can’t see them making that deal. If they trade Lind, I think they’d make a run at Nelson Cruz or Kendrys Morales to DH before Uggla anyway. I think they’d want an arm thrown in too.

jhawk1000
1 year 7 months ago

Depending on the level of that arm, it might be worth exploring at the very least. Weeks suffered a hamstring injury and is expected to be ST ready. It’s going to take an overpay in some capacity for the Braves to unload Uggla. How much of one is my question?

Plus TOR could still go after either of the guys you mentioned and it doesn’t really affect a rotating DH. In theory.

Douglas Bath
1 year 7 months ago

No… if Uggla batted in the NL central he’d hit .360 easy. Maybe .380 even.

Serasai
1 year 7 months ago

Oh I know, the NL central is such a terrible division right now isn’t it? Three teams with 90 or more wins, pretty easy to feast on all of those subpar teams.

Douglas Bath
1 year 7 months ago

someone needs a sarcasm detector.

vtadave
1 year 7 months ago

Did you mean “SLUG” .380?

Todd Smith
1 year 7 months ago

Uggla hit .188 against the NL Central in 100 plate appearances last season.

Douglas Bath
1 year 7 months ago

you think I don’t know that?

Todd Smith
1 year 7 months ago

Well, you do now. You’re welcome.

Zak A
1 year 7 months ago

You should factor in stadium. He was better not playing at Turner Field. He is absurdly terrible at Turner Field. His last 2 years vs the NL Central in their stadiums he’d be a .280-.300 hitter overall.

Zak A
1 year 7 months ago

Sarcasm aside, splits are splits and he’s had historical success against NL Central teams and in NL Central stadiums.

trenigro
1 year 7 months ago

Do the Brewers have any available relief arms of interest or back end starters to trade for Justin Smoak? With Hart and Morrison now in the fold, Smoak needs to go and the M’s have a terrible bullpen right now.

Douglas Bath
1 year 7 months ago

Smoak is a replacement level player. The Brewers have no need for him. They could insert Hunter Morris at a replacement level.

trenigro
1 year 7 months ago

If the Brewers are considering Ike Davis as a trade option, I see no reason why they wouldn’t consider Smoak who is better. He may not be very good but he isn’t replacement level any more and still has some room to improve. Fangraphs only listed him at 0.4 WAR last year but that’s because for some reason they hate his defense which is universally considered to be average to above average. His wRC+ last year was 109. Baseball Reference liked him a little better and had him at 1.1 WAR and 113 OPS+.

Ideally he should only be a platoon starter but with a change of scenery and not having to hit in Safeco anymore, maybe he taps into some of that potential everyone used to think he had.

Douglas Bath
1 year 7 months ago

Smoak has +1.4 WAR in 486 career games.
or at best, 1/2 a win above replacement per season.

daveineg
1 year 7 months ago

I would regard Smoak as better than Morris and maybe even a cut above Davis. But the Brewers are not exactly overflowing with relief arms. They likely will add an arm or two yet themselves but the plan to stick with cheap options like Kinsler, Blazek, and Wooten to get to their closer so none of those would seem to be available right now. The back end of their rotation will be manned by controllable young guys they like going forward. Thornburg holds that spot now and was very impressive at the end of last year. The alternatives to him are guys high up on their prospect lists, Jimmy Nelson and Johnny Hellweg.

The one guy that might be a decent fit is Hiram Burgos. Burgos was outstanding in the WBC for Puerto Rico, got called up early last year, and after a couple decent starts ran into some arm issues which he tried to pitch through. They eventually shut him down, and he’s been lights out in Puerto Rico this winter. He’s strictly a finesse guy who projects as a back end starter.

Douglas Bath
1 year 7 months ago

Smoak has +1.4 WAR in 486 career games.

Todd Smith
1 year 7 months ago

Smoak would be a perfect fit for the Pirates as a platoon mate with Gaby Sanchez. Smoak with his .839 OPS against RHP last year, and Gaby with his .987 OPS against LHP last year. The Pirates have a ton of bullpen depth to deal from as well. I think this a deal that will end up happening at some point.

metsmaniac755
1 year 7 months ago

personally I think it’s a total joke if my Mets don’t sign Drew. They’re only loosing a 3rd round pick, he can probably be had for 2 years now and Tejada is maybe the worst starting SS in the league.

trenigro
1 year 7 months ago

I’m sure Scott Boras can do better than 2 years but if that is all that they’re going to get, then they are going to wait well into spring training before signing.

Honestly I’m not very surprised that there is so little interest in Drew. He’s talented but not durable at all, plus has put up back-to-back career highs in K%. I wouldn’t want to bet on him for the next 3+ seasons.

Chris Koch
1 year 7 months ago

How do they only lose a 3rd round pick? They lose their 1st rd pick. Only the top ten are protected.

jhawk1000
1 year 7 months ago

Because they have a top 10 pick and it’s protected, they gave up their 2nd round pick for Granderson. So their 3rd would go to Boston for losing Drew. Why, because Granderson was ranked higher than Drew on the FA list

Steve_in_MA
1 year 7 months ago

Doubt the Sox sign Drew at all. Obviously, there is a bit of a war going on internally about this. Farrell is lobbying hard for signing Drew, but it seems the front office just doesn’t want to do it. I side with the front office. Let him sign elsewhere. I would rather we had the draft pick.

UltimateYankeeFan
1 year 7 months ago

Assuming the Red Sox re-sign Drew that would put the Sox 2014 payroll based on MLB AAV for luxury tax purposes right about at the $189MM threshold.
Baseball-Reference calculates their current payroll (not including) Drew but for their other 24 active roster players at $165MM, add in $10MM for Drew another $3MM for the balance of the 40 man roster and $11MM MLB charges each team for benefits, incentives etc (last year MLB charged each team $10.8MM) and that equals: $188MM.

My guess is at some point they will move one of the pitchers to give them a little payroll flexibility during the season without going over the tax threshold.

z3rogs
1 year 7 months ago

Good show, Sherlock.

Unassisted Triple Play
1 year 7 months ago

The draft pick compensation rules seem to be a hindrance on both the players and the teams.

daveineg
1 year 7 months ago

The obvious spot for Weeks if the Brewers can’t trade him is sitting home collecting his $11 million waiting for the phone to ring. The Brewers have eaten the final year of contracts for unproductive guys before (Jeff Suppan), and they know that to generate any trade interest, they’ll have to pay a substantial portion of his remaining deal anyway. They are hoping that an injury somewhere in spring will create some sort of interest.

Mil8Ball
1 year 7 months ago

I’d rather have him on the bench than cut him. Unlike the guys you speak of he actually could have use pinch hitting. Their bench is awful every year and Weeks would be better than a lot of people they have

The guys you talk about were cut to make room for a young guy. You won’t cut Weeks to put some prospect on the bench.

toddcoffeytime
1 year 7 months ago

Definitely would not like to see Rickie cut, he still has some power and on base skills, at least enough to be a decent bench/platoon option. That being said, given the absolute black hole the Brewers had at first base last year, I’m not sure why he wouldn’t be considered for some time there,

dmm1047
1 year 7 months ago

I can’t wait til I see what the Sox pay for Drew. I need a good laugh about now.

kcstengelSr
1 year 7 months ago

Some day, some player will challenge the QO compensation system in court. Players like Drew and Morales have limited choices with the current system and when the Red Sox and Mariners hold all the cards, something has to give.
Messersmith and McNally challenged the reserve clause and ushered in free agency. Perhaps Drew and Morales can challenge the QO system. At the minimum, Drew and Morales can “hold out” until after the June draft and be free to sign with any team without said team losing a draft pick.

I Want My Bird
1 year 7 months ago

Is there a great deal of sympathy when someone turns down 14mil? The one part of it that should be somehow improved, is how can the player accurately gauge the market in November.

Chris Koch
1 year 7 months ago

I agree to the QO needing to be overhauled. 1, it should have different levels of compensation. Not to be based on the top 75 in average pay because a 75thish player in baseball like Drew/Morales/Cruz/Jimenez aren’t worth the money AND the draft pick cost. There should be 2 levels of QO. One based on avg of top 50 players at 1st rd cost. The 2nd based on avg cost of players 40-100 at 2nd round cost. If a team extended a 1st rd comp with my idea it would have been around 20mil to turn down. If they extended a 2nd rd comp it would likely be around 11mil to turn down. Let’s face it, Choo/Cano/Ellsbury were the only players worth 1st rd comps. To lose your 1st rd pick for McCann/Beltran/Napoli and the others are too much except when it’s a pick beyond the 25th. No pick should be protected beyond the top 5 then.

LetsGoBucs92122
1 year 7 months ago

Very surprised that the Brewers took Wang from the Pirates. He has never pitched above the GCL. Can’t see him staying in the big leagues all season unless Milwaukee essentially burn a bullpen spot with him.