Brewers GM David Stearns laughed when told by Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he’s earned the nickname “Dealin’ Dave” on the heels of making nine trades to acquire 16 new players this offfseason. Haudricourt runs down all of the names acquired by Stearns, who shared a bit of insight into his general offseason approach with Haudricourt. “There’s a strength-in-numbers approach with pitching,” explained Stearns, who has acquired six pitchers via trade this winter. “Part of that is due to the increased injury risk associated with pitchers. We’re trying to stockpile good arms. I think most importantly we’re trying to stockpile guys who’ve proven they can throw strikes. We’ve been able to do that through some of these transactions.” Stearns went on to add that Jonathan Lucroy’s status hasn’t been impacted by the addition of a fairly highly touted catching prospect in Jacob Nottingham, acquired in the Khris Davis trade over the weekend. As Stearns notes, Nottingham spent last season at Class-A and can’t be expected to contribute in the Majors in the immediate future.
More notes from the NL Central…
- The Cardinals are open to adding another catcher as a depth option on the eve of Spring Training, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but Yadier Molina and the team are both hopeful that he can be ready for the season opener. Molina, who underwent a second thumb surgery in December after his October operation did not fix the injury in his hand, tells Goold that he has no doubt that the second surgery healed the issue, citing improved performance in range-of-motion and strengthening exercises on the hand. Molina could still be two weeks away from catching, Goold notes, and that step will come before Molina progresses to hitting. If he’s not ready to open the season, offseason addition Brayan Pena will begin the year as the club’s starter. St. Louis has added veteran Eric Fryer on a minor league deal and could bring him north as the backup to Pena if Molina isn’t ready, and it stands to reason that any external addition to the catching mix would be cut from the same cloth.
- Goold appeared on MLB Network’s Hot Stove show this morning and talked Cardinals (video link), discussing Molina, Adam Wainwright and the team’s mix of players at first base. If Wainwright is limited at all this season after missing much of last year due to an Achilles injury, the limitations will come in Spring Training as opposed to during the regular season, Goold said. He adds that the Cardinals “want to see if the Brandon Moss that they have is the Brandon Moss of a few years ago — the guy who over the last four years has averaged 24 home runs per year. “ Goold went on to add: “The guy who hits most is going to play most at first base. The guy who hits for the most power is going to play the most at first base.” Moss is joined by Matt Adams and Stephen Piscotty in the first base column on the depth chart.
- Andrew McCutchen said again on Monday that his hope is to spend his entire career with the Pirates, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. McCutchen, who turned 29 in October, has been the face of the Bucs’ franchise for much of his career and is under contract for three more seasons at a total of $41.5MM (only $28MM of that is guaranteed; Pittsburgh has a $14.5MM club option with a $1MM buyout for McCutchen in 2018).