Let’s take a look at the latest from around the NL Central…
- “Frankly, at this point, we don’t think too much about that,” Brewers GM David Stearns told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter video link), MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, and other reporters when asked what pitchers are currently penciled into the starting rotation. As usual, the Brew Crew will be flexible as possible in deciding which pitchers start games and how many innings they’ll accumulate, with Stearns citing Brandon Woodruff, Eric Lauer, Adrian Houser, Freddy Peralta, and Corbin Burnes as hurlers with starting experience. Peralta and Burnes will indeed still get consideration for starting jobs, Stearns said, though both struggled in the role last season. This isn’t to say that rotation additions couldn’t still be made, and relief help could also come later in the offseason, Stearns said. Milwaukee had interest in re-signing both free agent Jordan Lyles and the non-tendered Junior Guerra before the two pitchers respectively signed with the Rangers and Diamondbacks.
- Eyebrows were raised earlier this week at reports that the Brewers were open to trade offers for superstar reliever Josh Hader. While Stearns didn’t deny the report or dismiss the idea of a Hader deal, he naturally didn’t give any hint about how much desire his club actually had in moving Hader, only saying that “I think we consider him the best reliever in baseball right now.” Obviously, it would take a major offer to land Hader, who is controlled via arbitration through the 2023 season as a Super Two player.
- Since Jacob Stallings is the only catcher on the Pirates’ 40-man roster, it isn’t any shock that GM Ben Cherington told media members (including Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic) that the Bucs are looking to upgrade the catching corps “in some ways.” Biertempfel notes that Cherington was “emphasizing the plural,” meaning that Pittsburgh will look to add multiple catchers for both the big league club and the farm system.
- With so much action on the free agent market so far, “I personally feel like there’s less trade activity likely to happen at the Winter Meetings than in prior years,” Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams told the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Bobby Nightengale and other reporters. “I think that’s the trend and I feel like other baseball front offices…feel like it’s gotten to the point where with all the other stuff that’s going on, it’s a time to continue conversations, but it’s really hard to push things across the finish line from a trade perspective.” The Reds have already one major free agent splash in signing Mike Moustakas and have been linked to several other big names, though while Williams “would say it’s entirely possible” Cincinnati makes another signing during the Meetings, “there is not one that I would say is likely to happen yet….I don’t have one that is closing in on a physical or something.”