Quite a few “under the radar” transactions have taken place in the last few days. It is my job to fill you in on those. Sadly, the Brewers have been fairly low on the Wisconsin sports priority list the last day or so. My thoughts and heart go out to Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin and his family. The death of his son is a tragedy, in the truest form of the word. My wife and I will be thinking about you this Sunday in Seattle.
The Brewers made a few moves worth talking about, so let’s get after it.
Carlos Gomez Avoids Arbitration
Mr. Gomez avoided arbitration by signing a contract for this season. It is rumored to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $2M. That does not seem like a ridiculous amount of money for him, so I am pleased by this deal. If they sign Aoki, Gomez becomes expendable in my mind. Carlos is a pretty good baseball player…sometimes. The guy is one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball and has earned a spot on the roster. His bat could be his undoing in Milwaukee though. Mark my words. The bat…
Seth McClung is Back
The Ginger Beard is back baby!! Yesterday, the Brewers signed McClung to a minor league contract. For all intensive purposes, McClung pretty much chose the Brewers and has no problem taking a minor league contract. I love this signing. When Seth was here from 07-09 he was solid enough. The truth is, the team will probably not need to much depth at middle relief. K-Rod in the 8th, Axford in the 9th, and a starting rotation that should be going 7 inning on most nights. This is a sentimental signing, with some possibility for adventure. If McClung comes to Spring Training rocking a Grizzly Adams beard, his odds to make the team will increase. Nothing says middle relief domination, like a rough, rugged red beard. I am hoping for one more pitcher signing like this. If they pick up another low cost, veteran, bullpen pitcher, I think they will be in great shape.
Brewers Claim Bianchi off waivers from Cubs
Earlier today, the Brewers claimed Jeff Bianchi off waivers. This was a terrific move. Bianchi is a middle infielder. Bianchi is only 25 years old. Our new shortstop is 34 and our 2nd baseman has a history of injuries. My hat goes off to the Brewers organization on this acquisition. While he really only spent about two fortnights with the Cubs, that is the team we claimed him from. Most of his minor league career was spent in the Kansas City Royals farm system. This is a cheap way to add depth at middle infield. Maybe this kid will compete with Brooks Conrad for the infield platoon player. No matter what happens I like this move too.
Slip of the tongue. Phillips is a 35 year old catcher who has only played in 91 games. PP is the third catcher to be invited to Spring Training. To be totally honest, there is no way that Phillips will make the team. Jonathan Lucroy, George Kottaras, and Martin Maldonado will be the catchers on the 40-man roster come opening day. But it is probably not a bad idea to bring in a few veterans, even if it is for just a few weeks. Sometimes that can be enough to make an impact on some of your young players. Who knows, Paul Phillips could be the real life Jake Taylor.
A lot has happened in the past two days. You have to love how focused the team is on adding good depth for cheap. All four of these moves are terrific and get my seal of approval.