Winter Meetings Day 1: A Whole Lot of Talk


So the Winter Meetings are upon us – if you’re anything like me all the spare time you had yesterday was spent hitting the refresh button on MLB Trade Rumors.

Chances are, you are not like me.

Luckily, we are here to recap the day that was in the Winter Meetings – a day, it turned out, that was awful quiet for Milwaukee.

Agents, lock up your players – Doug Melvin is on the prowl(Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)

The fact that nothing was done by the Milwaukee Brewers on day one of the meetings does not mean that nothing was discussed. Quite the contrary, as Doug Melvin, Gord Ash and their various minions in the front office perused the free agent possibilities in hopes of rebuilding their bullpen.

Persons of Interest

The following people were linked into discussions with the Brewers. I present no further evidence that any or all of them will be signed, but more details will be available as the days move ahead.

Jason Grilli – the 36 year-old right hander is one of the highly coveted bullpen options this season, after finishing 2012 with a 1-6 record and a 2.91 ERA in 58 and 2/3 innings of work. He has a career K/9 rate of 7.8, and last year was at his most effective with a rate of 13.8 and a WHIP of 1.142 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Melvin reportedly met with Grilli’s agent – one Gary Sheffield – yesterday but no further details are available.

Sean Burnett – Sean Burnett spent the last four seasons in the Nationals bullpen, and Melvin contacted his agent. The Brewers are in need of a lefty in the pitching staff, and Burnett proved he can be one of the most effective after last season. He threw 56 and 2/3 innings of work with a 1.235 WHIP and a 2.38 ERA with 57 strikeouts.

Rumored Odds and Ends

Doug Melvin responded to questions from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the idea that he would not offer a contract longer than two years as a case-by-case basis:

"“It’s up to the individual, the player, who it is, the dollars… I’ll do a 10-year deal if the money’s right. $1 million a year.”–Brewers GM Doug Melvin, via"

That’s either Melvin’s attempt at a joke, or, a slight indication that the team is

There’s little hard evidence now, but Gamel could be involved in a trade if conditions are right (Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)

more interested in Dempster than they are letting on. Dempster’s agent said they will not be looking at deals less than three years.

There was some word around Twitter that the Mariners came calling about a deal involving Mat Gamel, but I was unable to substantiate it. I leave it to your own devices.

Doug Melvin also made it clear in comments to the Journal-Sentinel and others that their focus is on the free agent market, and not trading at the moment.

There is still no discussion in the works for an extension of Corey Hart‘s contract, but the team is not fielding trade offers for the right fielder-turned-first baseman.

What to Look For on Day Two

The team will continue to evaluate players, and Melvin mentioned to reporters that he would be meeting with Dempster’s agent at some point this week.

If the reports about Gamel and the Mariners are true, look for more details surrounding that to come forward.

Look for the Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke rumors to lose more of their fire – Doug Melvin said that he expects Greinke to get “market value” and experts expect him to sign by the end of the week. Josh Hamilton is in Nashville for the meetings, but right now the Rangers are looking to re-invest in the slugger, and the Mariners also met with him. All reports have the Brewers interested, but on the outside looking in.

Bud Norris from the Houston Astros is beginning to field offers, but for now the interest from Milwaukee seems to be from fans only.

Check back in later today as we round out day two from Nashville. Keep your ears to the ground, Brewers fans.