Marco Estrada will help try to solidify the 2014 starting rotation. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Hello again everyone and welcome to the Tuesday morning edition of Brewer News. Yesterday the Milwaukee Brewers tendered both the contracts of starting pitcher Marco Estrada and first baseman Juan Francisco.
Last night, the Brewers had until 11 p.m. CT to decide whether or not they would tender the contracts of Estrada and Francisco. While it was almost an assured thing that Estrada would be back, it wasn’t the same for Francisco who was in a slump for most of 2013.
"“He’s facing a lot of left-handed pitching,” Brewers’ general manager Doug Melvin said. “Every time he comes up late in a game, they bring in left-handers to face him. Down there [Dominican Winter League], they view him as a threat.” – via Brewers.com"
Francisco has been playing for the Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League and is hitting .276/.373/.422 with two homers and 22 RBIs. With his disappointing 2013 (only an average of .227 in 124 games), Francisco is hoping to hone his skills in the Winter League to be ready for Spring Training in 2014.
Since the Brewers tendered Francisco’s contract, it will be interesting to see how that affects the team’s talks with Corey Hart. Reportedly, Hart wants to invest in a two-year deal, but the Brewers only want to sign him for one year. Miami Marlins’ first baseman Logan Morrison has also been on the Brew Crew’s radar if they do not re-sign Hart.
As for Estrada, it comes as no surprise that the team tendered his contract. In 2013, Estrada was 7-4 with an ERA of 3.87, a WHIP of 1.078 and K/9 of 8.3 all in 128 innings (21 starts). Estrada missed most of June, all of July and a little bit of August as he was on the disabled list, but rebounded strong after he came back.
The Brewers have not made any more significant moves this offseason other than trading Burke Badenhop to the Boston Red Sox. With the Winter Meetings coming up next week, we’ll see if Melvin and company have any plans in mind.