Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Another Day, Another Trade

TUESDAY, March 27, 2007
Tom Haudricourt

Phoenix - Right-hander Ben Hendrickson, who was removed from the Brewers' roster earlier in camp and sent to Class AAA Nashville, was traded today to the Kansas City Royals for minor league catcher Maxim St. Pierre.Hendrickson, 26, cleared waivers and was sent outright to Nashville on March 18, a clear signal that he had no place in the Brewers' plans. He pitched well in the minors but never made the transition to the big leagues, going 1-10 with a 7.41 ERA in 14 appearances, including 12 starts.After being sent down, Hendrickson requested a trade to another organization. The Brewers filled that need by sending him to the Royals for St. Pierre, 26, a Canadian who had played 10 years in Detroit's farm system before signing with the Royals over the winter.St. Pierre is expected to be assigned to Class AA Huntsville.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Brady Clark Heads For Lala Land

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
MONDAY, March 26
By Tom Haudricourt
The Milwaukee Brewers finally addressed their glut of outfielders today by trading Brady Clark and cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers for right-hander Elmer Dessens.The Brewers started spring training with six major league outfielders -- Geoff Jenkins, Kevin Mench, Bill Hall, Corey Hart, Gabe Gross and Clark. They only plan to keep five on their opening day roster, so trading Clark solved that problem.Clark, 33, was the Brewers' starting center fielder in 2005, batting .306 in 145 games. He played his way out of the starting lineup last year, when he slumped to a .263 average in 138 games.The Brewers decided over the winter to move infielder Bill Hall to center, making Clark expendable. He had a $3.8 million contract for this season, however, which is why the Brewers had to send some cash to the Dodgers in the deal.
Elmer DessensDessens is expected to fill a middle-relief role in the Brewers' bullpen, which means some reliever targeted for the opening day roster will not make it."Elmer brings 10 years of major league experience to our pitching staff," said general manager Doug Melvin. "His versatility as a spot starter and long reliever should allow him to play a valuable role on our pitching staff this season."Dessens went 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA in six relief appearances for the Dodgers this spring.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Braun Shows His Stuff

Brewers 13 Oakland 8
It may just be the first game of spring training, but it was a thriller with a few surprises. The Brewers fell to 6-0 deficit after just three innings, however Milwaukee mounted a comeback, including 5 runs in both the 5th and 6th innings. Part of the fire power for the Brewers is young third baseman, Ryan Braun. Braun, who started today in place of the injured Korey Koskie, showed today that he deserves a spot on the roster, collected 4 hits and 7 RBIs. Included in those 4 hits were a pair of home runs; a three run homer in the 5th and an impressive grand slam in the 6th. Rottino managed two hits and a home run, while Jenkins also collected two hits and an RBI. Hardy coming off injury had three at bats with one hit, two runs, and an RBI, while the healing Weeks had one RBI in two at bats. After just 1 2/3 innings, Milwaukee starter Claudio Vargas left, giving up 5 runs and stiking out 3. Hendrickson ended up coming away with the win for the Brewers in the end, with just one inning of work, where he allowed no hits or runs, but gave up three walks. Turnbow came in the 9th inning to close the game and surrendered no hits, no runs, no walks, and had one strikeouts.

Look for more Brewers Spring Training action all March, with their next game March 3rd.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Brewers Sign Hall to Four Year Deal

MONDAY, Feb. 5, 2007
Tom Haudricourt
From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Milwaukee Brewers tied up a key piece to their future today, signing Bill Hall to a four-year contract with a club option for 2011.Terms of the deal were not announced but the Journal Sentinel learned it is worth $24 million in guaranteed money, including a $500,000 buyout of the option.Hall gets a salary of $3 million this year, plus a $500,000 signing bonus. His salary for 2008 is $4.8 million, followed by $6.8 million in 2009 and $8.4 million in 2010. The club option for 2011 is $9.25 million, bringing the full value of the contract to $32.75 million.Hall, 27, was the last player the Brewers had in salary arbitration for this year. He requested a salary of $4.125 million, with the Brewers offering $3 million. That put the midpoint at $3,562,500, but the Brewers and agent Gregg Clifton concentrated primarily on doing a multi-year deal.The contract not only buys out all three of Hall's arbitration years but also his first year of free agency, with the possibility of a second if the option is exercised."I think the Brewers went as far as they could go," said Clifton. "They really stepped up, and we appreciate that. We had a very productive negotiation with some give and take. I think we ended up with a fair deal for both sides."The Brewers talked with Hall last spring about a multi-year deal, but an agreement couldn't be reached and he signed for $418,000. Eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter, he was guaranteed a big pay raise."The timing was just right," Hall said in a telephone interview from Phoenix. "I always wanted to stay in Milwaukee. We've got a good thing going there. Now, I know I'll be there for a long time."Playing primarily in place of injured shortstop J.J. Hardy last season, Hall batted .270 and led the club with 35 home runs, 85 runs batted in, 39 doubles and 101 runs scored. Named the most valuable player on the team, he played in a career-high 148 games and compiled 78 extra-base hits and 297 total bases, also club highs.With Hardy expected back from ankle surgery to play shortstop, plans are in the works to move Hall to center field. "I think that's going to be my position for the rest of my career," said Hall. "I'm excited about it. Next to shortstop, center field has the most action. I've always liked running around and diving for balls."And now he'll be paid handsomely for doing so.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Brewers Sign Capunao to One Year Deal

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 17, 2007
Tom Haudricourt
From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The Milwaukee Brewers signed left-hander Chris Capuano to a one-year deal for $3.25 million today, the exact midpoint of salary arbitration figures filed by the sides the previous day.Capuano, 28, got a huge raise from his $450,000 salary of 2006 in his first year of eligibility for arbitration. Capuano filed a salary request of $3.7 million on Tuesday, with the club offering $2.8 million."The process did it," said general manager Doug Melvin when asked how the settlement came so quickly. "The number they put in and the number we put in made it easier to get something done. There was a lot of work done on both sides to come up with those numbers."Capuano has been a mainstay in the Brewers' starting rotation the last two years, making 69 starts and compiling a 29-24 record and 4.01 earned run average. He made the National League all-star team last season before a second-half fade (1-8) left him with a 11-12 record.

All I have to say is how could Melvin make the worst decision of his career by signing Kevin Blowout Mench to a $3.4 million deal, and then two days later, sign our number three pitcher, an All-Star last season, to just $3.25 million. Depending on how Capuano does coming out of the gates, look for the Brewers to sign him to a long term deal during the season.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Brewers Introduce New TV Announcer

From the Milwaukee Journel Sentinel

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 10, 2007

By Bob Wolfley

The Milwaukee Brewers introduced Brian Anderson as the club's new television announcer Wednesday afternoon during a press conference at Miller Park.Anderson, who was chosen from a pool of more than 100 candidates, replaces Daron Sutton, who left the Brewers to join the Arizona Diamondbacks. Anderson will work with analyst Bill Schroeder, who signed a contract extension with the Brewers last season. Anderson, 35, does not have any major-league experience on his broadcasting resume, but he does have minor-league experience. He received his start in baseball with the San Antonio Missions, the Class AA affiliate of the San Diego Padres. He handled Missions radio and television broadcasts from 1994 to '98 and from 2000 to '03.The Brewers vice president of business operations, Rick Schlesinger, said the team did get many applications from candidates with major-league announcing experience, but he said that was not a requirement for the job."Brian has over a thousand games of experience in the minors," Schlesinger said. "What we like about Brian is his likability, the fact that he is very diverse in terms of what he is able to do. He is very good with player interviews. He is very good on his feet. He has worked with a lot of different kinds of talent. He has a total mix. No question, there were more people with quote unquote major-league baseball experience, but I think he brought some intangibles that put him on top of a very, very competitive class of candidates."

Friday, December 29, 2006

Wisconsin Baseball News

Now mind you, this is a Milwaukee Brewers site, but as its the off season and the best news coming from the Brewers right now is that Suppan is headed for his physical in Milwaukee today, I thought I'd post an major article on the second best baseball team in the state- the Madison Mallards. Although its only a summer collegiate league, the Mallards have been attracting large crowds, some as large as 10,000, to an old, worn out stadium that only seats half that. The Mallards and the city of Madison are now planning for a new ballpark.

From the Wisconsin State Journal
FRI., DEC 29, 2006

Not that we needed another example, mind you, but those in charge of our popular local baseball attraction are again demonstrating why they "get it."
Already a box-office phenomenon, already a Northwoods League trend-setter, already a creative, self-sustaining, civic-minded enterprise, the Madison Mallards want to get us up to speed on their latest public venture.
They want a new reconfigured stadium to replace their current home at Warner Park. They want to have it done in time for the 2008 season opener.
But instead of a handout, the Mallards have drawn up a preliminary budget whereby they will pay most of the $4 million tab. The rest would come mainly from funds already set aside by Madison officials to pay for scheduled maintenance at the North Side ballpark.
In exchange for their investment, Mallards owner Steve Schmitt and general manager Vern Stenman would like to secure a 20-year lease in which the club would maintain and manage the new 7,500-seat stadium.
The plan will be discussed as part of a listening session at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Warner Park Community Recreation Center, 1625 Northport Ave. Stenman said one reality drives his desire to get feedback from residents before trying to go forward with the project.
"This is not just about the Mallards," he said.
The idea for a new stadium was prompted by several factors. A major one is Warner Park can seat 5,500 with standing room pushing capacity to 7,500. The Mallards once drew 10,000 to a game and averaged 6,000 fans a game last season.
Another factor, according to Stenman, is the city determined in 2004 the bleachers at Warner Park had to be replaced in the next five years and put $800,000 in the budget to do so.
Stenman got permission from the city in 2005 to do a feasibility study on renovating Warner Park. No sooner did the architects lay eyes on the layout did they recommend rotating the field 180 degrees - one-third of the seats in the park have the sun set directly in front of them - and lowering the field approximately 6 feet to create a more aesthetic and efficient seating bowl.
The Mallards originally asked the city to fully fund a new stadium with the idea of the club paying it back over a 20-year lease. According to Stenman, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said such an undertaking would be "difficult politically" and asked if the Mallards would be willing to put some of the money up front.
Schmitt and Stenman came back with a plan where the Mallards would fund a majority of the project. In exchange, the club wants to have a new ballpark by June 2008; to be allowed to sell naming rights for the facility; to take control of maintenance and scheduling; and to receive all revenues associated with the new stadium.
In addition to accommodating local high school and college teams under the current fee structure, Stenman said the club will look to bring WIAA and NCAA tournament games, as well as concerts, to the new stadium. Your input is sought.
"We want everyone to be on our side on this project," Stenman said.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas Brewers Fans!

Mark Antanasio has given every Brewers fan an early Christmas present. His name is Jeff Suppan. Just in time for the holiday, GM Doug Melvin and the team came to terms with last year's NLCS MVP. Suppan, who signed a four year deal with a fifth year option for $42 million, is the Brewer's biggest acquisition since Carlos Lee, and possibly even Richie Sexson. Although the veteran has yet to prove his worth for the Brewers, one of the biggest free agent pick-ups for the team, ever, looks to promise a better contending team for next season. Suppan, welcome to Brew City.....

Artcile From MLB.com
The Milwaukee Brewers today announced that the club has agreed to terms with free-agent pitcher Jeff Suppan, Most Valuable Player of the 2006 National League Championship Series. The agreement, which is pending a physical, is for four years with a club option for an additional season.
"With 44 wins in the last three seasons, Jeff is not only a proven winner, he is also one of the most durable pitchers in baseball," said Brewers Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Melvin. "This agreement makes us feel very good about the depth of our rotation. Jeff's experience and durability should have a positive influence on our entire pitching staff."
Suppan, 31, went 12-7 with a 4.12 ERA in 32 starts for the World Champion Cardinals last season, including 6-2 with a 2.39 ERA in 15 starts after the All-Star Break. Suppan was named MVP of the NLCS as he went 1-0 with a 0.60 ERA in two starts against the New York Mets (one earned run in 15 innings). He was the starting pitcher in the decisive Game 7, tossing seven innings, allowing just one run and no hits after the first inning of play. For his career, Suppan is 5-2 with a 3.00 ERA in nine postseason outings.
The right-hander has made at least 31 regular-season starts in each of his last eight seasons and has averaged 193 innings pitched in that time. The 12-year veteran owns a career record of 106-101 with a 4.60 ERA in 317 games (301 starts). He is 44-26 with a 3.95 ERA over the last three seasons, tying for ninth in the Major Leagues in wins during that time (tied for fifth among right-handers).
Each year, Suppan will make a contribution of $100,000 to Brewers Charities, Inc., whose mission is to support activities and programs targeted at youth recreation, scholarship and education throughout Milwaukee and Wisconsin.
Suppan has pitched in the majors for Boston (1995-97, 2003), Arizona (1998), Kansas City (1998-2002), Pittsburgh (2003) and St. Louis (2004-06). He has reached double figures in wins seven times with a career-high 16 victories for the Cardinals in 2004 and 2005.
Pending the physical, Suppan will join a Brewers starting rotation that includes LHP Chris Capuano, RHP Ben Sheets, RHP Dave Bush and RHP Claudio Vargas, who was acquired via trade from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Nov. 25.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Brewers Make Offer to Suppan

From the Milwaukee Journal Snetinel

Posted: Dec. 21, 2006

All Melvin can control is the seriousness of his pursuit of Suppan, and the Brewers' baseball boss seems content with the four-year offer he made earlier in the week.
"I feel good about our offer," said Melvin. "I'm not saying we'll get him but I feel we made a competitive offer. We'll wait to hear back from them."
As a display of their sincerity in signing Suppan, the Brewers entertained the 31-year-old right-hander and his agent, Scott Leventhal, Tuesday at the home of team owner Mark Attanasio in Los Angeles. Manager Ned Yost joined Attanasio and Melvin in making the club's pitch to Suppan, who played the last three seasons with St. Louis.
Melvin then had lunch Wednesday with Leventhal, during which he made his four-year proposal. Neither side would reveal details of the offer but based on the burgeoning market for free-agent pitchers this winter, it probably included yearly salaries in the $10 million neighborhood.
Leventhal said Thursday the Brewers' offer was "substantial" and was being strongly considered.
"Absolutely," said Leventhal. "Without a doubt, it is a serious offer. The interest is mutual and sincere."
Leventhal also met Wednesday in southern California with a front office contingent representing the New York Mets, including team president Jeff Wilpon and general manager Omar Minaya. That group met the previous day with Scott Boras, the agent for Zito, who is considered the top free agent pitcher on the market.
"There's definitely an effect of Zito signing," said Leventhal. "A couple of teams that are high on Barry are also high on 'Sup.' That's not controlling us but it's something to keep a close eye on."
"We've got a few offers on the table right now. We believe a couple more will be coming in soon. We're in the process of gathering as much information as we can before a decision is made."
Beyond the Brewers and Mets, the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants have keen interest in Suppan.
The Brewers' meeting with Suppan and Leventhal at Attanasio's house spanned five hours and included dinner. Attanasio, Melvin and Yost tried to sell Suppan on the idea that he is their primary target and not a fall-back position.
"We had a good meeting," Melvin said. "Mark, Ned and I got to know Jeff a little bit. We had dinner and everything went well."
The Brewers have an open spot in their starting rotation behind Ben Sheets, Chris Capuano, Dave Bush and Claudio Vargas. Suppan compiled a 44-26 record over the past three years and has averaged 203 innings per season since 1999.
Suppan has pitched well at Miller Park over the years, compiling a 5-0 record and 1.76 ERA in seven starts.
" 'Sup' has had tremendous success in that ballpark, and is extremely comfortable with the city," Leventhal said.
"It's difficult for us to put a timetable on this right now. It's tough to say. Things can pick up in a couple of hours. Right now, we're just gathering information."

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Cirillo Heading North

It won't be official until tomorrow, but Jeff Cirillo has reported that he's signed a one year, $1.25 million deal with the Minnesota Twins. Jeff is leaving after two years in his second stint with the Brewers, who pulled him out of the abiss two years ago and made him a marketable player again. Jeff is quoted as saying that this was a "very tough decision" to leave Milwaukee, but Doug Melvin had to be honest and tell the third baseman that he coulnd't promise how much playing time he would get with the Brewers this year. The Twins seem to be a better option for Cirillo. After Grafanino recently agreed to stay with the Brewers, Milwaukee should still be more than fine with in field backups.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Counsell Coming Back to Brewers

In a sign that the Brewers are making strides in the right direction, a player aquired three years ago as a starter for the club, and then traded back, has now been re-signed as a back up player. Craig Counsell, a Wisconsin native, and a big hit among Milwaukee fans will return to his home state in a backup infielder role. This is deinfently a good move for Melvin, the club, and the fans.

By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
The Brewers added a familiar piece to their 2007 infield on Wednesday, inking Wisconsin's Craig Counsell to a two-year contract with a club option for 2009.
Counsell, 36, grew up and still lives just north of Milwaukee, and he spent one year as the Brewers starting shortstop in 2004 before departing via free agency. He returns to play a reserve role and will likely serve as the primary backup to shortstop J.J. Hardy and second baseman Rickie Weeks, two young players who have had injury issues.
The club will re-introduce Counsell at Miller Park at 2 p.m. CT.
Originally acquired by Milwaukee in the December 2003 trade that sent slugger Richie Sexson to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a nine-player swap, Counsell batted .241 in '04 and then re-signed with Arizona. In 2006, he hit .255 with four home runs and 30 RBIs in 105 games, primarily as a shortstop. But Counsell became expendable when the D-backs committed to 23-year-old Stephen Drew.

-In going with Counsell, the Brewers apparently decided to pass on free agent Tony Graffanino, who played well in Milwaukee following a midseason trade from Kansas City. Brewers general manager Doug Melvin expressed frustration earlier this offseason at the lack of communication from Graffanino's agent, Dan Lozano, and reportedly prefers Counsell because of his skills at shortstop. Graffanino is considered primarily a second baseman.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Brewers Aquire Estrada and Pitchers in Six Player Trade

The Milwaukee Brewers have made their first big off season trade of the season in another large trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Brewers made the Sexson trade with Arizona a few years ago that turned into one of the biggest trades in years for Milwaukee. We can hope that this 6 player trade will be another Melvin magic trick just as good or better than the Sexson deal.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
SATURDAY, Nov. 25, 2006, 2:01 p.m.By Tom Haudricourt
In a move designed to strengthen a weak catching corps, the Milwaukee Brewers today made a six-player trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks.The Brewers acquired starting catcher Johnny Estrada, right-hander Claudio Vargas and reliever Greg Aquino in exchange for left-hander Doug Davis and minor-leaguers Dana Eveland and Dave Krynzel.Estrada is expected to take over the Brewers' No. 1 catching role from Damian Miller, and Vargas will replace Davis in the starting rotation.Estrada, 30, batted .302 with 11 home runs and 71 RBI in 115 games with the Diamondbacks last season. Prior to that, the 5-foot-11, 215-pound switch hitter caught for the Atlanta Braves for two seasons.Miller, 37, exercised a player option for $2.25 million to return in 2007. Injuries limited him to 101 games last season, and he batted .251 with six homers and 38 RBI.After the all-star break, Miller batted only .207 with one homer and 10 RBI."Catchers who hit .300 are hard to find," said Brewers general manager Doug Melvin. "We still like Damian, but he was banged up a lot the last two months of the season. We can control Estrada's contract for two more years, which was important to us."Vargas, 30, was 12-10 with a 4.83 earned run average in 31 starts in 2006. He went 9-6 with a 4.81 ERA for Arizona in 2005 after being acquired from the Washington Nationals. He pitched the previous two seasons for the Montreal Expos, who became the Nationals.Aquino, a 28-year-old right-hander, made 42 appearances out of Arizona's bullpen last season, going 2-0 with a 4.47 ERA in 48 1/3 innings. He held left-handed batters to a .167 average and right-handers to a .224 average.Davis, 31, pitched in the Brewers' starting rotation for the past three seasons. He was 11-11 with a 4.91 ERA in 34 starts last season, with 102 walks and 159 strikeouts. In 3 1/2 seasons with the Brewers, Davis was 37-36 with a 3.92 ERA in 111 starts.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Yount Not Returning

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

FRIDAY, Nov. 10, 2006, 2:36 p.m.
Tom Haudricourt

When Robin Yount accepted a position as bench coach for the Milwaukee Brewers just over a year ago, he said he would take it on a year-to-year basis.As it turns out, it was just one year.Yount informed Brewers general manager Doug Melvin today that he will not return in 2007 as the team's bench coach. Yount had been invited back to the coaching staff at the end of the season but said he needed time to see if it was right for him personally.Yount, 51, apparently decided it was more important for him to stay home in Arizona and spend more time with his wife Michele. All four of the Yount's children have left the home, either to attend college or take jobs."This was a very difficult decision for me," said Yount. "I have such a passion for the job and I did not want to shortchange the club by not being able to fully commit to the position. The decision came down to devoting more time to my family."Yount spent all 20 of his major-league seasons with the Brewers and was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1999, the first electee to represent the club in Cooperstown. He previously coached with the Arizona Diamondbacks before accepting the position on Brewers manager Ned Yost's staff."I completely understand and respect Robin's decision," said Melvin. "He was very helpful to our organization and to our young players. His contributions were greatly appreciated and will be missed."The Brewers now have two coaching vacancies to fill. They are also looking for a first base coach to replace Dave Nelson, who was dismissed at the end of the season.Jim Skaalen was hired a couple of weeks ago to replace fired hitting coach Butch Wynegar.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Brewers Sign Cuban

By Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journel Sentinal

In an ongoing effort to make inroads on the international scene, the Milwaukee Brewers' current regime has signed its first Cuban defector.The Brewers signed shortstop Yohannis Perez, 24, who defected nearly two years ago from Cuba and has been living in the Dominican Republic. An agreement was reached with agent Jaime Torres, though scouting director Jack Zduriencik would not reveal the signing bonus.Even though Perez hasn't played in an organized league for nearly two years, he was invited to the Brewers' spring training camp as a non-roster player. Zduriencik said today that Perez is expected to begin at the Class AA level, if not higher, next season."He has some nice tools," said Zduriencik, who watched Perez work out in Florida as well as play in some games in the Dominican Republic. "We think he can play the middle of the infield."We were happy to get the opportunity to sign him."Zduriencik said the Brewers' coordinator of Latin American scouting, Fernando Arango, developed a relationship with Perez that gave the club its chance."He kind of liked us, right off the bat," said Zduriencik. "We had some information on him from when he played in Cuba. He's a pretty good runner who can field and throw."We think he's an advanced player. We'll bring him to big-league camp and let the pieces fall where they may. I think he saw an opportunity here to start near the top (of the farm system)."

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

New Site

The Milwaukee Brewers announced today that they are launching a new team site. The new team seat will have a new address- brewers.com. The Brewers also announced a slew of new features for the site that will premier tomorrow.