Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays From VFBC

Just wanted to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday from your friends at VFBC. The next few weeks are going to be hectic with the holidays and I am moving all at the same time. So I do not think I will be able to post even if something big comes up, but when I get settled in I will put up Reader Poll #6 and review Reader Poll #5. Although I don't anticipate the Brewers doing anything until the new year anyway. But if they do, here is my holiday wish list to Doug Melvin.

Please sign one of the following pitchers in the near future to shore up our rotation. They are in order of who I want most to least.

1. Ben Sheets
2. Randy Johnson
3. John Smoltz
4. Randy Wolf
5. Jon Garland

If you can't sign any of the above pitchers for the starting rotation, please consider signing Brian Fuentes to be our closer.

I have been a good boy this year Doug and would really appreciate some kind of signing or trade that can get us a #1 or #2 starter to go with Yovani or a proven closer for the pen.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Braun To Get Patriotic In 2009

That's right, Ryan Braun will represent his country as he has accepted an invitation to be part of Team USA in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. This will be the second ever "WBC" and it will run March 5th through the 23rd. 16 countries will be represented in the tournament. The US team will be managed once again by Davey Johnson who managed in the first WBC and managed Team USA to a bronze medal in the 2008 summer Olympics in China. Braun is one of 28 who will be part of Team USA. Other players who have committed to Team USA thus far are; Braun, Yankees SS Derek Jeter, Braves 3B Chipper Jones and C Brian McCann, Angels SP John Lackey and Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia. To be blunt the 2006 US team was quite pathetic. They did not even make it to the medal round and had HUGE expectations. Hopefully this years club can live up to the expectations and at least take a medal if not the gold medal.

I was already very excited for this years WBC as I thought the first one was really cool. But now with Braun playing for Team USA I'm even more pumped and can't wait for the games to start March 5th. So far the only other Brewer who has shown interest and might play in the WBC is Yovani Gallardo possibly to pitch for Mexico.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Milwaukee Brewers 2009 Version Of Gabe Kapler Is....

Former Red Sox/Indian/Met Trot Nixon. Like Kapler, Nixon was a member of the 2004 Red Sox World Championship team. And like Kapler, Nixon signed a minor league deal with Milwaukee and is getting a spring training invite with a good chance to make the club as a 4th or 5th OF. And like Kapler, Nixon will try to turn his career around at an old age and try to contribute in a big way in 2009 like Gabe did in 2008. A have seen a lot of people bitching about this move. I don't see the harm, it's not like Melvin signed him to compete for a starting job? He signed him in hopes that he could bring a veteran presence to the club and be a nice left handed bat off the bench who could occasional give Braun or Hart a day off in the OF. If Nixon comes even close to the numbers Kapler put up in 2008, Melvin will look like a genius. Because in my humble opinion Kapler was one of the best bench players in the entire NL in 2008.

In addition to the Nixon signing the Brewers also inked former Pirates OF Chris Duffy to the same kind of deal, minor league contract with invite to spring training. I could care less about Duffy and I expect him to be in AAA all year. But I could be proven wrong.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

If The Cameron Trade Goes Down....

Not only will be get back a cheaper, younger, switch hitting CF with good upside/potential but with Cameron's $10 mill off the books the Brewers will become serious players for free agent closer Brian Fuentes. This according to Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports. Another reason I like the Cameron/Cabrera deal. Fuentes is a very good closer and he is in his prime, it's not like signing Gagne last year after his prime had ended.

Clearing Up The Peavy Rumor

It was just that, a rumor. Someone left a comment in my post about a possible trade of Jake Peavy to the Brewers for Alcides Escobar + and asked where the source was. Well I read about it in the message board. It originated from some Badger board or blog or something. Anyway, it seems it was just probably made up and nothing more then Internet banter. I was just so excited at the thought of getting Peavy that I had to post something about it. I even emailed Tom Haudricourt at the Journal Sentinel to see if he had heard about such a rumor and here was his reply:

No, I haven't. And it's my understanding that Peavy would nix a trade to Milwaukee. TH

So there you go, even if the Brewers could agree to a trade with the Padres for Jake he would probably nix the deal. It looks like Peavy will be in San Diego at least to start the season.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Reader Poll Four

In reader poll four we asked you what you would like to do with Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks for the 2009 season and you have spoken.

Keep Him At 2B: 50% (6 votes)
Trade Him: 33% (4 votes)
Move Him To CF: 16% (2 votes)

Seems like most people want to see Rickie stay at 2B for the 2009 season. And from the sounds of Doug Melvin that is exactly where Rickie will be and also leading off once again. Some people had talked about moving him to CF but I don't think the Brewers wanted to convert a guy to the OF for the third consecutive season. I know after his performance last season many people myself included wanted to see Weeks traded. But the more I thought about it I'm all for giving Rickie one more year to prove he is a above average big league 2B on offense and defense. It would hard to give up on a former 2nd overall pick who has TONS of potential, but just has not realized it yet. Hopefully working with Willie Randolph in 2009 Weeks can straighten out his defense and put up the close to the offensive numbers he put up in college and in the Minor Leagues. Best case scenario is Weeks breaks out in 2009 the way a similar player in BJ Upton did in 2008 for the Rays.

Reader Poll #5 is up now, go rock the vote.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rumor Mill: Jake Peavy To Brewers For Alcides Escobar and ????

Big rumor floating around the Internet tonight. With Jake Peavy trade talks to Chicago or Atlanta dead, the Brewers have swooped in (allegedly). Looks like the Crew would send super prospect SS Alcides Escobar to the Padres along with another player or two in exchange for former Cy Young winner and ace Jake Peavy. Wow, this would be huge. A rotation with Peavy and Gallardo at the top of it excites me to great heights. Trading Escobar away would also put any JJ Hardy position change or trade rumors to rest as well as make giving Hardy a contract extension a must. Hopefully more info on this possible deal comes out soon.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winter Meetings Day #3

Well we all knew it would probably come to this but it's still tough to swallow. Today CC Sabathia agreed to a 7 year $161 mill contract with the New York Yankees. It becomes the richest contract ever for a pitcher. The Yankees outbid themselves by giving Sabathia another year and $21 mill more. I think it came down to the fact that no west coast teams got in on the Sabathia bidding and the Yankess overpaid to make sure Sabathia didn't take less money to stay in Milwaukee because of his uncomfortableness with playing in New York. But in the end that would just be way to much money to turn down. I cant blame CC, no person in their right mind would turn down that kind of cash. I just wish that a west coast team (Giants, Dodgers or Angels) would have jumped in. I will hate seeing CC in Yankee pinestripes. The only uniform that would have been worse would have been a Cubs uniform. I wish CC all the best but I hope the Yankees suck and I will never forget how great and important CC's half of a season was here in Milwaukee.

Now that Sabathia has signed, Doug Melvin can move on and figure out what he can do to keep this club competitive in the NL Central. Need to get at least one above average starting pitcher and still need some bullpen help.

The big news to come out today after the CC news as far as the Brewers are concerned was that the Brewers are now in on Brian Fuentes. Rumors are that Fuentes will be looking for a contract around 3 years $33 mill. I'm not a huge fan of spending money on a closer but Fuentes is pretty solid and if the Brewers did snag him I wouldn't be totally opposed to it.

Mike Cameron being traded to the Yankees also made some noise today with CC signing with the Yanks. Personally I would be all for that if we could get say Phil Hughes in return? Maybe Melky Cabrera thrown in. That might be to much to ask for Cameron though.

All I know is I doubt the Brewers will sign a big name free agent starting pitcher, so look for Doug Melvin to work some trade magic for one.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Winter Meetings Day #2

Welcome to day #2 of VFBC's coverage of the MLB Winter Meetings. Nothing groundbreaking, but a few bits of news to go over. In a non Brewers related note the first "big" signing of free agency happened today when the Mets came to terms with former Angels closer Fransisco Rodriguez. It is reported as a 3 year deal worth $37 mill. Quite a bit less then I thought K-Rod would get. I mean I thought some idiot GM would way overpay for him since he shattered the single season save record in 2008. He is a good closer, but when you look more closely at his stats there are many better then him. I hope it blows up in the Mets faces, because that would be funny.

On to real news, Brewers news. The Crew signed 3B Mike Lamb to a 1 year deal for the league minimum. Lamb was acquired very late last season and actually had a few key pinch hits late in the year. He did not start any games. Looks like right now the plan would be for Lamb and Bill Hall to platoon at 3B at least to start the year, maybe until they feel Mat Gamel is ready. Personally I like the signing, very low risk and if nothing else Lamb is a good left handed bat off the bench who can also play 1B if needed. He has a couple of decent years in Houston before falling on his face last year in Minnesota.

Speaking of Bill Hall, he had the lasik surgery. All I can say is I hope it helps Billy as much as it helped Jason Kendall. If so, maybe Hall can relive some of his 2006 or even 2005 magic when Hall looked like a rising star for the Brewers.

Ben Sheets was at the winter meetings today and is "rumored" to have had a meeting with the Yankees. Excuse me while I puke. If the Yankees sign Ben and CC I might lose it. I already hate the Yankees about as much as I hate the Cubs, which is a lot. And if they go and sign both of our best pitchers in the same offseason. Man, having to see Sheets and Sabathia both in pinestripes is enough to make a grown man cry.

Now this last piece seems to good to be true but another "rumor" going around is that the Yankees may be out of the running for CC and that some in the Giants camp believe the BREWERS ARE THE FRONT RUNNERS. HOLY FUCKING SHIT! It can't be true? Can it? This was reported over at in beat writer Tom Haudricourt's blog. Like Tom says, rumors fly around like crazy at the winter meetings, especially this year regarding Sabathia. But if that is true, wow. That is all I can say. Wow.

Off to watch Batman: The Dark Knight which came out today. Have not seen it since summer when it was in theaters so I'm pretty pysched. Great movie, if you haven't seen it yet, you should. More tomorrow all!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Winter Meetings Day #1

Day 1 of the GM winter meetings in Las Vegas is in the books. Not a whole heck of a lot going on as far as the Brewers are concerned. Doug Melvin did finally meet with CC Sabathia's agent's, and only about 5 weeks after the Brewers made their initial offer to CC. Melvin's meeting lasted a little less then a half hour and when it was finished it appears the Brewers are still in the running and have a chance at actually retaining Sabathia. Melvin will meet with CC's agent's again in a few days. The "rumors" going around are that to compete with the huge 6 year $140 mill deal the Yankees have offered is to add another year, maybe $10 to $20 mill or maybe have an opt out clause after three years of the deal. That is all speculation at this point though.

The Brewers avoided an arbitration hearing with relief pitcher Todd Coffey as he signed a 1 year $800,000 deal with $200,000 extra possible in incentives. Love the deal! Coffey signed in September and pitched fantastic out of the pen not allowing a single earned run. Still scratching my head a bit as to why the Reds let him go. Good fastball and a good slider/sinker. Great signing by Melvin, low risk possible high reward much like Jorge Julio.

In a article on JJ Hardy said he hopes he is not traded and wants to stay a Brewer. Personally I don't want Hardy traded either and I think it's pretty cool he wants to stay in Milwaukee. He has improved every year he has been in the bigs and only looks like he will get better, I don't think he has reached is ceiling yet. I consider him along with Braun and Gallardo as the true cornerstones of the franchise (sorry Prince). Melvin said he won't deal Hardy and I hope he is telling the truth.

I will share my thoughts on each day of the winter meetings, so please check back if you care to read my thoughts. You know, if you actually read this and give a shit and enjoy my writing and thoughts.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Brewers Sign Bullpen Help

I know this happened a few days ago but I have been sick the past few days and I have not been able to get on my MacBook, hell I didn't even get to see this weeks episode of "The Office" till this morning. The Brewers signed relief pitcher Jorge Julio to a 1-year contract worth $950,000. Julio is 29 years old has a plus fastball and a slider. Last year he spent time with Cleveland and Atlanta. Julio spent his first 5 years in the big leagues with Baltimore where he was actually a decent closer. 25 saves in 02', 36 in 03' and 22 in 04'. Since his last season in Baltimore which was 05' he has kind of bounced around. From what I can tell and have heard about Julio is that he strikes a lot of guys out but he at times has control issues and gives up the long ball. GM Doug Melvin has a history of bringing in guys like Jorge Julio, guys with plus arms who have struggled and then find away to turn it around in Milwaukee (see: Turnbow, Derrick, McClung, Seth and Kolb, Dan). At 1 year $950,000 Julio is totally worth the risk and if the Brewers do not trade for or sign a free agent closer Julio could find himself in a spring training battle for that spot. It is not an impact signing by any means, but who knows if Julio finds his early Orioles days it could be.

Reader Poll III

Wow, a whopping 3 votes! Readership still not where I wish it was. Well anyway 66% (2 votes) said no we should not resign Ben Sheets while 33% (1 vote) said yes we should. Personally I would have voted yes. Sign Ben to a nice 2 year deal with a club option on a 3rd year. We are not resigning CC so we can just forget that pipe dream. But a rotation of Sheets, Gallardo, Parra, Bush and Suppan would be pretty good. If Sheets and Gallardo both stay healthy you basically have to #1's in your rotation and three other serviceable pitchers. I think Parra will only get better, Bush is very solid and Suppan, well he, he umm, well he was NLCS MVP in 2006. Poll #4 is up now, please vote. For the love of God, VOTE!