[9:00 to 10:00 PM (Updated)]
Once bitten, twice shy? There was a Logan Morrison / Rickie Weeks rumor that popped up earlier in the meetings, but rumors involving Weeks were ruled out. Interestingly enough, more buzz about Weeks surfaced:
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) December 12, 2013
I have no idea what to make of this, but apparently this one won’t die. Once again, given Weeks’s salary, injury history, and production, expecting any move (other than a sheer salary dump) is a long shot.
EDIT: Looking into the rumor, it is connected to the source of the Logan Morrison / Rickie Weeks rumor from yesterday’s meetings. Apparently, the rumor is from a connection to Weeks regarding whether Weeks would change positions if acquired by the Marlins:
A source close to Rickie Weeks told me yesterday that Weeks would be willing to change positions if traded to his home town #Marlins
— Shane Miller (@ShaneMiller27) December 12, 2013
This might explain why baseball operations sources have a different view of potential Weeks deals. Tom Haudricourt once again provided clarity on any Weeks talk:
Most people I talk to think #Brewers best chance to move Weeks would be if he comes to camp, is healthy and play well. Might tempt a team.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) December 12, 2013
So, again, I have no idea what to make of a potential Weeks trade. This is more of a genealogy of the rumor.
Elsewhere in the National League, Ken Rosenthal says the Pirates have signed Edinson Volquez to a one-year deal for $5 million. Pittsburgh’s had success with reclamation projects in the past (most notably A.J. Burnett and Francisco Liriano), but this one may be the toughest project yet. Volquez was released by the Padres in August after putting up a 6.01 ERA (4.21 FIP) in 142.1 innings. He pitched 28 innings for the Dodgers in September, and has struggled since his career year in 2008. The Pirates are still waiting to hear from Burnett as to whether or not he plans to retire or pitch in 2014.
Rosenthal is also reporting that Bartolo Colon is headed to the Mets on a two-year, $20 million deal. Colon will be 41 in 2014 and was looking for a multi-year deal, while the Mets were looking to add a rotation piece with Matt Harvey likely to miss the 2014 season. The interesting thing here is that Oakland allowed Colon to walk, instead choosing to sign Scott Kazmir to a two-year, $22 million deal earlier this month.
- Jaymes Langrehr
After the Brewers lost Hart (and potential back-up plan) Morrison to Seattle, MLBTradeRumors confirmed that the Brewers are interested in Loney, but that they are reluctant about going to three years with the veteran first baseman. According to MLBTR, Adam McCalvy also mentioned that the Brewers do not expect to complete a contract with Loney until after the winter meetings are over.
The fan temperature on Twitter appears to be solidly anti-Loney, and solidly anti-Brewers for losing Hart. Two thoughts:
(1) Although Loney’s upside on his bat is not as strong as Hart’s, he balances a solid bat with solid defense. A player such as Loney could upgrade first base defense by as many as 10 runs (according to defensive runs saved). He could also be at least five runs (or more) better than Hart on that side of the diamond. While first base is not necessarily seen as a defense-first position, the Brewers’ defense could use some improvement there.
(2) I gather that the Brewers could hardly win with the fan perception on Hart. Tom Haudricourt noted that the Mariners beat the Brewers’ offer in both guaranteed and incentive money, which basically means that Hart will maintain his 2013 pay rate (and, potentially, receive a raise based on incentives). For a player that did not play a single game in 2013, that’s quite a steep price for a market such as the Brewers, and it’s quite a gamble, too: the deal will look great if Hart returns to form, but if he continues to have injury issues with his knees, or cannot return to form, that’s quite a gamble.
Ken Rosenthal says Hart’s deal with Seattle is comparable to the incentive-based deal Mike Napoli had with the Red Sox in 2013. Napoli started the year with a base salary of $5 million with the possibility to earn up to $8 million more on plate appearance and days-on-active-roster bonuses. Napoli ended up with the full $13 million after hitting 165 days on Boston’s active roster. Tom Haudricourt says the Brewers’ offer would have only paid Hart $8 million if he hit all of the incentives.
One of the Brewers’ backup plans for first base was also snatched up by the Mariners, as they traded for Logan Morrison shortly after news of the Hart signing broke. On to plan C for the Brewers, which may include James Loney.
- Jaymes Langrehr
Heyman has reported Hart has signed with Seattle on a one-year deal. Difficult to see the Brewers get out-bid on a one-year deal on a player they thought they had all along.
The (apparently) soft deadline of noon has come and gone for Corey Hart, who is trying to decide between the Brewers and another team believed to be the Seattle Mariners, according to reports by Adam McCalvy and USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale.
Seattle continues to look for power to add to their lineup, and have a need at first base with Kendrys Morales currently a free agent. Signing Hart would be much cheaper than bringing Morales back, enabling the Mariners to allocate more funds elsewhere, likely in the starting rotation. If anyone outside of Milwaukee has a good handle on what to expect from Hart, it’s probably Jack Zduriencik, who drafted Hart in his first season as the Brewers’ scouting director.
As frustrating as HartWatch 2013 is turning out to be, it’s understandable that he’s having a hard time possibly leaving the only organization he’s ever known. And as many Milwaukee-imposed deadlines as Hart is likely to blow past, it’s pretty clear that the Brewers prefer to bring him back and are willing to wait — as long as he doesn’t hold their offseason hostage.
- Jaymes Langrehr
When deadlines are set, games of chicken tend to break out. After giving Hart the rumored deadline of noon today, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News says the Brewers have re-opened talks with the Mets about Ike Davis. Tampa Bay is also interested in the power-hitting lefty, but nothing seems close there, either. The Mets seem content to use other teams’ desperation to their advantage, with the asking price for Davis still looking high. Of course, it’s also entirely possible the Brewers are using the Mets as leverage against Hart, too. If New York truly is looking for young, controllable, MLB-ready pitching, it’s hard to see much of a match without getting very creative.
- Jaymes Langrehr
We’re officially on Hart Watch. Tom Haudricourt’s early-morning blog post notes that there’s “a chance this will be resolved before noon (central time).” According to Haudricourt, the Brewers made their best (final?) offer to Hart and agent Jeff Berry Tuesday afternoon, and the two sides were expected to meet again this morning.
Haudricourt says his feeling is that the Brewers haven’t offered more than one year guaranteed. Jon Heyman notes that multiple other teams have offers in on Hart, and while Hart has made his desire to stay with the Brewers known, if another team steps in with a second guaranteed year or a less-incentive-based deal, it’s entirely possible the Brewers have to go in a different direction.
As far as the heavily-rumored trade options go, Haudricourt is hearing that the Brewers have stopped discussing a deal for Miami’s Logan Morrison, and balked at the Mets’ initial asking price for Ike Davis (Tyler Thornburg).
- Jaymes Langrehr
For the Brewers, Tuesday at the Winter Meetings was much like Monday: lots of talk about first base and a sort of eventuality to a likely reunion with Corey Hart:
I definitely think the #Brewers will know before they leave the winter meetings if Corey Hart is returning or if they need to go find a 1B.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) December 11, 2013
#brewers are working to try to secure a return for free agent corey hart, who they love.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 11, 2013
Of course, there was other news. At various points the Brewers were connected to Ike Davis of the Mets, but that appeared to hit a snag when the mets asked for too much:
Source: Mets asked Brewers for young, controllable pitching for Ike – Thornburg among others. MIL said no and were told they’re out.
— Jim Duquette (@Jim_Duquette) December 11, 2013
General Manager Doug Melvin and Manager Ron Roenicke also both spoke about the Brewers offseason, and you can find the links here.
Make sure to check back through the day for updates from the whole Disciples of Uecker staff.