I love this time of the year. Sure I'm happy the prep winter sports season is here, but most of you know I'm a baseball fan - Brewers and fantasy (sometimes they seem the same) - and the winter meetings kick-off about a month of seeing what your team is going to do to get better.
Having been in PR with the Brewers for 19 years, I went to just about every winter meeting while I was aboard. It is an exciting time and most of the time nothing gets done there - most of the time - but it lays the groundwork for the next month or so.
The Brewers need more help than the average 96-win team in my opinion. Most of you who know me know I'm not a blind faith Brewers fan. Don't tell me that you care, show me. I also know patience is important this time of the year and that is why I would be a lousy GM because patience is not part of my agenda.
I do want to stress that there is plenty of time for things to happen. But here's my thoughts on the needs, nothing earth-shattering.
Since Doug Melvin said there are no SS's available in a trade, I take his word for it. So that leaves FA's.
- Jimmy Rollins - (who I am sure wants to stay in Philly, unlike Prince Fielder, who doesn't want to stay in Milwaukee, which is fine). I feel his agent is playing the market to up the ante. Fans need to understand, when you offer someone like Rollins a 5-year deal, you are hoping he plays well for the first three years before falling apart. The Brewers might be a 96 win team, but FA aren't flocking to come here unless there are bags of money involved.
- Rafael Furcal - he is old and fragile, but he can field, he is a clutch hitter and he is not Yuni Betancourt.
- Alex Gonzalez - could be the best defensive SS out there, but he is in the Yuni category at the plate (.241 15 GR, 56 RBI, .270 OBA).
- Yuni Bentancourt - only a moron would sign him to be your regular SS. Hearing the 'stuff' that Melvin spouts about he isn't as bad as everythone makes him out to be, makes me wonder if Melvin watched many Brewer games last year, which is, of course, is stupid on my part. If the Brewers paid $1 for Yuni, they would be overpaying for him.
If Melvin can get a 3B - mainly Aramis Ramirez - having a SS who doesn't have to be a batting threat would be OK.
We also know that the Brewers need set-up help in the bullpen. Octavio Dotel is on the Brewers mind, but they are not interested in more than a 1-year deal (See Jerry Hairston deal - blew that one Doug). Personally, I think that is the easiest role to fill.
That's it for now.