Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Grading the Brewers during Winter Meetings

The Winter Meetings for the 2011-2012 offseason have come to a close, and for the Brewers it ended up being a successful one. Despite losing a lot of key players we would have loved to have on our team still, the Brewers will recover from there losses. The fans biggest frustration from the Meetings were Melvins inability to negotiate enough with a player enough to sign them to a deal. It seemed we would sign no one. In Melvins defense, as many know, waiting for K Rod to accept arbitration, which he later did, is what hog tied Doug. Here is a quick recap of every loss, acquisition, and trade so far this offseason for Milwaukee:

(Courtesy of CBS Sports)

ARRIVALS: 3B Aramis Ramirez (free agent from Cubs), 1B Travis Ishikawa (minor league free agent from Giants), RHP Jose Veras (trade with Pirates), SS Alex Gonzalez (free agent from Braves).

DEPARTURES: RHP Takeshi Saito (free agent, signed with Diamondbacks), 3B Casey McGehee (traded to Pirates), RHP LaTroy Hawkins (free agent, signed with Angels), INF Jerry Hairston Jr. (free agent, signed with Dodgers), 1B/OF Mark Kotsay (free agent, signed with Padres).

FREE AGENTS: SS Yuniesky Betancourt, 1B Prince Fielder, INF Craig Counsell

With the arrivals, Milwaukee did a great job at filling the gaps and holes of our infield and bullpen. However, what Milwaukee needs still is a utility infielder and possibly one more bullpen pitcher, preferably a lefty (no one knows at this point the status of Many Parra or Zack Braddock for next season) At the beginning of the offseason Melvin decided not to resign free agent Craig Counsell but considered him for coaching. However, at this point I think Melvin needs to reopen the chapter with Counsell to add some depth to our infield incase we need it. If not Craig, Ryan Theriot and Jeff Keppinger are both free agent utility infielders available that Doug Melvin should consider. Theriot played for the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals last season while Keppinger played for the Astros and Giants in 2011. Both would come at a decent price to help the team's depth chart.

So, if I had to slap a grade on to how the Brewers did during the Winter Meetings, I would have give them a B-. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt because of them awaiting the decisions KRod and free agent 1B Prince Fielder. They didn't want to make a big move early, then find out later that could have done better by keeping Prince in Milwaukee, or a scenario similar.

Until next time, Beers, Brats, and Championships.

-Andrew Vrchota (@WSB_Andrew)

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