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MLB Trade Rumors: Could the Milwaukee Brewers Target Red Sox 1B Kevin Youkilis?

Major League Baseball’s non-waiver claim trade deadline is still well over two months away; however, the Milwaukee Brewers—per usual—have wasted no time in vocalizing their needs and interests within the trade market.

After watching long-time first baseman Prince Fielder walk through free agency last January and grimacing at 26-year-old replacement first baseman Mat Gamel tearing his ACL earlier this month, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin reportedly searched the free-agent market for a veteran first baseman to help provide depth. Reports indicated that Melvin contacted 37-year-old first baseman Derrek Lee a few days back, though a potential contract never came to fruition.

Now, it seems Melvin could shift his attention to the trade market. MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds voiced his opinion about a move that could fix Milwaukee’s current situation at first base. What he said was rather surprising.

Reynolds claimed that the Brewers should attempt to trade setup man Francisco Rodriguez for 33-year-old Boston Red Sox first baseman/utility infielder Kevin Youkilis. The biggest question worth asking at this juncture is if such a deal is a legitimate possibility.

Rodriguez, who the Brewers acquired shortly after the All-Star Game last summer, has struggled considerably this season, posting a 5.28 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 15.1 innings of work. The least attractive part of his ineffectiveness, however, is that he’s due to receive $8 million by the end of this season.

Many surmised that Milwaukee would keep Rodriguez throughout the 2012 season despite his hefty contract. Now that manager Ron Roenicke and company find themselves sitting at 14-18 through Saturday, second to last in the NL Central, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see Melvin actively shopping his veteran setup man for a quality first baseman—possibly even Youkilis.

Likewise with Milwaukee, the Boston Red Sox have looked nothing short of appalling thus far. Coming into Saturday’s action, Bobby Valentine’s crew boasted a 13-19 record good enough to place last in the highly competitive American League East division.

Valentine has labored to keep clubhouse continuity and has moreover grappled with Youkilis on a few occasions. Youkilis has garnered a .219/.292/.344 line with just two home runs this season, and is due to make $13 million by the end of 2012.

The promotion and palpable success of third base prospect Will Middlebrooks has taken away some of Youkilis’ playing time. Couple that with his distaste toward Valentine and a lofty contract, and it seems the writing could be on the wall for Youkilis. Gordon Edes of certainly believes it.

Having said that, is a deal between these two needy clubs a possibility?

For the Brewers, who have already come out to say that they’re committed to winning this season, that could be a definite possibility. Owner Mark Attanasio had this to say to’s Adam McCalvy ealier this week:

“We’re only [27] games in,” he said. “It’s going to depend where we’re at, at that point in time. Look at where we were when we added CC [Sabathia]. We were over .500, but we were several games back.”

The Brewers have a reputation for making big deadline deals (see CC Sabathia), and I highly doubt that their historical trade deadline aggressiveness will subside this season. Bringing in a veteran presence such as Youkilis could be the difference between making the postseason and watching at home.

For the Red Sox, who after losing longtime closer Jonathan Papelbon witnessed newly acquired closer Andrew Bailey go to the disabled list with an injured thumb, the need for an effective relief arm is clearly there.

Throw all that together, and a deal may not be as farfetched as originally thought.

Alec Dopp covers the Milwaukee Brewers as a featured columnist at Bleacher Report.  Follow him on Twitter @alecdopp and read his blog.

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Milwaukee Brewers: SS Alex Gonzalez to Join Carlos Gomez, Mat Gamel on 15-Day DL

The Milwaukee Brewers‘ quest to repeat as National League Central champions just became a whole lot more difficult.

In the second inning of their 5-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants Saturday afternoon, newly acquired 35-year-old free-agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez appeared to have badly injured his right knee while attempting to steal second after singling in a run off Giants hurler Madison Bumgarner.

Gonzalez’s basepath snafu now marks the fourth straight game where a Brewers regular has exited with an injury. Gonzalez will now join fellow teammates Mat Gamel (torn ACL) and Carlos Gomez (hamstring strain) on the Brewers’ 15-day disabled list

Brewers beat writer Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the Brewers plan to place Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list. From his Twitter page:


In 88 plate appearances this season, Gonzalez has posted a .250/.318/.450 line with four home runs and 14 RBI, ranking third only to left fielder Ryan Braun and right fielder Corey Hart with 36 total bases. General manager Doug Melvin inked Gonzalez to a one-year, $4.25 million 2012 contract with a vesting $4 million option, hoping he’d help to shore up Milwaukee’s porous infield from a season ago, though he’s been a shell of his former self defensively this season, garnering just a .969 fielding percent and 4.42 range factor thus far.

The Brewers have called up 30-year-old journeyman shortstop Edwin Maysonet and 25-year-old infield prospect Taylor Green from Triple-A Nashville to fill the void left behind from Gonzalez’s injury. More details to come regarding the story in the subsequent hours.

Alec Dopp covers the Milwaukee Brewers as a featured columnist at Bleacher Report.  Follow him on Twitter @alecdopp and read his blog.

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MLB Free Agents 2012: Updating 5 Teams with Best Shot at Prince Fielder

Major League Baseball’s annual winter meetings are nearly a week away, and former Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder has yet to meet with any clubs to discuss a new contract.

Countless rumors and whispers around the league have surfaced regarding which team has the best shot at nabbing the burly slugger, but no team has yet to establish themselves as the front-runner in the sweepstakes.

With free agency moving swiftly, here are five teams who look to have the best shot at signing Fielder.

Alec Dopp covers the Milwaukee Brewers as a featured columnist on Bleacher Report.  Read his blog, Brewers Rumors, and follow him on Twitter.

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Milwaukee Brewers Prospect Scooter Gennett Turning Heads in AZ Fall League

Drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 16th round of the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Sarasota, Florida, 21-year-old second baseman Scooter Gennett has quickly transformed himself into one of the top young minor league prospects in the organization.

Primarily known for his outstanding speed and quick hands at the plate, the Florida State product has used his athleticism and pure hitting skills to his advantage.  In his first season with Milwaukee’s class-A affiliate, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Gennett hit .309 with nine HR, 87 runs scored and 55 RBI.  He was also able to amass 14 stolen bases as well as a .817 OPS.

Prior to the 2011 season, Gennett was swiftly promoted to high class-A Brevard County, where he would continue to strut his skills—only this time to a much more vigilant crowd.

In 134 games, (556 at-bats), the 5’9,″ 170-pound infielder batted .300, including nine HR, 51 RBI and 74 runs scored.  His 167 hits were enough to lead all minor league prospects in Milwaukee’s system, and his .300 BA ranked fifth.

This fall, the youngster is currently honing his skill set in the Arizona Fall League, MLB’s most preeminent and well-known league, a place where many of today’s top talents sharpened their games just a few years ago.

Through the league’s first nine games, Gennett has torched opposing pitching to the tune of a .395 BA, two HR, seven RBI, 11 runs scored, 24 TB and a 1.097 OPS for the Peoria Javelinas.

On top of his superb hitting abilities, breathtaking athleticism and quickness, Gennett is also a great fielder.  Having made the transition from shortstop (his natural position) to second base, the youngster can play virtually any infield position with outstanding effectiveness.  His strong arm may even allow him to become a future third baseman if need be.

He’s still a raw talent, but it seems as though the young Gennett is gaining more and more recognition as a prime-time prospect for the Brewers.  If he continues to make strides down on the farm (he’s expected to start 2012 with class-AA Helena), he could be with Milwaukee by late 2103, and possibly land a starting role by 2014.

Alec Dopp covers the Milwaukee Brewers as a featured columnist on Bleacher Report.  Follow him on Twitter: @alecdopp, and read his blog.

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Prince Fielder Free-Agency News: Updating Slugger’s 6 Most Likely Destinations

After a magnificent 2011 regular season in which he produced massive MVP-caliber numbers, Prince Fielder has solidified himself as this offseason’s hottest free-agent commodity.  

The only question is, where will he sign?

Several teams will battle it out for the right to MLB‘s most famous vegetarian, but some are beginning to separate themselves from the pack as the postseason winds down.

With the offseason just around the corner, here’s an in-depth look at the six teams most likely to nab Fielder this winter.


Alec Dopp covers the Milwaukee Brewers as a Featured Columnist on Bleacher Report.  Follow him on Twitter: @alecdopp, and read his blog.

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Milwaukee Brewers Continue Historic Run Towards Top of MLB Standings

The Milwaukee Brewers, winners of 21 of their last 24, defeated the New York Mets on Saturday to run their record to 75-52. The victory also boosted Milwaukee’s NL Central lead to eight and a half games over the St. Louis Cardinals.

To the casual baseball fan, this may seem like any other day at the office. That, however, couldn’t be further from the honest truth.

In the club’s 42 years of existence, the Brewers have never held such a lead in any season—including their hallowed 1982 World Series appearance where they came within one victory of winning it all.

Under the direction of first-year manager Ron Roenicke, these Brewers have essentially taken control of their destiny in the NL Central race, which had originally looked to be thrilling three-team chase just three weeks ago.

Is this Milwaukee’s year to finally get over the hump and into the World Series picture? The statistics reveal everything there is to know:

  • Since the All-Star break, the Brewers’ starting rotation ranks first in MLB in ERA (2.93) and WHIP (1.11) after ranking 26th in ERA in 2010 (4.58)
  • Milwaukee’s bullpen ranks third in MLB in HLD (22) since the break, and ranks first in OPS (.614)

Last season, untimely pitching cost the Brewers a shot at the postseason, finishing third overall in the NL Central with a 77-85 mark. In 2011, you could argue pitching has been Milwaukee’s best attribute.

GM Doug Melvin once more worked his magic with trading for Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum to improve a starting rotation. It took letting go three of Milwaukee’s top minor league prospects to complete, but with the way things have been going of late, the moves seem ingenious.

Greinke (12-4, 3.92 ERA, 151 SO) has yet to lose a home decision in 2011, going 9-0 with a 3.15 ERA at Miller Park. Marcum, adversely, has been a gem away from Milwaukee—going 6-2 with a 2.47 ERA on the road.

Offensively, the Brewers are the juggernaut they’ve always been. Between Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder—two serious candidates to win the NL MVP award, according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark—the two have managed a combined 176 RBI, 52 HR and maintain the two highest OPS marks of any two teammates in MLB.

The Brewers have seemingly been firing on all cylinders for the past two weeks. With a favorable schedule ahead, an NL Central pennant seems more and more likely with each victory.

Alec Dopp is a Milwaukee Brewers featured columnist on Bleacher Report.  Follow him on Twitter: @alecdopp.  Click here to read more from Alec.

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Milwaukee Brewers: 5 Things That Must Improve If a Postseason Run Is in Store

Brewing Trouble: Identifying 5 Things the Milwaukee Brewers Must Improve If a Playoff Run Is in Store

Less than a week ago, the scorching-hot Milwaukee Brewers were coming off a sweep of their interleague rival Minnesota Twins, and had Brewers nation (including myself) clamoring for some well-deserved respect.

Who could blame us?

After ripping through a three-game series against the Twins, the Brewers had comfortably positioned themselves with a three-game lead atop the NL Central—a place where Milwaukee had not been since July of 2009.

Needless to say, a three-game series in the Bronx proved to be a bona fide wake-up call for manager Ron Roenicke’s crew.  In fact, the New York Yankees outscored Milwaukee 22-4 in their three-game sweep of the Brewers.

Every team hits rough patches within a successful season, but the Brewers cannot afford to become complacent.  Here are five things that must be addressed if Milwaukee expects a deep postseason run.


Follow Alec Dopp on Twitter: @doppler9000.

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Will Eric Arnett Assume an Important Role for the Milwaukee Brewers?

With the 26th overall selection in the 2009 MLB amateur draft, the Milwaukee Brewers picked up one of the most promising young hurlers in the nation, Eric Arnett.

Arnett, who had a horrendous start to his 2010 campaign in the Arizona League, looks to become one of Milwaukee’s premier starting pitchers in the near future.

But the question is, will it happen?

While the Milwaukee Brewers are gearing up for what hopefully becomes a successful regular-season run, Arnett finds himself on Milwaukee’s spring training roster for the time being.

Standing at a Randy Johnson-like 6’5″, 230 pounds, Arnett is certainly a physical specimen worthy of a call-up for the Brewers in the near future. If things go as planned, Arnett could potentially be apart of a revamped Milwaukee rotation starting as early as next season.

At Indiana—where he absolutely dominated in college ball—Arnett was a co-Pitcher of the Year and a First Team All-Big Ten selection in just his junior year for the Hoosiers while accumulating 109 strikeouts, a 12-2 record and a 2.50 ERA.

But that’s not where his résumé ends, as Arnett boasts a 91-96 MPH fastball with notable breaking pitches and an above-average slider.

How can Arnett’s talents help a Brewers ball club looking to break through to a World Series this season? The question may actually be how he can’t help this Milwaukee squad.

Although the Brewers went out this offseason and added former AL Cy Young winner Zack Greinke, along with Shaun Marcum and reliever Takashi Saito, it would be to Arnett’s benefit to learn under Greinke and other starters.

You can’t put a price on experience, and though the Brewers would probably like Arnett to continue his progression in the minor leagues, there truly is nothing compared to the major-league experience.

Should newly named manager Ron Roenicke become impressed with what Arnett has to offer, expect him to be called up somewhere in the middle to late part of the regular season as the Brewers attempt to make their World Series run.

An important role in the starting rotation this season may not be imminent, but a position in Milwaukee’s bullpen will more than likely happen this season.

**Make sure to follow me on Twitter, as well as take a look at my new blog Brewers Rumors.**

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2011 MLB Preview: 10 Pressing Questions Facing the Milwaukee Brewers This Season

The latter portion of the Brewers’ 2010 season brought with it more than enough reasons to be concerned about baseball in Milwaukee.

A disappointing season from their two most essential assets, both Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder certainly aren’t pleased with their production from just a season ago.

Pitching?  Let’s just say things didn’t quite go as planned.

Nevertheless, with as much setback as the 2010 season generated, there is a proverbial light at the end of the tunnel for Milwaukee.  And notable offseason acquisitions in Zack Grieke, Shaun Marcum and newly named manager Ron Roenicke have bestowed a much more positive feel on baseball in Milwaukee.

Next up?  Hopefully a trip to the World Series.

Here are 10 questions that must be answered before the end of the regular season.



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MLB Spring Training 2011: 8 Teams That Should Consider Using a Four-Man Rotation

Spring training is under way, and we can now take a much more in-depth look at what the regular season holds in store.

Last season, we were fortunate enough to watch dominating pitching take over the landscape of Major League Baseball; and this season looks to be the same.

With ample amounts of solid arms in last year’s playoffs, run production (believe it or not) was few and far between for some ball clubs.

However, for a vast majority of teams without such talent on the mound, last season was a forgettable one.

So as we take a look into what’s to come this season, let’s contemplate which teams could benefit the most from a four-man starting rotation for the beginning of the season.

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