Results tagged ‘ Corey Patterson ’

Melvin expects Counsell & Co. to hit open market

Thursday is the final day for teams to negotiate exclusively with their own free agents, but Brewers general manager Doug Melvin is not anticipating striking any deals before the market opens in earnest.

“No,” he said Wednesday. “I don’t think they want to sign, personally. They want to wait until Friday and hope someone picks up the phone and makes them an offer they never thought they would get.”

Beginning Friday at 12:01 a.m. ET, free agents are free to field those calls from all 30 teams. Before then, during a 15-day window that follows the World Series, other teams can only express general interest but are technically barred from making any offers.

The Brewers have nine outgoing free agents: Outfielders Mike Cameron, Frank Catalanotto and Corey Patterson, infielders Craig Counsell and Felipe Lopez, catcher Jason Kendall and pitchers Braden Looper, Claudio Vargas and David Weathers. Looper and Weathers hit the market after the Brewers declined their options.

Melvin wouldn’t say which of those players he would like to bring back to avoid giving other teams an idea of the Brewers’ thinking. He did say this month that the Carlos Gomez acquisition likely closed the door on Cameron, that the Brewers might not be able to afford Kendall unless he takes a serious pay cut and that the team remains committed to Rickie Weeks at second base, making a Lopez return very unlikely.

Counsell seems the most likely incumbent on the Brewers’ radar but a report this week said that as many as 12 teams had expressed interest. That’s not surprising at all given Counsell’s defensive versatility and his outstanding 2009 season at the plate, and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could field multi-year offers.

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Free agency period is on

FAs2.jpg Let the offseason begin.

When the Yankees clinched the World Series on Wednesday night, it kick-started the season after the season for all 30 teams, not to mention the dozens of unattached players looking for new homes. Thursday began a 15-day period for those players to formally file for free agency, during which they may only negotiate with their current team.

The Brewers have seven such players, including two — center fielder Mike Cameron and catcher Jason Kendall — who have been fixtures in the starting lineup in the past two seasons. The other players eligible to file are outfielder Frank Catalanotto, infielder Craig Counsell, second baseman Felipe Lopez, outfielder Corey Patterson and pitcher Claudio Vargas.

Two others must wait to learn whether they will join the free agent pool. The Brewers have 10 days after the World Series to decide whether to exercise their half of Braden Looper’s $6.5 million mutual option and whether to pick up reliever David Weathers’ $3.7 million club option.

Looper, who led the team with 14 wins and tied for the National League with 34 starts but ran up a 5.22 ERA and led the Major Leagues by allowing 39 home runs, is a particularly interesting case. The Brewers would have to pay a $1 million buyout if they declined his option. 

In August it seemed a foregone conclusion that the Brewers, who are short on pitching prospects at the top levels of the Minor Leagues, would bring Looper back. But a high-ranking club official indicated during the final week of the season that Looper’s future with the team was now up for debate. He went 5-2 in September/October but posted a 6.58 ERA and a .349 opponents’ average. With general manager Doug Melvin intent on bringing in two new starters — his stated goal last month — and the Brewers’ four other ’09 starters under contract for 2010, Looper could conceivably be one of the odd men out. 

If the Brewers decline Weathers’ option, they owe him a $400,000 buyout. 

Among the players already eligible for free agency, Cameron, Counsell, Kendall and Vargas are the likely priorities. Lopez was excellent after a July trade from Arizona to Milwaukee — .with a 320 batting average and a .407 on-base percentage in 297 plate appearances — but Melvin made it clear that he is committed to Rickie Weeks at second base. If that’s the case, it appears the Brewers don’t have a spot for Lopez. 

Also on Thursday, the Brewers learned that Cameron, Kendall and Lopez all qualified as Type B players in the Elias Sports Bureau’s ranking system and that Looper and Weathers would also rank as Type Bs should they reach free agency.

That system considers a player’s last two seasons of statistical output and is used to determine which free agents are eligible for Draft compensation. In order to qualify, a free agent must be offered arbitration by his former team, but decline the offer and then sign elsewhere.

The former club of a Type A free agent receives the player’s new team’s first- or second-round pick in next year’s First-Year Player Draft, depending on where that team finished in the standings, plus a “sandwich pick” between the first- and second rounds.  The former club of a Type B free agent receives only the sandwich pick.
 
Lopez.jpgLopez was one spot shy of qualifying as a Type A player. National League second baseman, shortstops and third basemen are grouped together by Elias, and Lopez was the first Type B, with a rating of 71.889. Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla was the final Type A, at 72.350.

For more on the Brewers’ free agent-eligibles, see my story on Brewers.com.

Of the players in question, who would you like to see back? Who should the Brewers let go?

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Braun back; Patterson, Gerut, too

Ryan Braun returns to his spot in left field after sitting out Monday’s game against Chris Carpenter, and he’ll play alongside the same center/right field combo that battled the Cardinals ace. Corey Patterson makes a second straight start in center field for the injured Mike Cameron, and Jody Gerut is back out there in right despite the fact that Corey Hart was activated off the disabled list this morning.

Here’s the lineup:

Corey Patterson  CF
Craig Counsell  2B
Ryan Braun  LF
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Jody Gerut  RF
J.J. Hardy  SS
Jason Kendall  C  Mike Rivera  C (Sorry, I swear the original lineup had Kendall, but I’m told it was Rivera all the way)
Manny Parra  LHP

Braun, Macha differ on day off

For the first time since July 18 and only the fifth time this season, Ryan Braun was not the Brewers’ starting left fielder on Monday.

Why? Well, that was a matter for debate.

Brewers manager Ken Macha said Braun had been complaining of “aches and pains” in his right shoulder, and indeed Braun emerged in the clubhouse following Monday’s 3-0 loss to the Cardinals having just iced the joint. But Braun seemed surprised by the manager’s revelation about his shoulder.

“I don’t know what he’s talking about,” Braun said as he walked away.

One thing they agreed upon: Braun should be back in the Brewers’ lineup on Tuesday night against John Smoltz.

“It’s just a day off,” Macha insisted earlier in the day, and it was as good a day as any. Braun is 0-for-6 with two strikeouts against Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter, who started Monday in the opener of a three-game series at Miller Park and pitched a complete-game one-hitter. It was also a holiday day game, and Braun is hitting 83 points lower in the daytime (.257 vs. .340 at night) with a dramatically lower on-base-plus-slugging percentage (.749 during the day vs. 1.027 at night).

“The trainer thought that it would be best to give him today off,” Macha said. “We had a day game yesterday and a night game tomorrow, so it will be almost like he has two days off in a row.”
 
The Brewers were also without the services of center fielder Mike Cameron, who expected to be out until Friday at the earliest with a strained right hamstring.

With those two players out, Macha cobbled together the lineup like this:

Corey Patterson  CF
Frank Catalanotto  LF
Felipe Lopez  2B
Prince Fielder  1B
Casey McGehee  3B
Jody Gerut  RF
Jason Kendall  C
Alcides Escobar  SS
Dave Bush  RHP

Patterson joins crowded Brewers outfield

The Triple-A Nashville Sounds will have to try to make the playoffs without their hottest hitter.

The Brewers purchased Corey Patterson’s contract on Friday and the former Cubs and Reds center fielder was in uniform No. 10 for the opener of a three-game series against the Giants. Nashville, meanwhile, was in New Orleans for the start of a four-game series to end the regular season and entered the weekend 1/2 game behind division-leading Memphis.

“My concern was trying to get here, not really the Triple-A playoffs,” Patterson said after arriving at Miller Park. “Of course, if I was down there, I would play the best I could.”

He had been playing pretty well. Picked up by the Brewers on a Minor League contract on Aug. 2, three days after he was released by the Nationals, Patterson batted .331 with five home runs, 22 RBIs and seven stolen bases in 29 games for the Sounds.

Patterson’s spot was to be filled beginning Friday by Corey Hart, who began a rehabilitation assignment as he recovers from an appendectomy.

“He played pretty well down there and deserved a promotion,” Brewers manager Ken Macha said of Patterson. “He’s got Major League experience and right now he’s a bench player, but I expect him to play a couple of games.”

Patterson joined a crowded Brewers outfield. Ryan Braun is cemented in left field, Mike Cameron is the everyday center fielder and Frank Catalanotto has made the majority of starts in right field in Hart’s absence. Two others — Jason Bourgeois and Jody Gerut — have either started in right field or spelled Cameron in center, and Patterson will presumably join that group.

With Hart expected back on Tuesday, playing time figures to be extremely tight. Manager Ken Macha conceded that he is “juggling” at a number of positions.

“I ain’t worried about it,” Patterson said. “I’ve been in pretty much every situation you can be in.”

Patterson, 30, is best known by Brewers fans for his tenure with the Cubs from 2000-2005. He has appeared in the big leagues in each of the past 10
seasons.

“The biggest thing to this game is the mental approach,” Patterson said. “It’s easy to play when things are going well. The hard thing is when you’re not quite getting the results. You have to respond. Some guys are better at it than others, and I think the older I get, the better I am at that approach.”

Patterson will be a free agent after the season. With his arrival, the Brewers’ 40-man roster was once again full.

Brewers pick up Nats' castoff Patterson

The Brewers filled an opening at Triple-A on Saturday by signing center fielder Corey Patterson, released earlier in the week by the Washington Nationals, to a Minor League deal. He was expected to report to Nashville immediately.

Patterson, 29, has spent most of this year at the Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse, N.Y., where he batted .275 with seven home runs, 40 RBIs and a .318 on-base percentage in 84 games. During a brief, five-game stint with Washington, he went 2-for-15.

Best known by Brewers fans for his tenure with the Cubs from 2000-2005, Patterson has appeared in the big leagues in each of the past 10 seasons.

“He’s made some adjustments hitting,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. “His on-base percentage over the past month or so had improved. He was out there, and after we traded Cole Gillespie, we had a spot for him.”

The Brewers traded Gillespie, a corner outfield prospect, to the D-backs in the Felipe Lopez deal.

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