Diving into the depths: Milwaukee Brewers

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Milwaukee Brewers
Rotation
1. Randy Wolf
2. Yovani Gallardo
3. Doug Davis
4. Manny Parra
5. Jeff Suppan
6. Dave Bush
7. Chris Capuano
8. John Halama
9. Kameron Loe
10. Carlos Villanueva
11. Chris Narveson
12. A.J. Murray
13. Josh Butler
Wednesday’s addition of Davis complicates things, but it was necessary. Now the Brewers will have Parra, Suppan and Bush compete for two spots. Manager Ken Macha said months ago that Parra was penciled into the rotation, while the other two weren’t necessarily. If salary plays a role, then Parra might be out of luck. However, my guess here is that either Suppan or Bush will be released in spring training. It’d mean eating $12 million in Suppan’s case, but Bush, who is due about $4.25 million in arbitration, won’t have a guaranteed contract.
Bullpen
1. Trevor Hoffman
2. LaTroy Hawkins
3. Todd Coffey
4. Mitch Stetter
5. Carlos Villanueva
6. Claudio Vargas
7. Kameron Loe
8. Chuck Lofgren
9. John Halama
10. Tim Dillard
11. John Axford
12. Chris Smith
13. Mike Burns
14. Chris Narverson
15. Josh Butler
The bullpen is six deep with quality arms. With Villanueva and Vargas able to go multiple innings, the Brewers may opt to keep Lofgren, a Rule 5 pick, as a second lefty specialist.


Catcher
1. Gregg Zaun
2. George Kottaras
3. Jonathan Lucroy
4. Matt Treanor
5. Angel Salome
First base
1. Prince Fielder
2. Casey McGehee
3. Adam Heether
Second base
1. Rickie Weeks
2. Craig Counsell
3. Hernan Iribarren
4. Luis Cruz
Third base
1. Casey McGehee
2. Mat Gamel
3. Craig Counsell
Shortstop
1. Alcides Escobar
2. Craig Counsell
3. Luis Cruz
The only question left with regards to the starting lineup is whether Lucroy can win some sort of job-sharing arrangement with Zaun. The Brewers won’t keep the 23-year-old as a true backup, so if Zaun is going to be the starter, then Lucroy would head to Triple-A and Kottaras would likely stick over Treanor.
Gamel seems set to return to Triple-A, even though his showing in 128 at-bats for the Brewers last season suggested that he was ready for the majors. He’ll be available if McGehee stumbles as a sophomore.
Left field
1. Ryan Braun
2. Jody Gerut
3. Trent Oeltjen
4. Adam Stern
Center field
1. Carlos Gomez
2. Jody Gerut
3. Lorenzo Cain
4. Adam Stern
Right field
1. Corey Hart
2. Jody Gerut
3. Lorenzo Cain
4. Trent Oeltjen
The Brewers will probably pick up a fifth outfielder from the bargain rack as we get closer to spring training. Ideally, it’d be a right-handed hitter capable of providing a little punch off the bench. Marcus Thames will probably be out of their price range, but Reed Johnson or Rocco Baldelli could work.

Diamondbacks, A.J. Pollock avoid arbitration with two-year contract

Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock drives in two runs against the Cincinnati Reds during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
AP Photo/Gary Landers
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Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks and outfielder A.J. Pollock have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year extension. The deal is worth $10.25 million, per ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Pollock was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 28-year-old requested $3.9 million and was offered $3.65 million by the Diamondbacks when figures were exchanged on January 15. It wasn’t much of a gap, but the two sides were ultimately able to find common ground on a multi-year deal. Pollock will still be under team control for one more year after this new deal expires.

Pollock is coming off a breakout 2015 where he batted .315/.367/.498 with 20 home runs, 76 RBI, and 39 stolen bases over 157 games. He ranked sixth among position players with 7.4 WAR (Wins Above Replacement), according to Baseball Reference.

Report: Blue Jays and Josh Donaldson agree to two-year, $29 million extension

Toronto Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson celebrates his two run home run against the Kansas City Royals during the third inning in Game 3 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya
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The Blue Jays and 2015 American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $29 million contract, reports Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca.

Donaldson was arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter. He filed for $11.8 million and was offered $11.35 million by the Blue Jays when figures were exchanged last month. It wasn’t a big gap, but since the Blue Jays are a “file and trial” team, they bring these cases to an arbitration hearing unless a multi-year deal can be worked out. As opposed to last winter, they were able to avoid a hearing this time around. Donaldson was originally a Super Two player, so he’ll still have one year of arbitration-eligibility once this two-year deal is completed.

The 30-year-old Donaldson is coming off a monster first season in Toronto where he batted .297/.371/.568 with 41 homers while leading the American League with 123 RBI.

Giants and Brandon Belt have an arbitration hearing scheduled for Wednesday

San Francisco Giants'  Brandon Belt reacts after being called out on strikes by home plate umpire Jim Joyce to end the top of the first inning against the Colorado Rockies in a baseball game Friday, Sept.. 4, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Brandon Belt filed for $7.5 million and was offered $5.3 million by the Giants when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. That’s a pretty sizable gap. While there’s still a chance that an agreement will be worked out at the last minute, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that an arbitration hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

The Giants haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing since 2004, when they lost to catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Schulman hears from one person involved that because of the gap between Belt and the Giants, there’s a real chance this will break that string and require a hearing.

Belt batted .280/.356/.478 with 18 home runs and 68 RBI over 137 games in 2015, but he dealt with concussion symptoms for the second straight season. An arbitration hearing could bring some unpleasant conversation to the surface.

Padres sign veteran utility player Skip Schumaker

Cincinnati Reds' Skip Schumaker is tagged out at home plate by San Francisco Giants' Buster Posey during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
AP Photo/Ben Margot
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The Padres have inked veteran utility player Skip Schumaker to a minor league contract, per FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

Schumaker, who turned 36 last week, has spent the last two seasons with the Reds. He batted .242/.306/.336 with one home run and 21 RBI over 131 games last season while making starts between all three outfield spots and second base. Cincinnati cut ties with him in November after declining a $2.5 million club option for 2016.

While Schumaker had to settle for a non-guaranteed deal here, it would be no surprise to see him land a bench job with the Padres come Opening Day.