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
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.
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.

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
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.

UPDATE: Barry Bonds offered the Marlins hitting coach job. They await his response.

Barry Bonds

UPDATE: The matter of Barry Bonds as the Marlins hitting coach has gone from “consideration” to “offer,” reports Bob Nightengale. The Marlins now await Barry Bonds’ response.

The biggest mystery in all of this is whether Bonds is actually interested. No one has reported that he was willing or even that there have been serious conversations between the Marlins and Bonds. That could be because Bonds, as has always been his practice, doesn’t talk too much to the media. Indeed, we learn more about him from his social media presence than anything reported about him. So it’s possible that Bonds and Jeff Loria have been in contact about all of this and he’s strongly considering it as well.

It’s also possible that this is all nothing and the Marlins are just trying to make a long shot happen.

MONDAY, 5:01 PM: This shouldn’t cause any controversy, lead to a lot of people saying dumb things or provide fodder for jokes at all. Nope, none whatsoever:

In what promises to be a bombshell move, if executed, all-time great slugger Barry Bonds is under consideration to become Marlins hitting coach.

Team higherups have quietly been discussing this possibility for weeks.

That’s Jon Heyman, who reminds us that Bonds has worked with the Giants in the spring in recent years. And who, no matter what else you can say about him, was one of the greatest hitters the game has ever seen. Also worth remembering that despite his controversial past, that greatness came not just from physical gifts, naturally or artificially bestowed. It came from his approach, preparation and strategy at the plate. No one can teach a hitter to hit like Barry Bonds, but you’d think that hitters could be taught to try to approach an at bat the way Barry Bonds would. And who better to do it than Barry Bonds?

That is, if Bonds is willing to drop his seemingly ideal retired life in San Francisco, move to Miami and work for Jeff Loria for nine months a year. Which, eh, who knows? But the possibility of it is pretty fascinating to think about.

Royals avoid arbitration with Tim Collins for $1.475 million

Tim Collins Getty
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Left-hander Tim Collins, who missed the entire 2015 season following Tommy John elbow surgery, will remain with the Royals after avoiding arbitration for a one-year, $1.475 million contract.

Collins was a non-tender candidate due to his injury and projected salary via arbitration, but the Royals are convinced he can bounce back to be a valuable part of the bullpen again in 2016 and beyond. He agreed to the same salary he made in 2015.

Prior to blowing out his elbow Collins posted a 3.54 ERA with 220 strikeouts in 211 innings from 2011-2014 and he’s still just 26 years old. He figures to begin 2016 in a middle relief role.

Joba Chamberlain signs with the Indians

Joba Chamberlain

When you think “Joba Chamberlain” and “Cleveland” you think of the then-Yankees phenom being attacked by midges in the 2007 ALDS. If you don’t remember that somehow, the video evidence is below.

But all of that changes now, as the Indians have just announced that they have signed Chamberlain to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league spring training. That’s no promise of a big league job, but the Indians did make at least one promise to him:


I can vouch for that. The Indians’ Triple-A team is in Columbus and we don’t have midges here.

Chamberlain split time with the Royals and the Tigers in 2015, posting a composite ERA of 4.88 in 36 games of mostly mopup work.

Mariners trying to trade Mark Trumbo by Wednesday

Mark Trumbo

Seattle making Mark Trumbo available has been known for a while now, but Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that the Mariners are trying to trade the first baseman/outfielder before Wednesday.

That’s the deadline to tender 2016 contracts to arbitration eligible players and with Trumbo set to make around $9 million via that process the Mariners would rather move on before any decision needs to be made. In other words: They don’t want to be stuck with him.

Trumbo has elite power, averaging 30 homers per 160 games for his career, but that power comes with a .250 batting average, poor plate discipline and a .299 on-base percentage, and sub par defense. Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has already traded Trumbo once, dealing him to the Diamondbacks back when he was the Angels’ general manager, and now he’s working hard to part ways again.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Rockies are among the interested teams.