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Welcome to The Stew’s Hot Stove Digest, our daily rundown of MLB news, rumors and gossip for Hot Stove season. Here you’ll find a quick recap of all the day’s action and other fun stuff from around the internet that we think is worth your time.
HOTTEST RUMOR OF THE DAY: The market for free agent Matt Wieters is no more clear today than it’s been all winter. That’s quite a surprise, given that the 30-year-old catcher was viewed as one of the more interesting players on the market after the Orioles did not extend a qualifying offer. However, there’s a report now that one unexpected team may be prepared to make a run. That being the catcher-needy Milwaukee Brewers.
The Brewers have not been connected to many notable free agents this winter. That’s mainly because they are in the midst of rebuilding after shedding several large salaries. But FanRag Sports’ Tommy Stokke notes that Wieters could be an excellent fit in Milwaukee for several reasons beyond being an obvious upgrade talent wise.
After trading Jonathan Lucroy last season, the Brewers need some experience behind the plate.
Wieters would provide that, with the bonus of being recognized as a solid game-planner and game-caller. Those attributes could help Milwaukee’s pitchers grow more confident, while setting an example for the young catchers coming up through Milwaukee’s system. Stokke also notes Wieters reputation as a great clubhouse presence, which lends itself to everything already mentioned.
Though his offensive numbers were down, Wieters at least proved healthy in 2016. If he does land in Milwaukee and manages to bounce back in all phases, the Brewers would end up with a great catch(er) and a better trade chip. All of these things are there for Milwaukee to consider. Now we’ll see if other teams like the Nationals, Braves and Angels respond to this report with increased interest. If not, then Milwaukee has a real shot. [FanRag Sports]
BACK AGAIN: Veteran right-hander Kris Medlen is back with the Atlanta Braves after a quick two-year stint in Kansas City. Medlen, 31, signed a minor league deal that does not include a spring training invitation. He made only 21 appearances (14 starts) in Kansas City, posting a combined ERA of 5.12. In March, he’ll be three years removed from his second Tommy John surgery. [@DOBrienAJC]
NEED A LEFTY: Veterans Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan are available, but according to their respective agents both pitchers have deals of at least two years and $12M on the table. In other words, step up or be left behind. [FOX Sports]
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: The White Sox have signed Peter Bourjos to a minor-league deal, which includes an invitation to spring training. It’s a great opportunity for the veteran outfielder since the White Sox have an opening in center field. Still just 29, Bourjos hit .251 with five homers and 23 RBIs in 123 games for the Phillies last season. [@ChiTribKane]
PERFECT FIT?: The Minnesota Twins say they’re looking for a veteran leader. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports suggests Mike Napoli would be a perfect fit. [FanRag Sports]
LIKE IKE: Veteran first baseman Ike Davis is looking for another chance after signing a minor-league deal with the Dodgers on Friday. Davis appeared in eight games for the Yankees last season when they were most desperate for a first base fill-in for Mark Teixeira, but Davis didn’t look great. He spent most of his season at the Triple-A level, hitting just .248/.337/.419 with nine homers. He’ll serve as little more than depth behind Adrian Gonzalez. [@MattEddyBA]
WHO’S NO. 1?: Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi tops Keith Law’s annual list of MLB’s Top 100 prospects. [ESPN – subscription required]
LINE’EM UP: After adding Cameron Maybin, Ben Revere, Danny Espinosa and Luis Valbuena to the lineup, manager Mike Scioscia has some interesting options when constructing his lineup. Here’s one suggestion. [Halos Heaven]
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
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