PHOENIX -- With the Ryan Braun saga in the rear-view mirror, Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio said he would like to wrap up contract extensions for general manager Doug Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke before Opening Day.Melvin is entering the final season of a three-year contract extension he signed in October 2008, after the Brewers had snapped their 26-year postseason drought. He has headed Milwaukee's baseball operations since September 2002. Roenicke is also entering a contract year, though the club has an option for 2013.
"I slept like a baby this offseason, but [Melvin] had a few sleepless nights my guess is, [so] he didn't want to get into either his contract or Ron's contract until we [began] camp," Attanasio said. "Those are two topics I'll discuss with him before Opening Day."They're a great fit. Look, I'm all about results." The Brewers set a franchise record with 96 regular-season wins last season and went to the National League Championship Series. Melvin, 60 in August, confirmed he's interested in staying on. "I think this past year really invigorated me and excited me," he said. "It's the first year I've been out of the first round of the playoffs, and I thought we had a real chance to get to the World Series. ... I still enjoy the job, I enjoy the people in the organization, the fan base. There are a lot of very positive things, and I want to continue to do this."
Attanasio said less about the plan for the team's highest profile free agents to be. Starters Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum are due to hit the open market in October, and Melvin said he would have to meet with Attanasio to discuss the budget before proceeding. Attanasio will be back in camp on March 9 to host Brewers sponsors."The good news for us starts with the fact that guys in their free-agent year tend to perform at high levels, and guys on winning teams tend to perform at high levels," Attanasio said. "Hopefully, we have a confluence of those two events."
Greinke pitching in behind the scenes
PHOENIX -- Here's a new role for Brewers ace Zack Greinke: Draft advisor.Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio was praising Greinke's intelligence and awareness when he revealed Saturday that Greinke asked for video of prospective Brewers Draft picks last May. He studied all of the top pitching prospects and offered recommendations before the Brewers selected pitchers Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley in the first round of the First-Year Player Draft. Greinke is apparently back to work for 2012. On Friday night, he and Craig Counsell attended the Arizona State University baseball game in nearby Tempe to scout right-hander Brady Rodgers, whom the Brewers drafted out of high school in 2009 but could not sign. Melvin said he'd invite Greinke into the team's Draft room in June if he'd like to attend.
Greinke is more involved than some fans think, Attanasio said. He recommended that coaches save bunt defense for later in camp, so the coaches made some slight alterations to the schedule."We had a nice laugh about that," Attanasio said. "He's a very thoughtful guy." Greinke is a free agent at season's end, and the Brewers are formulating a plan for contract-extension talks. Attanasio declined to offer specifics of that plan, but he did address the fact that Greinke, for now, is acting as his own agent. "Zack is a very smart guy," Attanasio said. "He's very aware of things that are going on."
Quieter day for Green at Brewers camp
PHOENIX -- Brewers infielder Taylor Green was feeling a little less claustrophobic on Saturday. His Spring Training locker is sandwiched between Norichika Aoki, who arrived Thursday morning amid a crowd of Japanese reporters, and Ryan Braun, whose successful appeal of a suspension sparked a media frenzy on Friday."I'm in the hot zone," Green said. "I was thinking of putting down some white tape around my locker to keep the cameras away." Now Green can get back to work. He's coming off a breakthrough 2011 season in which he batted .336 with 22 home runs and 91 RBIs at two Minor League affiliates and won a promotion to the Majors, where he hit .270 in 37 at-bats and made the Brewers' postseason roster. He has been in camp for weeks, working at first, second and third base in a bid to win a job on the Brewers' bench. Green is blocked at his regular position, third base, by free-agent acquisition Aramis Ramirez, so Green will have to win a spot by showing some versatility. He has been working hard this spring at first base, a position Green has played in the Arizona Fall League and occasionally in the Minors. The Brewers are giving fellow left-handed-hitting prospect Mat Gamel a chance to win that job, but Green could be a fallback. "I am blocked, but there are other ways to make the team," Green said. "I'm trying to be there in case somebody needs a day off, and I'll get my at-bats that way."
Pitcher Cody Scarpetta had his wisdom teeth removed on Thursday and remained sidelined Saturday as the rest of the team took part in its first full-squad workout. He said he's been subsisting on yogurt and mashed potatoes, and was to resume throwing on Monday.
Hall of Famer Robin Yount arrived in Brewers camp on Saturday and will be an instructor for the rest of the spring. Another former Brewer, Geoff Jenkins, is expected to arrive Sunday for a weeklong stint.
"I thought [Yount] really helped us last year by being here," Roenicke said. "A lot of times, you bring in guys and they're a nice face and everybody knew what they did, but Robin helps this team in doing what we want to do."
Yount and Jenkins rank first and third on the Brewers' all-time home run leader board.