Notes: Hall holds out hope for Classic
Infielder, along with Yost, also plans to continue contract talks
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
Hall was one of three Brewers on the U.S. provisional roster for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. But right-hander Ben Sheets withdrew, and Hall and catcher Chad Moeller did not make the cut when the 30-man roster was unveiled last week.
Hall remains eligible to play should another player withdraw because of injury.
"I sort of liked my chances of making the first cut," said Hall, who played three infield positions for the Brewers last season. "We'll see if somebody drops out or gets hurt. I would love to play."
Infielders on the U.S. roster include Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, Derrek Lee, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Chase Utley and Michael Young.
Hall has had four conversations with Team USA manager Buck Martinez but none since the roster was cut from 52 to 30. The Athletics' Eric Chavez, the Diamondbacks' Craig Counsell and the Mets' David Wright were also on the provisional roster but not the 30-man, and they remain eligible.
If he remains in Brewers camp, Hall will have more time to pepper general manager Doug Melvin about a contract extension. Hall is among a group of pre-arbitration players still unsigned, and Melvin confirmed the team is interested in offering a multiyear deal.
The Brewers likely would offer Hall three years, effectively "buying out" his first two seasons of arbitration eligibility in 2007 and 2008. Hall would then have one more year of arbitration before he is eligible for free agency.
The team has a history of offering similar deals, including the one signed by left-hander Doug Davis in 2004. Davis is entering the final year of that deal and will earn a $3.2 million base salary, probably far less than he would have earned in arbitration after two straight seasons of 200-plus innings.
The manager, too: Melvin also plans to continue talks with manager Ned Yost about an extension, though player issues have pushed back the timetable on that. Yost is entering the final year of his contract.
"We're confident we can get something done," Melvin said.
Weight watching: Former top prospect Brad Nelson shed 25 pounds since the end of a disappointing 2005 season and is hoping for better results this time around.
Originally drafted as a first baseman, Nelson switched to the outfield but should see more Minor League action this season back at first with Prince Fielder in Milwaukee. Nelson thinks dropping some weight will make him more agile both at first base and left field, and he said he is not worried that his power will be affected.
"I was just smart about it," he said. "I ran, I ate better. All common-sense stuff."
Nelson started last season at Nashville but was demoted at the end of June to make room for Nelson Cruz, who went on to win the organization's Minor League Player of the Year honor.
"[It was] disappointing, yeah, but at the same time I understood it," Nelson said. "He was tearing it up."
Shut out: The Brewers will not induct any new members into the Miller Park Walk of Fame this summer.
The club had added two new members in each of the past four seasons but unveiled a new balloting system this season similar to that used by the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Fifty-three club officials and media members were allowed to vote for up to 10 former players or coaches, who needed to be on at least 75 percent of ballots to gain admission.
None of the eligibles received the necessary 40 votes and only 26 of 126 received enough votes to remain on the ballot next year. Former manager George Bamberger was closest with 36 votes, followed by pitcher Mike Caldwell and outfielder Ben Oglivie. Brewers vice president of communications Tyler Barnes said the club planned to stick with the new voting system for 2007.
On deck: After undergoing physicals on Saturday, Brewers pitchers, catchers and early position players will take the fields at Maryvale Baseball Park on Sunday for their first formal practice. Yost will lead a team meeting at 9 a.m. local time before the 10 a.m. workout.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.