Central Notes: Brewers, Lorenzen, Votto

MLB Trade Rumors

Mark Attanasio, principal owner of the Brewers, spoke to reporters (including Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) yesterday regarding a variety of topics. One of those topics was the club’s payroll which according to RosterResource took a haircut headed into the 2023 season dropping to $121MM entering the season compared to last year’s final $137MM figure.

Attanasio claims that the dip in payroll is in the interest of keeping the team competitive in the long term, telling reporters, “Nobody wants to hear this, but we haven’t really had a budget in a long time… if you do a case study on teams that lose too much money for too long, then they end up gutting the team. We’re trying to always compete.” Attanasio cited the Brewers standing at the bottom of the league in terms of media revenues as one reason the club’s payroll dipped this season, though he also noted the club has payroll space available for midseason additions should Milwaukee be in contention.

More from the Central divisions…

  • Tigers right-hander Michael Lorenzen is making fast progress as he works to return from a groin injury that left him on the IL to open the season, as noted by Chris McCosky of The Detroit News. Lorenzen threw 45 pitches to teammates off the mound yesterday, touching 95 mph with his fastball. McCosky notes that the Tigers currently plan for Lorenzen to make a rehab start on Saturday before being activated from the IL on Monday, when he’s first eligible. That would figure to leave either lefty Joey Wentz or righty Matt Manning headed to Triple-A to make room for Lorenzen in the rotation. Lorenzen, who signed with the Tigers on a one-year, $8.5MM deal this offseason, sports a career 4.10 ERA (105 ERA+) in 471 innings of work between the Reds and the Angels.
  • It appears that the Reds will be without franchise face Joey Votto for longer than the 10-day minimum as he works to get ready for the 2023 season, as manager David Bell told reporters (including Mark Sheldon of MLB.com) that thanks to a rainout on Friday and a day off on Monday for Triple-A Louisville, where Votto is on a rehab assignment, the 39 year-old slugger will need more reps before he is ready to play in the majors. Votto struggled badly in 2022, posting an OPS of just .689 before undergoing shoulder surgery that ended his season. While Votto prepares to join the club, the Reds figure to continue using Jason Vosler at first base. Vosler is off to a hot start for the Reds to open the season, having already slashed two home runs, a double, and a triple in eleven plate appearances thusfar in the young 2023 season.

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