As Prince Fielder's eventual absence looms large over brew country, the Milwaukee Brewers only have a couple other questions left remaining this off-season. They've signed infielder Brooks Conrad to a minor league role (Rosenthal) for a depth move, await a ruling on Ryan Braun's positive drug test (which he's appealing), and they look poised to move on outfielder Norichika Aoki:
- Twitter / @Ken_Rosenthal - "Brewers sign IF Brooks Conrad to minor-league deal. He will compete for utility role. Rays also wanted Conrad on a minor-league deal. #Brewers, as an NL club, offered greater potential for ABs."
Braun will press multiple issues and test itself - Jon Heyman | CBSSports.com
"It sounds like Braun may try a number of avenues here, including the possibility that a medication to combat a private medical issue is to blame, as TMZ initially reported. But while that argument could win some points with the public, that isn’t going to win the day, or the hearing."
- Brewers, Braun will learn his fate before spring training - JSOnline
"An arbitration hearing will take place this month to give Braun an opportunity to overturn a reported positive drug test in October for a banned substance that could result in a 50-game suspension. Delaying the verdict beyond a reasonable period would not be fair to either Braun or the Brewers, under the circumstances."
- MLB Rumors: Aoki, Okajima, Pinto, Whitesell - MLB Daily Dish
"Newman refers readers to a Sanspo report stating that the Milwaukee Brewers plan on offering outfielder Norichika Aoki a deal worth roughly $1 million to $1.5 million. Milwaukee won the rights to negotiate with Aoki through the posting system when the Yakult Swallows accepted the Brewers' $2.5 million claim."
- Brewers will look at Japanese OF Aoki in Phoenix - JSOnline
"The Brewers won the right to negotiate with Aoki, 29, by posting the winning bid of $2.5 million to his team, the Yakult Swallows, in December. A left-handed hitter known for making contact as a leadoff type, Aoki has won three batting crowns in Japan."
- A first look at the 2012 Brewers - Brew Crew Ball
"The starting lineup, rotation, and bullpen are all about as set as they'll be until March, and the only two big questions remaining until then are whether Ryan Braun will be suspended and whether the Brewers will sign Norichika Aoki as a backup outfielder."