With the winter meetings set to start on December 9 th ,things are starting to heat up in trade talks and free agent buzz. It’s all quiet on the Brewers’ front, however. Doug Melvin has come out and said that the Brewers are not expected to be in on any big free agent signings, but we’ve heard that before. The only big question for the Brewers going into the 2014 season is who is going to be the everyday first baseman.

Personally, I’m hoping they bring back Corey Hart. There are no good internal options for first base (unless you want to watch Juan Francisco drop routine catches at first and set a new strike out record by the end of July) and Hart has said numerous times he will take a reduced salary to stay in Milwaukee, so here’s to hoping that happens. He is set to be officially cleared by the doctor tomorrow, December 3 rd , and that is when the Brewers are supposedly going to give a formal offer to his agent.

I would also like to see the Brewers flip right fielder Nori Aoki for a relief pitcher. The Brewers have a plethora of outfielders, and Nori comes cheap, so he could be an appealing guy for other teams. The Brewers recently traded right handed reliever Badenhop to the Red Sox and are not going to bring Mike Gonzalez back (if they do, I’m becoming a Cubs fan) so they are already down two arms from last year. I also have my doubts that Kintzler, Wooten and Henderson will be able to keep up the productivity that they had during the 2013 season. They were used so much that the Brewers should probably go and make sure that their arms are still attached to their bodies in case they need to sign some relievers to take their places (just kidding… kind of.) Bottom line is the Brewers need to sign one or two free agent relievers before I trust that bullpen to duplicate its 2013 performance.

Aside from that, I think the Brewers are pretty much set for the 2014 season. My projected starting rotation is Lohse, Gallardo, Peralta, Estrada and either Hellweg or Jimmy Nelson. However, I wouldn’t be overly surprised if the Brewers went out and signed a veteran starter to a one year deal. Nelson and Hellweg may be ready for the show this year, but they may not. If Gallardo and Peralta can get off to a better start in 2014 than they did in 2013 (which shouldn’t be overly difficult), I think the Brewers starting rotation will be in good shape for the season. Barring injuries and/or suspensions, 2014 is already looking more promising than 2013.