Tuesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while not getting what you hoped for.

The Brewers have until 11 pm tonight to finalize their plan to offer or decline arbitration to five free agents, and while Tom H. seems to think the Brewers will extend an offer to Felipe Lopez, Adam McCalvy is reporting the team is "leaning against" making the offer to any of the five (FanShot).

All of this is another episode in the "Doug Melvin Moments" series I think most of us are getting increasingly sick of. Doug, we get it. Times are tough for the ever-so-downtrodden small-to-mid market GM with the job many of us would kill for. If the system is really so unbearable, you're welcome to quit and be replaced by someone who will spend more time working with the tools they have and less time bitching about the ones they don't.

Assuming Melvin does eventually get off his soapbox and get back to the task of improving the team, Wisconsin Sports Tap has a guide for prospective new Brewers that can help them avoid becoming the next Jeff Suppan, Bill Hall or Johnny Estrada.

With that said, it might be a while before we have news on Mark Mulder. Roguejim uncovered a story yesterday that sheds some light on Mulder's rehab and situation, and raises the possibility that Mulder will decide not to come back if he's unable to perform at a level he's accustomed to.

We're also probably just about done discussing Kevin Millwood. Rangers beat reporter T.R. Sullivan had this to say about the rumors:

The Rangers wouldn't mind adding pitching but they don't want to subtract it so they are not trying to move Kevin Millwood. Word is the Brewers were interested but Rangers general manager Jon Daniels and Doug Melvin haven't spoke in weeks, That might change at the Winter Meetings but the Rangers still need Millwood's arm far more than they need to move his salary.

Adam McCalvy opened up the mailbag yesterday and answered reader questions on the possibility of a Prince Fielder extension, Dominican prospect Santo Aybar, Lorenzo Cain and Caleb Gindl.

Elsewhere in the minors:

  • Lisa Winston of MiLB.com has a review of the season for the Brewer minor leagues, and a look at the attempt to build pitching depth in the system.
  • Project Prospect has Jonathan Lucroy ranked ninth on their list of baseball's top 15 catching prospects. Angel Salome was not ranked.
  • The Baseball Chronicle has Alcides Escobar as a backup infielder on their 2010 All Prospect Team. Escobar is on the bench behind Rays prospect Reid Brignac and Cubs SS prospect Starlin Castro, who is playing out of position at second base.
  • Rattler Radio has photos of the construction at Time Warner Field, where they're hard at work adding the new beach seats, boardwalk and bullpens.

Up for some arbitrary list-making today? Miller Park Drunk has a list of the top ten Brewers of the decade. It's worth a click for the picture, if nothing else.

John Axford might have an outside shot at winning a spot in the Brewer bullpen next spring, depending on how rest of the offseason goes. In the meantime, he spent yesterday talking to college students about life in the big leagues and the importance of education.

On the transaction log:

Cardinals: Re-signed catcher Jason LaRue and signed infielder Ruben Gotay to a minor league deal.
Mets: Signed catcher Chris Coste, and re-signed infielder Alex Cora to a one year deal worth $2 million.
Pirates: Signed reliever Wil Ledezma to a minor league deal and released catcher Robinzon Diaz.

Wondering what it might take for the Brewers to acquire Edwin Jackson? Here's a hint: The Mariners reportedly turned down an offer from the Tigers would have sent Jackson to Seattle for pitchers Brandon Morrow and Shawn Kelley. So apparently the price is pretty high.

If the Brewers are serious about making an effort to sign Justin Duchscherer, they may have competition within the division: MLB Trade Rumors says the Pirates are one of the interested teams.

The Brewers probably won't be players in the Roy Halladay sweepstakes, but odds are the competition will heat up soon. Halladay has reportedly told the Blue Jays he won't accept any deal after reporting to spring training in February.

With the Winter Meetings coming up, we have more Rule 5 Draft notes: Baseball Time In Arlington has a look at the top ten unprotected pitchers, including former Brewer farmhand Will Inman.

Yesterday I mentioned the voting for the third baseman on the Timber Rattlers' 15th Anniversary team, and left a comment on Rattler Radio asking about the fate of top contender Bo Robinson, who had a few promising seasons in the Mariner organization before dropping off the map in 2002. Within 24 hours the answer was the subject of this week's Mehring Monday. Impressive turnaround time, to be sure.

I'm a few days behind on this one, but I recently discovered Cooperstown Chatter, the MLBlog run by the Baseball Hall of Fame, and this post on Rollie Fingers' 1981 MVP season. It's almost as impressive as Matt Stairs having a street named after him in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

By the way, if you've ever been to the Baseball Hall of Fame, or you haven't but would like to go someday, you can become a fan on Facebook. As an added bonus, Facebook fans get to help in the voting for this year's broadcaster induction.

On this day in 1967, Seattle was awarded an American League expansion franchise. I guess that makes today the Brewers' date of conception?

Happy birthday today to Tom Filer, who posted a 4.32 ERA in 39 appearances as a Brewer during the '88-'90 seasons and turns 53, and to Julio Machado, who spent parts of the 1990 and 1991 seasons as a Brewer before being arrested for murder in Venezuela. He turns 44.

Oh, and I haven't actually watched it yet (no sound on the computer where I write the Mug), but this video has Rammstein and Cookie Monster, so what could possibly go wrong?

Drink up.

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