Monday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while John Tesh rocks the NBA on NBC theme (h/t Amy K. Nelson).

Randy Wolf is expected to undergo a physical this morning and once he does, expect his contract to become official sometime later today. That might not be today's only announcement, though: the Brewers are also expected to finalize a deal with Craig Counsell today. With Counsell, Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Alcides Escobar, Mat Gamel and Casey McGehee all on the roster, the Brewers' Opening Day infield is probably set, barring injury or trade.

Meanwhile, Mike Rivera is surprised to be looking for work after being non-tendered over the weekend. He thought the decision not to retain Jason Kendall would give him an edge as the only returning catcher familiar with the Brewer pitching staff.

As of this writing, roughly 4% of voters in the poll on your right listed the decision to offer Dave bush a 2010 contract as the one Brewer move from this weekend they would change. That's not exactly a large chunk of the fanbase, but In-Between Hops is taking on that vocal minority, making the case that the Brewers made the right move by giving Bush another shot.

If you missed Morineko's Weekend Mug, follow the link over to it for full coverage of the Brewers' arbitration decisions, and a link to this list of all the non-tenders leaguewide.

Looking back at last week, Jon Heyman ranked the Brewers among the Winter Meeting winners. Meanwhile, Marc Hulet of The Baseball Analysts listed Rule 5 selection Chuck Lofgren in the "Why Bother?" category.

The more I think about it, the more I think Lofgren will have a tough task ahead of him if he's going to make the team out of spring training. With Trevor Hoffman, LaTroy Hawkins, Todd Coffey, Claudio Vargas and Mitch Stetter back, there's only two bullpen spots left that are potentially available (barring injury), and Chris Smith, John Axford, Chris Narveson, Zach Braddock and now Lofgren fighting for them. I like Lofgren's potential and hope the Brewers will get an opportunity to realize it, but right now he might be the third or fourth best lefty in the bullpen competition.

If you have a vague interest in Brewer baseball, but wish there was less analysis and more profanity on this site, then Miller Park Drunk's RUNNING series might be just the ticket for you. Follow these links for bad Prince Fielder jokes, some fan fiction involving Ryan Braun trying to rap, and a vague musical reference to Rickie Weeks.

In the minors: Baseball Intellect has video footage of some at bats featuring Cameron Garfield, Cutter Dykstra and Josh Prince from a Pioneer League game back in July. They're pay-only, but there are worse ways to spend $2.95.

If you were gone this weekend, you didn't miss the opportunity to help select a center fielder and catcher for the BCB All Decade Team. Voting closes at 4 pm today for center fielders and 4 pm tomorrow for catchers. We'll open the voting for the final starting outfield spot later today.

Around baseball:

Blue Jays: Signed catcher John Buck to a one-year deal worth $2 million, signed Joey Gathright to a minor league deal,
Braves: Signed Matt Diaz to a one year, $2.55 million deal, avoiding arbitration.
D-Backs: Re-signed infielder Augie Ojeda to a one year deal, and avoided arbitration with Blaine Boyer.
Dodgers: Signed pitcher Josh Towers to a minor league deal.
Giants: Signed shortstop-turned-pitcher Tony Pena Jr. to a minor league deal.
Indians: Re-signed pitchers Adam Miller and Anthony Reyes to minor league deals.
Marlins: Signed catcher Ronny Paulino to a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration.
Nationals: Re-signed Scott Olsen to a one year deal. Also signed pitcher Ryan Speier to a minor league deal.
Padres: Signed pitcher Kevin Correia to a one year deal, avoiding arbitration.
Pirates: Signed Ronny Cedeno to a one year, $1.125 million deal, avoiding arbitration.
Rangers: Signed infielder Esteban German to a one year deal, avoiding arbitration.
Rays: Avoided arbitration with catcher Dioner Navarro and pitchers Grant BalfourRafael SorianoLance Cormier and Randy Choate.
Royals: Avoided arbitration with pitchers Brian Bannister and Kyle Davies. They also signed pitcher Bruce Chen and catcher Vance Wilson to minor league deals.
White Sox: Signed J.J. Putz to a one year deal.

Meanwhile, the market heated up immediately for Yankees non-tender Chien-Ming Wang, with Ken Rosenthal reporting that six teams have already expressed interest. He doesn't list the teams, but I wouldn't be surprised to discover the Brewers are one of them.

I promise, I'm not going to mention it every time someone says something new about Jason Kendall. In fact, I might try to go the rest of the week without mentioning him at all. With that said, I thought these three links about him were interesting:

Weeks ago I linked to a post from minor league veteran Garrett Broshuis, mentioning the challenges in finding quality, healthy food in minor league clubhouses. It looks like that problem may be on its way to being resolved: After discussing it at the Winter Meetings, several teams are making an effort to provide healthier options, and remove the constant flow of junk.

If you're a fan of sabermetrics, or just want to learn more about them, I've got two links for you today:

Gorman Thomas celebrated a birthday over the weekend, and while this probably isn't what he had in mind for a gift, David Chalk of Seventh Inning 'Stache has inducted him into the MLB Mustache Hall of Fame.

On this day in 1998, the Brewers acquired Alex Ochoa from the Twins for a minor leaguer named Darrell Nicholas. Ochoa spent one season as a Brewer, hitting .300/.404/.466 before being traded to the Reds for Mark Sweeney after the season.

Happy birthday today to:

  • Former Seattle Pilot and 1970 Brewer Greg Goossen, who turns 64.
  • Dave Nilsson, who appeared in 837 games as a Brewer and turns 40.
  • Marcus Jensen, who appeared in 18 games over two tours as a Brewer and turns 37.

Sean Forman, founder of Baseball Reference, is also celebrating his birthday today. You can help him celebrate by sponsoring a page. I know someone around here will want this one.

Drink up.

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