Tuesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while she digs for her phone.

It's finally time to back off the comments about Randy Wolf not wanting to be here. Wolf said all the right things in his introductory press conference yesterday, and now actually appears happy to be a Brewer. Jen Lada was also at the press conference, and tweeted four quotes giving a nice feel for Wolf and the organization's excitement to have him.

The Brewers also announced Craig Counsell's new deal yesterday (FanShot). Counsell will earn $2.1 million next season along with some playing time incentives. The Bucky Channel says moves like this one are "crucial when trying to make a smaller market team a contender." Fire Doug Melvin is fine with the move, as long as Counsell doesn't take playing time away from Mat Gamel.

With Wolf and Counsell officially on board and LaTroy Hawkins (physical on Wednesday) and Claudio Vargas (physical on Friday) expected to be added by the end of the week, Adam McCalvy notes that the Brewer 40 man roster is about to be full, which might mark the end of any major Brewer moves in free agency. Two notes on that:

  • If you're still waiting for the Brewers to sign another starting pitcher, odds are you'll be waiting for a while. Adam McCalvy said Doug Melvin probably regrets comments he made months ago suggesting the Brewers were looking to sign two starters.
  • Secondly, the 40 man roster may be full, but it's a "soft" full. Room could almost certainly be made by outrighting new acquisition Luis Cruz or Tim Dillard, who would most likely go unclaimed at a time of year when no one has many 40 man spots to spare.

The roster crunch was one of the reasons cited for non-tendering Mike Rivera. Brewed Sports isn't too happy with the decision, and also notes that non-tendering the team's lone returning catcher pokes a hole in arguments used to support starting Jason Kendall last season.

Speaking of crowded situations, you can add David Riske to the list of pitchers to pencil into a bullpen spot to start the season. Doug Melvin said Riske expects to be ready for spring training (FanShot). That's bad news for Chris Smith, Chris Narveson, Zach Braddock and Chuck Lofgren, among others, who now may be fighting for one roster spot. If Mark DiFelice hadn't gone down, they'd all come to Maryvale on the outside looking in. A lot can happen between now and then, of course.

And speaking of Chris Smith, Brewerfan.net asked someone from the Brewer organization to verify some of their option info, and discovered that Smith doesn't have any options left. Obviously, Smith wouldn't be a major loss, but it's possible someone would claim him if he were available.

Meanwhile, we reached the final conclusion of the Mike Cameron era in Milwaukee yesterday, as he agreed to a two year deal with the Red Sox (FanShot). Cameron's strikeouts and one memorable dropped fly ball made him a polarizing talent as a Brewer, but most advanced metrics seem to agree on his significant value, and you'll rarely hear anything negative said about him as a teammate and clubhouse presence. If you missed it last night, Jordan has a goodbye post for him.

How lucky are the Brewers to have Ryan Braun? I think we occasionally forget how rare it is for a player to have an impact as immediate as his in the major leagues. Braun hit the second most home runs of any major leaguer in their first 162 games, and also collected the tenth most hits, making him the only player to appear on both lists.

Speaking of luck, Braden Looper's 14 wins last season made him the most unlikely winner in major league history.

Another day, another new poll for our BCB All Decade Team. You have until 4 pm today to select a catcher, and until 4 pm tomorrow to select our final starting outfielder. So far Damian Miller and Geoff Jenkins are leading those votes, respectively.

After looking at the candidates at catcher, I'm starting to wish I had gone this route instead: Camden Chat has an All-Awful lineup for the 2000-2009 Orioles.

And actually, speaking of awful: Rob Neyer has a ranking of the Top 100 players of the 2000's, and while former Brewers CC Sabathia (#25), Mike Cameron (#36), Ray Durham (#71), Jose Valentin (#88) and Corey Koskie (#92) are on it, Prince Fielder is nowhere to be found.

Around baseball:

Angels: Signed Hideki Matsui to a one year, $6.5 million deal.
Astros: Re-signed outfielder Jason Michaels to a one year deal.
Blue Jays: Signed catcher Ramon Castro to a one year, $1 million deal.
Mariners: Signed catcher Eliezer Alfonzo to a minor league deal.
Marlins: Signed pitcher Clay Hensley to a minor league deal.

Of course, the biggest transaction "announced" yesterday appears to be far from done, and may take several days to be made official: A three way deal would send Roy Halladay to the Phillies, Cliff Lee to the Mariners and prospects to the Blue Jays. You might recognize this trade as one several bloggers mocked Ken Rosenthal for suggesting over the weekend. I guess he knows something after all.

Happy birthday today to 2005-2006 Brewer Rick Helling, who turns 39.

Drink up.

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