Wednesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while wondering where the potato went.

Two more Brewers are under contract for next season, as Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez came to terms with the team yesterday, avoiding arbitration (FanShot). Weeks will earn $2.75 million in 2010, while Gomez will take home $1.1 million in his first arbitration-eligible season.

I'm a little surprised to see Weeks didn't get more. Certainly, his injury history and somewhat turbulent production over the years make him a risky bet at times, but he was worth 1.2 WAR according to Sean Smith in just 162 PAs last season. Even if he had cooled off and played the rest of 2009 at his career averages, he would have been a 3.5-4 WAR player.

Gomez, on the other hand, got something similar to what most of us expected. Whether or not he'll be worth it is anyone's guess.

Meanwhile, the four remaining unsigned arbitration eligible Brewers exchanged proposals with the team yesterday:

Player Team Offer Player Request Difference
Todd Coffey $1.7 million $2.45 million $750,000
Corey Hart $4.15 million $4.8 million $650,000
Dave Bush $4.125 million $4.45 million $320,000
Carlos Villanueva $800,000 $1.075 million $275,000

Here are various reactions to arbitration developments from around the web:

Meanwhile, we have another story about how there's no story regarding Mark Mulder. Tom Haudricourt says the Brewers are still interested in his services, but "he's a long way from throwing in games." Apparently we're also a long way from being done with this one.

Here's an announcement we will have today: Tyler Barnes says the Brewers are preparing to unveil plans to celebrate the Brewers' 40th anniversary season. I counted twice to make sure I wasn't missing something here - wasn't 2009 the Brewers' 40th season in Milwaukee?

Maybe that inability to count is part of the reason Joshua Fisher of The Hardball Times ranked Brewer fans as the 23rd happiest in baseball.

Here's something to be happy about, though: MLB Network is covering the Brewers as part of their "Front Burner" series tonight, and they're looking for your questions.

In the minors:

  • For the second straight season, the Timber Rattlers will play a home game at Miller Park. This year, they're hosting the Cedar Rapids Kernels (Angels) on May 7.
  • Speaking of the Timber Rattlers, 2009 Rattler and BCB Community Prospect #13 Cody Scarpetta is the latest subject in their Interrogation Room.
  • And, speaking of prospect rankings, you have until 4 pm today to cast your vote for Prospect #14. As of this writing, Mark Rogers leads Logan Schafer by 16 votes.

Around baseball:

Angels: Avoided arbitration with Howie Kendrick ($1.75 million), Jered Weaver ($4.3 million), Mike Napoli ($3.6 million) and Reggie Willits ($625k).
Astros: Avoided arbitration with Michael Bourn ($2.4 million), Matt Lindstrom ($1.65 million) and Humberto Quintero ($750k).
Athletics: Avoided arbitration with Kevin Kouzmanoff ($3.1 million) and Rajai Davis ($1.35 million).
Blue Jays: Avoided arbitration with Jason Frasor ($2.65 million), Brian Tallet ($2 million), Jeremy Accardo ($1.08 million) and Casey Janssen ($700k), and signed OF Jeremy Reed and pitcher Steven Register to minor league deals.
Braves: Avoided arbitration with reliever Peter Moylan, who will earn $1.15 million in 2010.
Cubs: Avoided arbitration with infielders Jeff Baker ($975k) and Mike Fontenot ($1 million), catcher Koyie Hill ($700k), reliever Angel Guzman ($825k), and Tom Gorzelanny ($800k).
Diamondbacks: Avoided arbitration with Stephen Drew, who will earn $3.4 million in 2010.
Dodgers: Avoided arbitration with Russell Martin ($5.05 million), George Sherrill ($4.5 million), James Loney ($3.1 million) and Hong-Chih Kuo ($950k).
Giants: Re-signed Bengie Molina to a one year deal worth $4.5 million.
Indians: Avoided arbitration with reliever Rafael Perez, who will earn $750k in 2010.
Mariners: Avoided arbitration with pitchers David Aardsma ($2.75 million) and Mark Lowe ($1.15 million.
Marlins: Avoided arbitration with Jorge Cantu ($6 million) and reliever Leo Nunez ($2 million).
Mets: Avoided arbitration with Jeff Francoeur ($5 million), Pedro Feliciano ($2.9 million) and Sean Green ($975k).
Nationals: Avoided arbitration with Josh Willingham ($4.6 million), Jason Bergmann ($750,000), Wil Nieves (unknown) and Jesus Flores (unknown).
Orioles: Avoided arbitration with Luke Scott, who will earn $4.05 million in 2010.
Phillies: Avoided arbitration with Chad Durbin, who will earn $2.15 million in 2010.
Pirates: Avoided arbitration with Zach Duke ($4.3 million), claimed outfielder Brandon Jones off waivers from the Braves and designated reliever Steven Register for assignment.
Rangers: Avoided arbitration with Josh Hamilton ($3.25 million) and reliever Chris Ray ($975k).
Rays: Avoided arbitration with Matt Garza ($3.35 million), J.P. Howell ($1.8 million) and Jason Bartlett ($4 million).
Rockies: Avoided arbitration with Huston Street (3 years, $22.5 million) and Rafael Betancourt (2 years, $7.55 million), and signed Paul Lo Duca to a minor league deal.
Royals: Avoided arbitration with Alex Gordon ($1.15 million) and Robinson Tejeda ($950k).
Tigers: Avoided arbitration with relievers Bobby Seay ($2.475 million) and Zach Miner ($950k) and catcher Gerald Laird ($3.95 million).
Twins: Avoided arbitration with Jesse Crain ($2 million), Matt Guerrier ($3.15 million), J.J. Hardy ($5.1 million), Brendan Harris ($1.45 million), Francisco Liriano ($1.6 million), Pat Neshek ($625k), Carl Pavano ($7 million) and Delmon Young ($2.5 million).
White Sox: Avoided arbitration with John Danks, who will earn $3.45 million in 2010.

One arbitration case wasn't settled yesterday, but it might not be as interesting as previously expected. Some had speculated Tim Lincecum might request as much as $23 million from the Giants, but he asked for $13 million instead. The Giants countered with an $8 million offer, which seems incredibly low for arguably the best pitcher in baseball.

Being able to build a team with cost controlled and arbitration players is all part of developing from within. Sky Andrecheck of The Baseball Analysts has possibly the best piece I've ever read on the value of a good farm system. He projects the Rangers to net about 31 extra wins over the next eight seasons by virtue of having baseball's best farm system, and the Astros to drop about 36 games for having baseball's worst.

Because of Big League Stew's "Everything you always wanted to know about" series, I've learned an awful lot about a fair number of advanced stats. Before this Saber 101 post at Bless You Boys, though, I didn't know that wOBA's name originated on Sesame Street.

Target Field may be a cold place to watch a baseball game in April, but at least the food will be good. Big League Stew has a look at one of the signature food offerings: Walleye on a stick.

On this day in 1996, the Brewers agreed to terms on a two year, $7 million deal with pitcher Ben McDonald. McDonald, a former #1 overall pick, pitched the last two seasons of his major league career as a Brewer, going 20-17 with a 3.96 ERA.

Happy birthday today to 2005 Brewer Julio Santana, who turns 37.

If you enjoyed this morning's Mug but felt like it was lacking a cause for motion sickness, then clearly First Person Tetris is your next step.

Drink up.

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