Friday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while honoring thy chairs.

Entering the offseason many of us treated a potential Prince Fielder trade as all but inevitable, but it appears the pendulum has swung the other way: Jon Heyman is reporting that the Brewers are leaning toward keeping Fielder to start the 2011 season. Howie Magner approves of the decision, but wants to know how the Brewers will find pitching if they're holding onto their most valuable trade chip.

Meanwhile, we don't have much new news regarding Rickie Weeks: Weeks told Adam McCalvy he's "open to listening" to long term offers from the Brewers, but didn't comment beyond that.

Let me preface all of this by saying that it's only a rumor (and rumors from Nick Cafardo are worth even less than normal rumors), but nonetheless I'm feeling a little sick to my stomach after reading that the Brewers might be one of the frontrunners to sign Carl Pavano. Jon Heyman says Pavano supposedly wants a deal similar to the three year, $33 million contract Ted Lilly recently signed. If he got that from the Brewers, the Fire Doug Melvin bandwagon would pick up steam in a hurry.

In the minors:

  • The Arizona Fall League regular season wrapped up yesterday, and all told there were several Brewer performances to be happy about. In today's Offseason Notes, Carson Cistulli lists Dan Merklinger and Brandon Kintzler eighth and ninth in his SCOUT rankings of pitchers.
  • Jim Callis of Baseball America answered a reader question yesterday on Brett Lawrie, suggesting the Brewers' top prospect is more likely to end up as a right fielder, but will hit well enough to play out there.

By the time the Brewers report to Maryvale in February we might know the future of their spring training home. The team's lease of Maryvale Baseball Park expires following the 2012 season, and the Phoenix Business Journal is reporting that the city of Phoenix wants to get an extension done with the Brewers within the next few months. The Brewers could stay in Maryvale if the city is willing to help renovate the facility, relocate to the Cubs' former complex in Mesa or hold out for a new park.

The Brewers have already hosted Farm Aid at Miller Park this offseason, and concerts and other large events are great sources of non-baseball related revenue for the team. The Milwaukee Business Journal has a look at the practice.

Around baseball:

Astros: Acquired shortstop Clint Barmes from the Rockies for pitcher Felipe Paulino.
Phillies: Signed infielder Jeff Larish to a minor league deal.
Twins: Extended manager Ron Gardenhire's contract through 2013.

As you likely heard if you were around the internet at all yesterday, Felix Hernandez of the Mariners won the AL Cy Young. It's being touted as a victory for sabermetrics and whatnot, as Hernandez is the first starting pitcher ever to win a full season's award with just 13 wins. Winning the award also has a pretty nice payoff for Hernandez, who triggered over $2 million in incentives over the course of his contract.

Since we don't have a botched Cy Young vote to complain about, I guess we'll have to turn our outrage elsewhere: Earlier this week Rob Neyer went on a rant about non-conventional minor league nicknames, which seemed like a really weird thing to get worked up over. Benjamin Hill of MiLB.com, who covers the non-conventional side of minor league baseball better than anyone else I've seen, has a great, level-headed defense of the practice.

This may come as a surprise to some of you, but occasionally I'm wrong. A few weeks ago I started seeing reports that Bud Selig was considering a plan to expand the playoffs, and I didn't burn any time on it. Proposals like that seem to be thrown around every offseason but rarely gain traction. It turns out I was wrong in this case: After facing "little to no opposition" to the plan at this week's GM meetings, expanding the playoffs to ten teams is now seen as nearly inevitable.

Maybe it's only notable to me (and likely Indians fans), but nonetheless I thought this might have been yesterday's most interesting story. Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and every other able-bodied South Korean male are typically required to spend two years in the military before their 30th birthday. Choo is 28, and at the last minute earned an exemption by leading the South Korean national team to a gold medal at the Asian Games. They beat defending champion Taiwan yesterday.

Today's Mug is pretty brief, so maybe you'll have some time to do other things today. For example, you could apply for a job as the Brewers' Payroll Manager.

Or, if you like getting stuff but not necessarily working for it, you could sign up to win a Samsung 3D TV from SBNation.com.

On this day in 1976, the Brewers signed third baseman Sal Bando to a multiyear deal. Things went pretty well at first, as BRef has Bando's value at 8.8 wins between the 1977 and ''78 seasons. Unfortunately, Bando played three more years after that and was worth a combined -0.7 wins.

Happy birthday today to:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm late for my photo shoot.

Drink up.

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