Wednesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while setting your DVR.

The Brewers introduced Shaun Marcum to the Milwaukee media for the first time yesterday: MLB.com has video of the press conference and John Steinmiller has pictures of the day's activities. Marcum said all the right things about being excited to be in Milwaukee, his new teammates and pitching inside. Also, if you're curious: He'll be wearing #18 next season.

Meanwhile, here's one of the first reasons I've seen not to like acquiring Marcum: Jeff Zimmerman of FanGraphs' Starting Pitcher DL Projections give Marcum a 52% chance of spending time on the DL this season. The next highest Brewer is Yovani Gallardo at 41%.

Now that the Phillies have signed Cliff Lee, rumor has it they're interested in trading starting pitcher Joe Blanton. Blanton is 30 years old and is owed $17 million over the next two seasons. He's coming off a down year in 2010 (4.82 ERA in 175.2 IP), but has averaged nearly 200 innings per season with a 4.29 ERA over the last six years. MLB Trade Rumors lists the Brewers among nine teams that could be interested.

Meanwhile, we still don't have any news regarding Carl Pavano. Adam McCalvy says he's still seeking a third year but neither the Brewers or Nationals are interested in offering one, leaving the decision up to the Twins. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar says he'd rather have Blanton anyway.

We also don't have news regarding Craig Counsell. Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt he expects a decision from Counsell "in another day or so," which is roughly the same thing we've been hearing since last week.

The Marcum announcement wasn't the only business the Brewers handled yesterday. They also announced the release of 15 minor leaguers (FanShot). Here's a quick look at some of them:

  • Pitcher Cody Adams is 24 and was a second round pick in 2008. He missed the entire 2010 season and had a career 4.74 ERA in the minors.
  • Pitcher Robert Currie is 23 and was a 12th round pick in 2009. He posted a 3.59 ERA with 73 strikeouts and 22 walks in 48 relief appearances for Helena this season.
  • Outfielder Erik Miller is 23 and was a 17th round pick in 2007. He hit .196/.252/.246 in 86 games between Wisconsin and Brevard County in 2010.
  • Reliever Caleb Thielbar is 23 and was an 18th round pick in 2009. He posted a 5.19 ERA between Helena and Wisconsin this season.
  • First baseman/outfielder Brandon Sizemore is 24 and was a 30th round pick in 2009. He hit .255/.307/.423 in 50 games for Helena in 2010.
  • Pitcher Matt Costello will turn 24 next week and was a 35th round pick in 2009. He posted a 3.70 ERA in 30 relief appearances between Wisconsin and Brevard County this season.
  • Infielder Steve Braun (Ryan's brother) is 25 and hit .140/.252/.178 in 48 games for Brevard County this season.
  • Infielder Connor Lind played in 25 games between Helena and Wisconsin in 2010.
  • Reliever Andrew Sauter posted a 7.58 ERA in 20 relief appearances for Wisconsin this season.

The team also released infielder Allixon Cequea, outfielders Erickson Salaya and Juan Barrini and pitchers Christopher Roman, Jairo Mejia and Jean Capellan from their DSL team.

Elsewhere in the minors:

  • In-Between Hops used Minor League Baseball Prospects' top 2000 prospect list to make the case that the Brewers have baseball's third weakest farm system.
  • Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus talked to a scout who couldn't name the team's top position prospect.
  • Wisconsin Sports Tap has a look at first baseman Sean Halton, who could open the 2011 season in Huntsville.

Adam McCalvy mentioned yesterday that the Brewers are expected to name some new scouts soon, but the announcement was pushed back.

Construction continues to get Miller Park ready for the 2011 season. Andrew Wagner of OnMilwaukee.com took this picture of the new scoreboard.

Around baseball:

Angels: Signed pitcher Ryan Braun and 1B/OF Paul McAnulty to minor league deals and designated catcher Ryan Budde for assignment.
Athletics: Signed DH Hideki Matsui to a one year, $4.25 million deal.
Cardinals: Signed catcher Gerald Laird to a one year deal.
Mariners: Signed outfielder Ryan Langerhans, catcher Chris Gimenez and pitchers Denny Bautista and Royce Ring to minor league deals.
Nationals: Signed 1B/OF Matt Stairs to a minor league deal.
Orioles: Signed reliever Jeremy Accardo to a one year, $1.08 million deal.
Pirates: Signed Lyle Overbay to a one year, $5 million deal.
Red Sox: Signed pitcher Matt Albers to a minor league deal.
Yankees: Signed catcher Russell Martin to a one year deal and pitcher Mark Prior to a minor league deal.

A couple of quick notes on today's transactions:

  • By including both Ryan's brother Steve and the other Ryan Braun, I think today's Mug has the maximum number of Brauns one could discuss without mentioning THAT Braun.
  • Matt Stairs began his career with 19 games as an Expo split between 1992 and '93. They were the first of his 12 major league teams in a career that could now end as a National.

For whatever it's worth: The MLB minimum salary has been $400,000 for each of the last two seasons, but it will increase to $414,500 in 2011. In other news, the 2011 Pirates' projected payroll just went up 3.6%.

Elsewhere in baseball economic news: The Indians are lowering ticket prices for 2011. The team drew in just 1.39 million fans in 2010, easily their lowest figure since opening Jacobs Field in 1994.

In former Brewer notes: Aaron Gleeman is ranking outfielder Tom Brunansky as the 28th best Twin of all time.

Here's today's coolest baseball-related graphic: Chris Spurlock of Beyond the Box Score has an interactive map of the last five seasons' trades.

With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a letter to write.

Drink up.

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