Wednesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while spinning.

Well, we have a new Brewer this morning, although it's probably not the one any of us were hoping for. The team has signed catcher Wil Nieves, recently non-tendered by the Nationals, to a major league deal (FanShot). Nieves appeared in 59 games for the Nats last season and hit .203/.244/.310. All told, he's a 33 year old with a .227/.273/.297 career slash line. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar may have been understating it by calling him "a terrible catcher." I have no idea what the Brewers see in him, but I guess you can pencil him in to the competition for the backup job.

Elsewhere, reaction to the Marcum/Lawrie deal continues to trickle in:

Time is starting to run out for the Brewers to acquire a second starting pitcher this week. Wisconsin Sports Tap makes the case that going all in for Zack Greinke makes sense, and puts together a package of five prospects to offer.

By the way, WST also has a guide to this week's Winter Meeting lingo, if you're having a hard time keeping up.

Elsewhere in rumors, there's a report out there that the Brewers and Rays have discussed a deal that would bring pitcher Matt Garza to Milwaukee (FanShot). Garza was arbitration eligible for the first time in 2010 as a Super 2, which I believe means he's under team control for three more seasons. He's made 30 or more starts and posted an ERA under 4 for the Rays each of the last three seasons.

Meanwhile, Doug Melvin is slowly backing away from the cavalcade of injury reclamation projects. While admitting that he could come back to them later, he told Adam McCalvy he's not pursuing Jeff Francis, Brandon Webb, Chris Young, Rich Harden or Brad Penny at this point. Jaymes Langrehr seconded the team's apparent lack of interest in Harden.

Ron Roenicke's turn at the podium came up yesterday, and he told reporters he anticipates having Prince Fielder with the team this spring. John Steinmiller has the full transcript, if you're interested.

Here's some other winter meeting minutiae:

In the minors:

  • Marc Hulet of FanGraphs posted his ranking of the top ten prospects in the Brewer organization, and has Jake Odorizzi replacing Brett Lawrie at #1.
  • Minor League Baseball Prospects unveiled their list of baseball's top 2000 prospects for 2010. Jake Odorizzi is now the top Brewer at #124, and Scooter Gennett, Caleb Gindl, Kentrail Davis, Cameron Garfield, Jeremy Jeffress, Hunter Morris, Cutter Dykstra, Tyler Thornburg, Jimmy Nelson and Cody Scarpetta are also in the top 500, with 42 more Brewers ranked between 501 and 2000. Brett Lawrie was ranked #9 overall.
  • Cody Scarpetta is likely headed to AA to start 2011 and could be in line for a big season. He told his hometown paper (the Rockford Register) that a mid-season mechanical adjustment helped him regain his control in 2010. (h/t Battlekow)

Around baseball:

Cardinals: Avoided arbitration with infielder Ryan Theriot, who will earn $3.3 million in 2011.
Cubs: Reportedly signed first baseman Carlos Pena to a one year, $10 million deal.
Dodgers: Signed outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. to a one year, $675,000 deal and pitcher Vicente Padilla to a one year, $2 million deal.
Indians: Signed catcher Paul Phillips to a minor league deal.
Mets: Signed reliever D.J. Carrasco to a two year deal and catcher Ronny Paulino to a one year, $1.3 million deal.
Padres: Signed pitcher Dustin Moseley to a one year, $900,000 deal.
Pirates: Signed outfielder Matt Diaz to a two year deal.
White Sox: Re-signed first baseman Paul Konerko to a three year, $37.5 million deal.

Today in former Brewers:

We're living in the golden age of sabermetric concepts made easier to understand via well-drawn graphics, folks. Beyond the Box Score has the latest: a visual representation of the change in run expectation in various base/out conditions.

On this day in 1991 the major league career of Brewer reliever Julio Machado came to a sudden and surprising end, as he was arrested for murder in Venezuela. Machado served 12 years in prison for shooting a passenger in the other car following an accident.

On this day in 1997 the Brewers traded pitchers Ben McDonald, Ron Villone and Mike Fetters to the Indians for pitcher Jeff Juden and outfielder Marquis Grissom.

Happy birthday today to 1992-95 Brewer coach Tim Foli, who turns 60.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm headed off to a vintage furniture store three states away. (h/t @Massaconsin)

Drink up.

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