Monday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while cleaning out the inbox.

Another day, another chapter in the ongoing "Corey Hart thinks he's worth WHAT?" saga. The Brewers have reportedly pulled their offer off the table and now expect to go to arbitration with Hart (FanShot). At least Hart seems to recognize a growing distaste for him among many fans, but unless he demonstrates an ability to stop swinging at terrible pitches, I'm not sure it will help.

If you attended Brewers On Deck over the weekend, you were one of 10,638 fans to do so. Adam McCalvy has a roundup from the event, but here are the stories that caught my eye:

Speaking of Zaun, Chuck Brownson of The Hardball Times is projecting him to throw out 20.7% of attempted base stealers this season, leaving him 4.2 runs below average. It's hard to tell if that will be enough to please the fan who thought the 38 year old was a rookie at Ken Macha's Q and A session.

Carlos Gomez wasn't at On Deck this weekend, but he is the subject of the best music video ever to contain a ukelele solo.

Speaking of Gomez, it's possible you'll get a chance to see him tomorrow afternoon as MLB Network televises the Caribbean World Series. Martin Maldonado's Puerto Rican team also won their league championship over the weekend, clinching a berth.

Brian Anderson also chatted with fans this weekend about multiple Brewer topics and breaking into broadcasting. You can read the full transcript here.

It's projection season, and Dan Szymborski of Baseball Think Factory released the Brewers' ZiPS projections yesterday (FanShot). There's not a lot there to get excited about...only five Brewer hitters (Fielder, Ryan Braun, Ricke Weeks, Hart and Jody Gerut) project to have an OPS+ over 100, and only three starters (Yovani Gallardo, Randy Wolf and Doug Davis) project to be above average in ERA+.

With that said, they're still better than PECOTA. Baseball Prospectus noticed a glitch over the weekend and adjusted their projections, moving the Brewers from 75 to 77 wins, and 895 runs allowed to 805. That's likely closer to accurate, but still has the Brewers winning four fewer games than the 81-81 Nationals.

I'm guessing, given the choice, most readers here would take Ryan Braun over Troy Tulowitzki, but as backtocali notes over at Beyond the Box Score, it's closer than you might think, and a case can be made for Tulo.

In the minors:

He's out for 2010 but not forgotten: Mark DiFelice is one of the latest installments in Baseball Musings' Players A to Z series.

In predictions, rankings and whatnot:

  • The Dugout Doctors predict the Brewers will finish third in the Central, behind the Cubs and Cardinals (I think? The story doesn't say it outright.)
  • Brewers Daily has a look at additions and subtractions in the NL Central this offseason.

Around baseball:

Angels: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Joe Saunders (terms unknown).
Athletics: Signed Gabe Gross to a one year, $750,000 deal and avoided arbitration with pitcher Michael Wuertz, who signed a two year, $5.25 million deal.
Giants: Avoided arbitration with closer Brian Wilson, who will earn $4.4375 million in 2010.
Marlins: Signed pitchers Derrick Turnbow and Jose Veras and infielder Danny Richar to minor league deals.
Mets: Signed Frank Catalanotto and Josh Fogg to minor league deals (FanShot).
Nationals: Signed pitcher Miguel Batista to a minor league deal.
Rangers: Avoided arbitration with Scott Feldman, who will earn $2.425 million in 2010.
Reds: Signed Orlando Cabrera to a one year deal worth $3 million, with a $3 million team option for 2011 ($1 million buyout).
Rockies: Signed Melvin Mora to a one year, $1.3 million deal.

I'm not sure it's been mentioned anywhere yet, but Yovani Gallardo will be arbitration eligible for the first time following the 2010 season, and could become a free agent following the 2013 season. The Brewers might be very interested observers as Justin Verlander and the Tigers attempt to hammer out a deal: The Tigers have reportedly offered five years and $75 million, but Verlander is seeking a sixth year. A five year deal would buy out Verlander's last two arbitration seasons and three free agent years.

If you weren't around this weekend, you may want to scroll down or click here and read parts one and two of FtJ's three part interview with former Brewer Brad Woodall. Part three will run later today, and the series is a great look into Woodall's career, insights on the 2010 Brewers and his current work.

While Woodall works with the next next generation of players, The New York Times has a look at Major League Baseball's offseason camp for prospects, to help prepare them for life in the big leagues (h/t Craig Calcaterra).

Most, if not all of the players at that camp likely appear in John Sickels' 2010 Prospect Book, which is now shipping. I'm typically pretty cheap when it comes to buying baseball materials: after all, I spend half the day just trying to read all the free stuff. Sickels' book is one of my few exceptions, though, and if you're a minor league enthusiast or just want to learn more about prospects, I'd highly recommend it.

If Gord Ash had his way, the draft process used to obtain those prospects would see a significant shift. The Toronto Star has an interview with Ash where he suggests shortening the draft from 50 rounds to 25 and adding international players.

And finally, we move from baseball's future to a sad story on its past: The Canadian Press has a story on the financial problems facing the Negro League Museum in Kansas City.

Happy birthday today to:

Drink up.

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