Wednesday's Frosty Mug

Prince Fielder practices the proper celebration for receiving what will likely be the largest single-season salary in franchise history.

Some things to read while showing off your new hats.

The arbitration filing period opens today, and Prince Fielder is the most notable of the five eligible Brewers. Adam McCalvy has a preview of arbitration season. Fielder appeared on WSSP on Monday, and The Brewers Bar has a couple of quotes and a link to the full interview.

Meanwhile, we have another new Brewer: Baseball America is reporting the Brewers have signed former Braves top prospect Brandon Jones to a minor league deal. Jones is 27 and is a career .275/.356/.431 hitter in seven minor league seasons. He split 2010 between the Pirates and Tigers organizations and hit .231/.333/.325. He's primarily a left fielder and is unlikely to provide much more than minor league depth at this point.

Now that the rotation is done, is it time to start discussing the batting order? Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker noticed a Ron Roenicke quote about the leadoff spot and concluded that the new manager understands the role.

Lucas Apostoleris of Beyond the Box Score has the second part of an interesting look at bunting: His charts show that Carlos Gomez is one of baseball's most frequent bunters and one of the best at turning bunts into hits. They also show that Corey Hart is among baseball's worst at keeping a bunt in play.

In the minors: We've moved on to day two of the 2011 BCB Community Prospect Rankings. Follow that link to vote for the #2 prospect, if you haven't already.

Offseason work at Miller Park continues apace: Dawes Rigging and Crane Rental issued a press release yesterday about their contribution to the efforts.

Meanwhile, the team unveiled a new promotion yesterday in an effort to spur season ticket sales: Fans who buy a package of 20 or more games will be entered into 40 drawings for one of a kind experiences and prizes.

Around baseball:

Braves: Signed second baseman Dan Uggla to a five year, $62 million deal, avoiding arbitration.
Indians: Acquired pitcher Joe Martinez from the Pirates for a PTBNL or cash.
Mariners: Signed infielder Brendan Ryan to a two year, $2.75 million deal, avoiding arbitration and signed catcher Josh Bard to a minor league deal.
Nationals: Signed first baseman Adam LaRoche to a two year, $16 million deal with a club option for 2013.
Orioles: Signed reliever Kevin Gregg to a two year, $10 million deal.
Rangers: Are expected to sign third baseman Adrian Beltre to a six year, $96 million deal.

Today in former Brewer notes:

  • Jeff Cirillo will be the guest at January 18th's Red Smith Banquet in Appleton. Dennis Krause will introduce him.
  • The Platoon Advantage has a great look at players who would have been eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first time this year, but were left off the ballot. Former Brewers include Ricky Botallico, Cal Eldred, Jeffrey Hammonds, Keith Osik, Eddie Perez and Gerald Williams.
  • Meanwhile, B.J. Surhoff is on the ballot for the first time, and Tom Haudricourt wonders if he'll get the 5% of votes he needs to stay there.

Surhoff did appear on what might be the strangest ballot to date. Barry Stanton of ESPN voted for Surhoff, Jack Morris, Edgar Martinez, Tino Martinez and Don Mattingly. Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk has some background on Stanton. Once upon a time, he was fired for plagiarizing a Joe Posnanski column.

Elsewhere in journalism, Joe Chandler of the Gazette Virginian has a story on Jeremy Jeffress' reaction to being traded to the Royals. It starts out as an interesting story, but these two excerpts made me laugh out loud:

Jeffress explained he has no expectations of his role with the Royals at this point.

"I’m going to spring training as a set-up guy for the closer," he pointed out.

...

One of the good things for Jeffress is that he will not have to move his residence – at least not right away. Jeffress has been residing in Phoenix, Ariz., where the Brewers’ training facilities are located. The Kansas City Royals’ training facility is also located in Phoenix.

"The Royals’ spring training is in Phoenix," Jeffress pointed out.

"That’s one of the great things about the trade. The Royals are also in Phoenix. I’m happy about that."

On this day in 1998, Don Sutton was elected to the Hall of Fame. One year later, Robin Yount joined him.

Happy birthday today to:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to SpongeBob.

Drink up.

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