Monday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while making a minor edit.

The Brewers filed some more offseason paperwork over the weekend, adding four players to the 40 man roster to protect them from next month's Rule 5 draft (FanShot):

  • Outfielder Caleb Gindl, who hit .307/.390/.472 as a 23 year old in AAA in 2011.
  • First baseman/outfielder Brock Kjeldgaard, a converted pitcher who tied Brevard County's single-season home run record in 2011 despite playing just 65 games there before moving up to Huntsville.
  • Reliever Santo Manzanillo, who posted a 1.75 ERA over 48 outings between Brevard County and Huntsville in 2011.
  • Infielder Zelous Wheeler, who hit .272/.378/.459 while playing primarily third base for Huntsville and Nashville in 2011.

As Adam McCalvy notes in the link above, the Brewers still have five open spots on their 40 man roster but opted not to protect LHP Dan Meadows. He's just 24 and posted a 2.68 ERA over 41 outings between Huntsville and Nashville in 2011.

With that said, the Rule 5 draft is a total crap shoot and is very difficult to predict. Last year I compiled this list of 60 players I'd seen listed as draft candidates elsewhere. Of the 19 players selected, only six were on that list. Rany Jazayerli, who covers the Royals, summed things up nicely:

Shocked KC didn't protect Rey Navarro. In their defense, every year there's a guy I can't believe they didn't protect. None have been taken.

Meanwhile, the Brewers might be running out of time to make a splash on the shortstop market. The Pirates agreed to a two year, $10.5 million deal with Clint Barmes over the weekend, removing one more possibility from the market (FanShot). Barmes said the Brewers made him a two year offer, but he chose the Pirates instead. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar has a look at the team's options now. Eric Seidman of FanGraphs says Jason Bartlett of the Padres could be an option. Tom Haudricourt is fearing the worst, and Mark Townsend of Big League Stew notes that the market is drying up.

This is how you know it was a slow news weekend: Even the Prince Fielder notes are quiet. Flip Flop Fly Ball did cobble together a nice collection of Fielder's "y'know's," though. (h/t @AdamMcCalvy)

It remains to be seen how or if this will change next season without Fielder hitting behind him, but this number is still pretty interesting: Brewers in 11 notes that Ryan Braun is averaging 199.6 hits per 162 games played in his career, the highest rate in Brewer franchise history. Braun picks up roughly 1.23 hits per game, and is one of just 31 players in baseball history to collect over 500 hits while doing so.

The NL MVP award will be announced tomorrow, and the JS has a preview of the proceedings featuring Braun and Fielder. I'm still hopeful Braun will take home the honor, but I expect Matt Kemp to get it.

In the minors:

  • Baseball America's writeup for their top ten Brewer prospect list is online. It also includes a list of the best tools within the organization and a potential 2015 lineup that has "Yovanni" Gallardo at the top of the rotation.
  • Two notable Brewer prospects had big days in Venezuela yesterday: Caleb Gindl went 3-for-5 with a double and Michael Fiers allowed one run over five innings in Caracas' 6-1 win over Zulia. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Notes.
  • Carlos Gomez made his winter league debut over the weekend, appearing in four games for Aguilas in the Dominican Republic. He's off to a 1-for-17 start.
  • Back in Arizona, no Brewers were included on the AFL's all-prospect team.

On Friday we continued our player-by-player look at the 2011 Brewers with this profile of George Kottaras. Check back for another profile later today.

Around baseball:

Giants: Designated outfielder Darren Ford and pitcher Waldis Joaquin for assignment.
Indians: Designated infielder Luis Valbuena for assignment.
Nationals: Claimed pitcher Cole Kimball off waivers from the Blue Jays.
Orioles: Signed infielder Matt Antonelli to a minor league deal.
Phillies: Acquired IF/OF Ty Wigginton from the Rockies for a PTBNL or cash.
Pirates: Claimed pitcher Jeremy Hefner and catcher Brian Jeroloman off waivers from the Padres and Blue Jays, respectively, and designated outfielder Xavier Paul and catcher Eric Fryer for assignment. (h/t Bucs Dugout)
Twins: Signed catcher Ryan Doumit to a one year, $3 million deal and pitcher Jason Bulger to a minor league deal.

The Blue Jays had claimed Kimball off waivers from the Nationals one day earlier, then attempted to outright him to AAA. That opened the door for the Nats to step in and take him back.

On Friday I mentioned that a new collective bargaining agreement was pending, and was expected to be announced today. That announcement has been bumped back to tomorrow, but Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball has a look at some of the changes involved:

  • The minimum salary in 2011 will go up to $480,000, and is expected to climb to $500,000 before the deal expires.
  • A few more players (roughly five each season) will qualify for arbitration under the Super 2 rules.
  • Blood testing for human growth hormone will begin.

We've heard this mumbled and/or alluded to several times now, but this might be the closest it's ever come to being publicly said: Dan Le Batard wrote over the weekend that the Marlins, "like a lot of teams," believe Albert Pujols is older than he claims to be. This conversation could become a factor in his new deal.

A quiet weekend might have given Dale Sveum some time to settle into his new office in Chicago. Here are some notes on him from the weekend:

Venezuela has been the focus of a lot of negative attention this winter, and we might be seeing the first blowback from it: The Angels have asked infielder Maicer Izturis, who is rehabbing an ankle injury, not to play for La Guaira this winter. On top of being potentially unsafe, the Google satellite view makes the ballpark look like a dump.

Elsewhere in Venezuela, Carlos Zambano required 16 stitches after taking a line drive off his face during his last start. He's apparently not going to miss any time.

We close today with incredibly sad news: Mariners outfielder Greg Halman was stabbed to death early this morning in the Netherlands. He was just 24 years old, and his younger brother has been arrested in relation to the crime. Our condolences go out to his family and former teammates.

Drink up.

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