Thursday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while it gets really bright in the kitchen.

With 86 days remaining until pitchers and catchers report to Maryvale the deadline to offer arbitration to this winter's free agents came and went yesterday, and the Brewers did roughly what most of us were hoping they'd do: They offered arbitration to Prince Fielder and Francisco Rodriguez, but not to Yuniesky Betancourt (FanShot). Jon Heyman summed up the K-Rod decision nicely:

would seem offering krod arb carries risk, but since he seeks closing job and multi years he'll decline offer.

With that said, a lot of the goodwill for some of these good decisions will evaporate if the Brewers open the 2012 season with Yuniesky Betancourt back at shortstop. Today's rumor du jour comes via MLB Trade Rumors, who reports that former Orioles shortstop Cesar Izturis is not expected to return to Baltimore and has drawn interest from several (unnamed) teams. He's not exactly an appealing option offensively (he's a career .255/.295/.322 hitter), but like any warm body he'd represent a significant defensive upgrade.

Elsewhere in potential offseason moves: This week's BCB Tracking Poll shows that over 80% of you think the Brewers should be pursuing a long term extension with Zack Greinke, but less than 50% of you favor an extension for any of the team's other candidates.

A day later, Ryan Braun's MVP win and interviews afterwards remain a favorite topic of conversation. Baseball In-Depth notes that Braun and Matt Kemp were two of just four players since 1900 to finish a season with over 33 home runs, 33 stolen bases, 111 RBI, 109 runs scored and a batting average over .324. The Outside Corner is thankful for Braun, but some of us still can't stop talking about his hair:

  • The Brewers Bar made a reference that I'm not pop culture-literate enough to get.
  • @Poonix notes that we're already seeing the repercussions of Mark DiFelice's departure.

In the minors:

  • The Cubs have requested and received permission to talk to Chris Bosio, who was scheduled to be the Brewers' pitching coach in Nashville in 2012. Doug Melvin says Bosio is the only person they've asked to talk to.
  • Mat Gamel went 2-for-5 with a home run yesterday in Estrellas' 6-0 win over Escogido in Dominican play. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Notes.
  • Also in today's notes, morineko points out a report that Caleb Gindl and Michael Fiers' contracts with Caracas have expired.
  • Wisconsin outfielder Reggie Keen was the subject of this week's Timber Rattlers Interrogation Room.

As you've likely heard before, Brewer bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel spends a big chunk of the offseason helping out underprivileged children via his "Koos For Kids" charity. Jordan Schelling of MLB.com has a nice profile of Hanel and the work he's doing in the community.

Meanwhile, Manny Parra's rehab from surgery continues. He's spending some time in the Dominican Republic this winter working his way back.

Our Brewer-by-Brewer look at the 2011 season continued yesterday with this profile of Tim Dillard. The series is taking the holiday off today but will return tomorrow.

If you'd like more Brewer content this morning but you're sick of reading, the View From Bernie's Chalet Podcast is up. This week's topics include Ryan Braun, the shortstop situation, long term extensions and more.

Around baseball:

Blue Jays: Claimed catcher Brian Jeroloman off waivers from the Pirates.
Royals: Re-signed pitcher Bruce Chen to a two year, $9 million deal.
Yankees: Signed infielder Jayson Nix to a minor league deal.

Yesterday was a busy day in front offices across baseball, as several teams waited until the last minute to decide whether or not to offer arbitration to their free agents. MLB Trade Rumors has a full recap of decisions in the American League and National League.

I'll be interested to see how this works out: Japan's Yokohoma Bay Stars plan to post relief pitcher Hiroki Sanada this winter. He had an ERA over 4 in less than 50 innings amidst reports that his velocity was down this season, so whoever wins the rights to negotiate with him probably won't be paying much.

In baseball economics: Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has a look at the slot value of the top ten picks in the 2012 draft. The figures are up significantly, and are now comparable to what those picks actually received this season.

Today in former Brewers:

I've been saying for months that Jose Reyes is unlikely at best to be a Brewer but, after seeing Jerry Seinfeld's dachshund puppy named after the Mets shortstop, now I'm rooting for him to go back to New York.

Elsewhere in silliness, Benjamin Hill of MiLB.com has a great montage of ballpark promotions he was a part of this season.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to figure out what's for breakfast.

Drink up.

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