Wednesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while exhaling.

We're 80 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and hopefully that's enough time for this to heal up: Pitcher Santo Manzanillo, who was just added to the 40 man roster less than two weeks ago, separated his throwing shoulder in a car accident in the Dominican Republic yesterday (FanShot). At the moment there's no timetable for his recovery. He's probably lucky this didn't end up much worse.

Meanwhile, the Brewers are getting ready to head to Dallas for next week's Winter Meetings. Karl Ravech of ESPN listed them among nine teams to watch at the event.

I still think this winter's biggest story for the Brewers will be a contract extension, not a new acquisition. This is the kind of move that would fit the bill: Nicholas Zettel of Bernie's Crew makes the case for a five year, $80 million extension for Zack Greinke.

Shaun Marcum, of course, is another extension candidate. Bluebird Banter ranked him as the 48th greatest Blue Jay of all time.

This possibility is more unlikely to happen, but I still think it would be a point worth considering under the right circumstances: Howie Magner of Milwaukee Magazine has a look at a scenario where the Brewers could trade John Axford.

Here are today's Prince Fielder notes:

Elsewhere in speculation: I had no idea he was available, but MLB Trade Rumors is reporting the Tigers are interested in acquiring Angels infielder Maicer Izturis. He'd be a nice fit as a Brewer: He's a career .276/.339/.389 hitter with a +6.2 UZR/150 in 168 career games at shortstop. If the Angels are serious about dealing him, I hope Doug Melvin's already got a call in.

I think he's overstating it a bit, but it'd be nice if this were true: Miller Park Drunk says The World Belongs to Ryan Braun, saying he's going to become the same kind of star Ken Griffey Jr. was for the 90's Mariners. Then again, maybe Braun is everywhere. His "Ryan Braun MVPastrami on Rye" is a featured item on the menu at Robert J. Baumann of NotGraphs' MLBistro.

In the minors:

  • It was another rough day for Brewers in winter ball, as four players combined to go 1-for-14. Martin Maldonado had the only hit, a single in Mayaguez's 3-2 loss to Carolina in Puerto Rico. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Notes.
  • Former Nashville manager Don Money will spend the 2012 season as an instructor in Helena. Adam McCalvy says he requested the change.
  • The Appleton Post Crescent has a story on Matt Erickson, a former Brewer and Appleton native who will manage the Timber Rattlers for the second season in 2012.

It may be the offseason for many of us, but it's the busy season in the Brewer marketing department. Caitlin Moyer has a look at some of the things they need to do over the coming months.

The Brew Crew Ball Book Club met for the first time last night to discuss the first three chapters of Jonah Keri's The Extra 2%. There's still time to jump into the conversation if you haven't yet, and plenty of time to read through Chapter 6 and join us next week.

Elsewhere in self-promotion, our Brewer-by-Brewer look at the 2011 season continued yesterday with this profile of Taylor Green. Who will we discuss today? Check back to find out.

Around baseball:

Astros: Re-signed catcher Carlos Corporan to a minor league deal.
Cubs: Hired former Astros bullpen coach Jamie Quirk to be their bench coach.
Diamondbacks: Signed pitcher Jensen Lewis to a minor league deal.
Dodgers: Are expected to sign infielder Adam Kennedy to a one year deal.
Giants: Extended manager Bruce Bochy and general manager Brian Sabean's contracts through 2013 with club options for 2014.
Marlins: Signed pitcher Robert Ray to a minor league deal.
Mets: Signed utilityman Vinny Rottino to a minor league deal.
Phillies: Signed pitcher Pat Misch and re-signed infielder Kevin Frandsen to minor league deals.
Pirates: Signed infielder Nick Evans to a minor league deal.
Red Sox: Are expected to hire Bobby Valentine to be their new manager.
Royals: Pitcher Jonathan Broxton's new contract will pay him $4 million in 2012.

Jamie Quirk, by the way, was a 1977 Brewer. At NotGraphs, The Common Man has a dozen important facts about him.

When the Winter Meetings draw to a close next week, one of their final events will be the annual Rule 5 draft, scheduled for Thursday. We'll probably see a fair amount of previews over the coming days, but DRaysBay has a look at three eligible Rays to get us started.

In 2010, John Axford had nine saves where he recorded four outs or more. That was the most in a single season by a Brewer since 1989, but it wasn't the most in the NL: Brian Wilson of the Giants had ten. But Axford didn't record a single multi-inning save in 2011, and that's a growing trend across baseball: High Heat Stats notes that the average pitcher recording a save in 2011 pitched an all-time low 1.006 innings.

Today in baseball economics: Call To The Pen has a pretty fascinating look at how playoff shares have evolved over time.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get this out of my head.

Drink up.

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