Friday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while waiting for the beer fairy.

Like many of you, I woke up this morning to a nice letter from Mark Attanasio thanking the fans for their support and trumpeting the organization's success on and off the field this season (FanShot). If you didn't get the letter, the JS has the full text. It was a pretty good way to start the day.

This week Ron Roenicke completed his first full year as Brewer manager. He certainly hasn't been without his share of controversy, but he also gets credit for a fair number of intangible gains. Nick Prill of The Brewers Bar has a look at what we've learned about Roenicke over the last 365 days. By having served one full season on the job, Roenicke is now the third longest tenured manager in the NL Central.

Meanwhile, the Brewers have another decision to make this winter. Cory Provus was officially announced as the Twins' new lead radio broadcaster yesterday, leaving an empty seat next to Bob Uecker in the booth at Miller Park (FanShot). Adam McCalvy says the Brewers are expecting to receive over 100 applications for the position, and are open to the possibility of hiring someone without major league experience. I may be the first to say it today but I shouldn't be: I'd love to have Chris Mehring in that spot.

That's about it for news today, so let's move on to the Prince Fielder notes:

  • The JS has a poll asking readers where they expect Fielder to sign. The Cubs currently lead the way at 27%, but the Brewers, Rangers and Nationals are all above 10.
  • Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times notes that the Dodgers' pending sale likely removes any slim chance they had of signing a big-ticket free agent.

Award season continued yesterday, and Ryan Braun got some bad news: Matt Kemp was chosen over him to win the NL Players Choice Award for Most Outstanding Player. The winner of that award has gone on to be NL MVP in three of the last five seasons. One of the exceptions was 2007, when Fielder won the award but Jimmy Rollins was MVP.

There are at least a few players on this list that could draw some attention from the Brewers: Adam H. Wong of Prospect Insider has a look at some bargain bin free agents. He wouldn't be my first choice, but I'd be surprised if the Brewers aren't one of the "half dozen" teams that have already contacted Rafael Furcal.

Thanks to these guys, the Brewers don't need to jump into the starting pitching market: Nicholas Zettel of Bernie's Crew ranked Shaun Marcum, Yovani Gallardo, Randy Wolf, Zack Greinke and Chris Narveson 17th, 26th, 27th, 40th and 47th out of 71 NL starting pitchers who accumulated 100 or more innings this season.

Here's the latest on Dale Sveum's offseason adventure: The Official Site has an extended conversation with Sveum about what one does in an eight hour interview with the Red Sox. Meanwhile, Curt Schilling had some nice things to say about Sveum as a former teammate and leader.

Even if Dale Sveum doesn't get selected as a manager this winter, he's likely to draw more interest than Craig Counsell. With that said, Counsell's agent told Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports he still intends to play in 2012.

LaTroy Hawkins had a rough day yesterday: He allowed two runs in an inning of work in MLB's 5-3 win over the Chinese Taipei national team. MLB.com has a full recap.

In the minors:

  • Cody Scarpetta had another awful day in Arizona yesterday, retiring just one of the eight batters he faced and being saddled with seven earned runs in Peoria's 13-4 loss to Salt River. You can read about that in today's Winter League Notes.
  • Scooter Gennett is currently batting .383 in AFL play, fourth best in the prospect league. Tom Haudricourt says the team is not considering moving him back to shortstop, though.
  • Caleb Gindl has been out of the lineup lately for his Venezuelan team, and morineko discovered he's dealing with a strained quad.
  • Dave Paul of The Sarnia Observer talked to 2011 Brevard County Manatee Nick Bucci about his experiences playing for the Canadian national team this winter. (h/t @Mass_Haas)

Our MVBrewer series continued yeserday, with Rickie Weeks winning the #8 spot and being profiled here. Corey Hart has more or less lapped the field in the vote for #9.

If you'd like more Brewer content today but you're sick of reading, my Wednesday appearance on The Home Stretch with Justin Hull has been archived and can be heard here. If you're done with that and want more, this week's View From Bernie's Chalet podcast focuses on awards, minor moves and free agent predictions.

Around baseball:

Astros: Claimed infielder Brian Bixler off waivers from the Nationals.
Blue Jays: Released outfielder Adam Loewen and removed pitcher Jesse Carlson from the 40 man roster. Both are now free agents.
Braves: Signed outfielder Jordan Parraz to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.
Phillies: Re-signed infielder Pete Orr to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.
Rays: First baseman Dan Johnson has declined an outright assignment to the minors and is now a free agent.

Beyond Prince Fielder, the player likely to have the second most interesting offseason is Jose Reyes. At this point the market for his services is still largely speculative, but one Mets official is telling reporters the team has "no shot" to bring him back.

Today in former Brewers:

We talk a lot this time of year about free agent compensation, the draft picks awarded to teams who lose top-level free agents. If you're not entirely sure what that means, Jen Langosch of MLB.com has one of the better explanations I've seen.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 12th anniversary of Davey Lopes' hiring as Brewer manager in 1999. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also been 6000 days since the Brewers drafted Geoff Jenkins.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to poetry about frogs.

Drink up.

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