Some things to read while unfollowing.
Almost immediately after I posted yesterday's Mug we got more news and clarification regarding Norichika Aoki. The Brewers have now officially been announced as the high bidder for his negotiating rights, giving them 30 days to work out a deal. Adam McCalvy has a reminder that their $2.5 million bid is fully refundable, so the risk is pretty low here but Todd Rosiak says they still waited until the last minute to decide to submit an offer. McCalvy says the Brewers plan to bring Aoki to Maryvale after the holidays for a workout with Brewer coaches and club officials.
Nick Prill of The Brewers Bar has a look at three different ways the situations with Ryan Braun and Aoki could play out. Christina Kahrl of ESPN has a look at how the new Japanese baseball impacted Aoki's game and reopens the "Corey Hart to first base" debate.
If you'd like to take a deeper look at Aoki's numbers, Baseball Reference has added Japanese stats to their site. It seems like they picked the best possible time for it.
Meanwhile, the perpetual conversation regarding Ryan Braun continues. Todd Rosiak of the JS threw some cold water on yesterday's "medication" report, saying people are "putting way too much veracity in these 'reports' that are coming out, IMO." Meanwhile, if you'd like to register your support for Braun you can join the Believe in Braun #8 Facebook or Twitter pages.
Here are today's Prince Fielder notes:
- Baseball Past and Present says the Marlins need Prince Fielder.
Lookout Landing has a list of frequently asked questions about Fielder and the Mariners.
If you were planning on giving the gift of baseball this holiday season, your time is almost up. Today is the last day to buy a Brewers Holiday 4-Pack.
In the minors: Erick Almonte was the only Brewer in action in the Caribbean yesterday, but he scored a run in Gigantes' 4-2 win over Licey. You can read more about that in today's Winter League Notes.
If you haven't yet, please take a moment today to vote in this week's BCB Tracking Poll. Voting will remain open through the day today and results will be posted tomorrow.
Elsewhere in self-promotion: Here's a reminder that the BCB Book Club will be meeting tonight to discuss the final chapters and epilogue of The Extra 2%. Catch up on your reading and meet us back here at 7.
This morning's Mug is the 991st in BCB history. Even though the math no longer lines up perfectly, we're still holding The Night of (Approximately) 1000 Mugs two weeks from today, on January 3 at Rounding Third.
Dodgers: Signed pitcher John Grabow to a minor league deal.
Nationals: Signed outfielder Mike Cameron to a minor league deal.
Padres: Signed outfieler Jeremy Hermida to a minor league deal.
Phillies: Shortstop Jimmy Rollins' new contract includes three options for 2015: a $11mm vesting option, $8mm club option and $5mm player option.
Last night's big news around baseball was the announcement that the Rangers won the bidding for the rights to negotiate with pitcher Yu Darvish of the Nippon Ham Fighters, offering $51.7 million to his former team if they can reach an agreement on a contract. $51.7 million is more than the Royals, Pays, Pirates, Padres and Indians spent on their entire rosters in 2011.
In former Brewers:
- Bill Hall reports he's lost ten pounds in the last two weeks.
- Jerry Augustine will join Doug Melvin at the Dug-Out Club's annual winter banquet in Madison in January.
Today in baseball economics:
- The Seattle Times has a look at how one Mariners minority owner was able to leverage his share of the team into several financial benefits, including a $50 million loan.
- The Mariners, by the way, are earning $45 million per season for their broadcast rights, and can renegotiate their deal following the 2015 season.
I could scour the internet day and night and I doubt I'd find anything cooler and more fascinating than this: Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus found a copy of a 1970s comic book featuring a baseball game between teams of superheroes and supervillians, complete with a full play-by-play. Come for the action, stay for the ridiculous bunting.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History notes the fourth anniversary of Geoff Jenkins' departure from Milwaukee for good. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the 28th anniversary of the trade that sent Brewer all time wins leader Jim Slaton to the Angels and the 16th anniversary of B.J. Surhoff leaving the Brewers to sign with the Orioles, and it's also been 10000 days since Rollie Fingers' 1984 back surgery.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to keep it brief.