Tuesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while just writing whatever you want.

We're 32 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, meaning Corey Hart may only have about a month to acquire a first baseman's glove. A few months after saying it wasn't something they're considering, Doug Melvin reversed course yesterday and told The Big 1070 Corey Hart will be asked to play something like 30 games at first this season (FanShot). @Mass_Haas has a link to the full interview. On paper it would make some sense for Hart to take Mat Gamel's place against tough lefties, but Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar has a deeper look at it.

Hart might have an old friend in camp to help him make the adjustment: MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that Craig Counsell has decided to retire and accept a position in the Brewer front office (FanShot). 2011 was Counsell's 16th major league season and he retires having played 1624 games (711 as a Brewer), including over 300 at second, shortstop and third base.

Meanwhile, the Brewers crossed one more item off their offseason to-do list yesterday by signing Nyjer Morgan to a one year, $2.35 million deal to avoid arbitration (FanShot). That's $450,000 more than MLB Trade Rumors expected him to get, which is a pretty significant jump. Even with the possible overpay, though, the Brewers are only paying $4.35 million this season for the combined services of Morgan and Carlos Gomez.

We're under seven hours away from the deadline (for real this time) for the Brewers to make a decision on Norichika Aoki, and last night Tom Haudricourt said nothing was new in the negotiations. By 4 pm today the Brewers either have to sign Aoki to a contract or take back their $2.5 million posting fee.

Today's Prince Fielder notes both come via FanGraphs: Jim Breen has a vision of what the Rangers' lineup could look like with Fielder in Texas, and Matt Klaassen has a look at the decision could look like if they have to choose between signing Fielder and extending Josh Hamilton.

In the minors:

  • Carlos Gomez had two hits and stole a base in Aguilas' 3-1 win over Licey last night in the Dominican playoffs. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Notes.
  • Morris Dalla Costa of the London Free Press talked to recent 40 man roster addition Brock Kjeldgaard, who said he expects to open the season in AA. (h/t @Mass_Haas).
  • The Nashville Sounds are hiring one full time position (in their ticket office) and two interns for the coming season.
  • As of this writing Wily Peralta has an 80 vote lead on Taylor Jungmann for the #1 spot in our BCB Community Prospect Rankings. You have until 2 pm today to cast your vote, and the poll for the #2 spot will open shortly thereafter.

This isn't exactly a power ranking, but it's close enough: Off The Bench listed Ron Roenicke as baseball's sixth best manager.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Acquired outfielder Seth Smith from the Rockies for pitchers Josh Outman and Guillermo Moscoso.
Braves
: Avoided arbitration with reliever Eric O'Flaherty (one year, $2.49 million).
Dodgers: Avoided arbitration with outfielder Andre Ethier (one year, $10.95 million).
Giants: Avoided arbitration with outfielders Melky Cabrera (one year, $6 million) and Angel Pagan (one year, $4.85 million).
Nationals: Pitcher Gio Gonzalez's new deal will pay him $42 million over the next five seasons with two club options that could be worth up to $23 million if exercised. The team also avoided arbitration with catcher Jesus Flores (one year, $815,000).
Orioles: Avoided arbitration with pitchers Darren O'Day (one year, $1.35 million) and Jim Johnson (one year, $2.625 million).
Pirates: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Charlie Morton (one year, $2.445 million).
Rays: Avoided arbitration with pitcher J.P. Howell (one year, $1.35 million).
Red Sox: Signed pitcher Vicente Padilla to a one year deal worth $1.5 million plus incentives and avoided arbitration with pitcher Franklin Morales (one year, $850,000).
Reds: Signed outfielder Ryan Ludwick to a one year, $2.5 million deal with a mutual option for 2013 and signed catcher Dioner Navarro to a minor league deal.
Royals: Avoided arbitration with infielder Chris Getz (one year, $967,500) and catcher Brayan Pena (one year, $835,000).
Tigers: Avoided arbitration with pitchers Rick Porcello (one year, $3.1 million) and Phil Coke (one year, $1.1 million).
Yankees: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Phil Hughes (one year, $3.2 million).

I doubt the Brewers are considering moving spring training to Florida when their lease expires at Maryvale Baseball Park after this season, but if they are this could be an option: The Mets' facility in Port St. Lucie is currently undergoing renovations that could allow the facility to be shared by a second team.

Today in former Brewers: Rick Peterson has officially accepted the Orioles' offer to become their pitching development coordinator.

We've mentioned a couple of times this winter that new Brewer hitting coach Johnny Narron used to be Josh Hamilton's "accountability partner" in Texas. The Rangers had hired Hamilton's father-in-law to fill that role this season, but he's changed his mind.

Today in baseball economics: Despite the fact that they signed Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson this winter, the Angels' payroll is only projected to be up $8 million over what they spent last year.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History remembers the anniversary of Don Money's 1984 release, which ended his playing career. It also notes that today would have been Darrell Porter's 60th birthday, and Plunk Everyone points out that he's the most plunked batter born on January 17th.

That's all I've got for you today, unless you wanted a craft project.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to think of bird names.

Drink up.

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