Wednesday's Frosty Mug

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 17: Prince Fielder #28 of the Milwaukee Brewers waits to take batting practice before the start of their game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on April 17, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Last night was the Night of 1000 Mugs, which explains why I'm here. I hear the fallout from last night will be the basis for the next Hangover movie.

The countdown to pitchers and catchers reporting is down to 45 days. Or only a month and a half, if you want to look at it that way. Opening Day is 93 days away.

In Prince Fielder news:

  • Last night, MLB.com reported that Scott Boras recently met with Nats ownership. It's worth noting that Washington does have a good relationship with Boras, who also represents Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, and Jayson Werth.
  • Even if the Nats don't sign Fielder and let Ryan Zimmerman walk after 2013, they could be looking at a $100 million payroll thanks to arbitration raises to guys like Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, and Drew Storen. Of course, by 2015, a $100 million payroll may be the norm in baseball.
  • Larry Stone of The Seattle Times that Fielder is just the latest Boras client to push negotiations into January. Last year alone, Boras had three guys sign in this month -- Adrian Beltre, Rafael Soriano, and Johnny Damon.
  • Nick Eaton of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer worries that Fielder is slipping away from the Mariners.

Other Brewers news:

  • The 2012 ZiPS projections for the Brewers came out yesterday. Predictably good lines are projected for Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks, Aramis Ramirez (still weird to refer to him as a Brewer), and Corey Hart, but the interesting stuff is further down the page. For example, Norichika Aoki's projected line looks awfully similar to Caleb Gindl's. And ZiPS thinks Brock Kjeldgaard would strike out 245 times if he got 542 ABs. Now excuse me while I draw little hearts around Zack Greinke's projection.
  • John Axford sat down for a video interview with Forbes magazine to talk about things like social media, personal branding, and other things you would expect Forbes to discuss. The video lasts nearly 11 minutes, but it's an interesting take on Axford from a non-sports angle.
  • The Brewers' Fan-Tastic 40 series is back this winter. Some of the prizes this year include spending an inning in the radio booth, touring the roof of Miller Park, being a member of the grounds crew for a day and shadowing Adam McCalvy for a day.
  • It wasn't a very good night for Brewers in the Winter Leagues. Hiram Burgos was roughed up, and K-Rod gave up three hits and one run in his one inning of work.

In minor moves:

  • Former Brewers prospect Will Inman signed a minor-league deal with the Boston Red Sox that includes an invitation to Spring Training. Inman was a part of the Scott Linebrink trade in 2007, and ranked inside of Baseball America's Top 100 prospects that year. After dominating the lower levels of the minors, Inman stalled in Double A. He had a 6.15 ERA in 117 innings at Triple A Tucson last season.
  • Brad Nelson re-upped with the Rangers organization, signing another minor league deal.

Elsewhere:

  • Joe Torre has only had his job with Major League Baseball for about a year, but he's resigning as Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations to join a group in bidding on the Los Angeles Dodgers. Meanwhile, the deadline to bid on the Dodgers (for those of you with a billion to spare) has been pushed back to January 23.
  • Scott Boras wants $15-$17 million a year for Edwin Jackson. The Yankees' interest seems to be increasing, but probably not at that price considering how their signing of A.J. Burnett worked out.
  • The Twins invited 25 non-roster players to Spring Training. Hey, when you lose 99 games before, you might as well hold open tryouts.
  • The A's (re-)signed Coco Crisp for 2 years, $14 million.
  • The Rays signed Fernando Rodney to a $2 million deal. Perception is everything.
  • The Cardinals are apparently considering signing Roy Oswalt, which sounds a lot like the one-year chance they took on Lance Berkman last offseason.
  • In Japanese free agent news, it doesn't look like the Yankees will be able to come to a deal with infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima by the end of their 30-day negotiating window, mostly because they want to pay him like a bench player. Hisashi Iwakuma is close to signing a deal with the Mariners. Iwakuma was posted last offseason, but the A's were unable to sign him after winning negotiating rights, and Iwakuma became a free agent this year.

That's all I've got for today. As always, if I missed anything, feel free to throw it into the comments. Thanks to Kyle for letting me fill in again. Drink up.

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