Some things to read while sneaking in a snack.
Award season continued last night with some good news for the Brewers, as Ryan Braun won his fifth consecutive Silver Slugger Award after leading the NL in home runs, runs scored, total bases and OPS. Braun is only the fourth Brewer outfielder ever to win the award and obviously the first to do it five times. Rob Neyer noted that Braun (who turns 29 next week) and Derek Jeter (who is 38) now have won the award the same number of times.
Braun, by the way, is the only current Brewer on For Baseball Junkies' updated Brewer All-Time Team. He's also one of three Brewers nominated for a Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) Award.
Depending on who you ask, this might actually be bigger Braun news: Yesterday Busted Coverage broke the news that Braun is engaged to lingerie model Larisa Fraser. Miller Park Drunk, of course, has the reaction.
Today in free agency:
- Ken Rosenthal says the Brewers are interested in Ryan Dempster, whose age (he'll be 36 in May) may be scaring the Dodgers away from offering a long term deal.
- Kevin Kaduk of Yahoo is still listing the Brewers as one of three candidates to sign Josh Hamilton, but Rosenthal doesn't have them on his list of four teams.
- Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post wonders if the Nationals could be a fit for Zack Greinke.
- Jose Veras is the second former Brewer this week (joining Alex Gonzalez) to hire Praver Shapiro as his new agency.
Veras, by the way, was the subject of Nate's MVBrewers Honorable Mention post yesterday. We've still got a couple of posts left in that part of the series, and the next one will run at 2 today.
Nyjer Morgan is also a free agent this winter, inspiring Tyler Maas of The A.V. Club Milwaukee to look back at his best moments with the Brewers.
Having your top prospects continue to refine their game in winter ball always seems like a good idea until something like this happens: Jean Segura was lifted from last night's game in the Dominican Republic after being hit by pitches twice. That's all we know at this point, hopefully it's nothing serious.
Elsewhere in the minors:
- Johnny Hellweg, Hunter Morris and Arcenio Leon were also in action last night and you can read all about it in today's Winter League Recap.
- Entering the day yesterday noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs had Segura among the DWL prospect leaders in his SCOUT stat.
- Congratulations are due out this morning to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, announced yesterday as the winner of the national Larry MacPhail Award for the top promotional effort in Minor League Baseball. They'll be honored at the Winter Meetings in Nashville.
- Rattler Radio, by the way, has a video update from the renovation project at Time Warner Cable Field.
The Brewers continued their 2013 bobblehead announcements yesterday with another notable alum: They'll be giving out Gorman Thomas bobbles to all fans to attend the Sunday, September 1 game against the Angels.
I might try to go to Miller Park for some of this year's bobblehead games, but I can assure you I won't be there on this day: Country star Kenny Chesney will play Miller Park on May 18 as part of his "No Shoes Nation" tour, which will also feature Eric Church, the Eli Young Band and Kasey Musgraves.
Angels: Signed pitcher Mitch Stetter to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.
Blue Jays: Signed infielder Maicer Izturis to a three year, $9 million deal with a club option for 2016, acquired pitcher Jeremy Jeffress from the Royals for cash and designated pitcher Scott Maine for assignment.
Indians: Signed pitcher Hector Rondon and infielder Luis Hernandez to minor league deals with invitations to spring training.
Marlins: Named Tino Martinez as their new hitting coach.
Phillies: Avoided arbitration with infielder Kevin Frandsen (one year, $850,000 plus incentives).
Rangers: Acquired pitcher Tommy Hottovy from the Royals for a PTBNL and cash.
Reds: Pitcher Bill Bray and infielder Wilson Valdez have refused outright assignments to the minors and are now free agents.
Because of the 2013 World Baseball Classic, we're a little closer to spring training than we'd typically be at this point. The Brewers haven't made their spring training schedule official yet, but the Astros have announced that they already have a game on February 23.
Today in former Brewers:
- 1980s Brewer pitcher Mike Birkbeck was named Baseball America's College Assistant Coach of the Year for his work as pitching coach at Kent State.
- Dante Bichette reportedly turned the Rockies down when they called to ask if he was interested in their vacant hitting coach position.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to write about everything else.