Tuesday's Frosty Mug: Welcoming Donnie Murphy

Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

The Brewers have added a utility infielder to the spring training mix, but their winter shopping list still has several unmet needs.

Some things to read while finding your day on the calendar.

The Brewers' long news drought finally broke yesterday when the team signed utility infielder Donnie Murphy to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training. Murphy is 30, can play all over the infield and has played parts of seven major league seasons as a member of three teams. We've got much more about him in the above link.

Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash told Tom Haudricourt the Brewers were looking at several utility options, but Murphy was the first to accept their offer. Jaymes Langrehr of Disciples of Uecker says Murphy could provide solid depth in Nashville if he doesn't make the major league roster.

If Murphy had been taken into consideration this number might have gone up to something like 2.2%: Noted leisured gentleman and BBWAA member Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs used recent Vegas odds to give the Brewers a 2.1% chance of winning the 2013 World Series.

Of course, it's unlikely Murphy will be this winter's last move for the Brewers. Doug Melvin appeared on MLB Network Radio yesterday and made a list of five relievers we can now consider as possibilities:

  • Former Blue Jays righthander Jason Frasor.
  • Former Nationals, Rangers and Orioles lefty Mike Gonzalez.
  • Former Mets, Blue Jays and Twins righthander Jon Rauch.
  • Journeyman righty Kyle Farnsworth.
  • Former Mets, Giants and Red Sox righthander Ramon Ramirez.

@Mass_Haas has more from Melvin's interview on Twitter.

If the Brewers don't find more bullpen help on the market, it could be a long 2013 season. Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew has a look at the Brewers' current reliever depth chart.

Meanwhile, any pitchers who come to Milwaukee this winter may benefit from having noted above average pitch framer Jonathan Lucroy behind the plate during their appearances. Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs notes that Gallardo has gotten about 23 more called strikes than one would expect per 1000 pitches over the last five seasons, putting him among the major league leaders in that category.

Our day-by-day look at 2012's longest home runs continued yesterday with Ryan Braun's first appearance on the list at #5. Braun also made a prominent appearance on Jaymes Langrehr of Disciples of Uecker's look at 2012's best baserunning GIFs.

You can file this under "absolutely not surprising:" Bill Petti of FanGraphs listed Carlos Gomez among baseball's most volatile hitters from the 2012 season.

If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, I'll be appearing on The Sports Den with Downtown Ollie Burrows on SportsFan 100.5 in Wausau at 5:30.

Around baseball:

Angels: Signed infielder Luis Rodriguez to a minor league deal.
Astros: Signed first baseman/DH Carlos Pena to a one-year, $2.9 million deal and designated pitcher Mickey Storey for assignment.
Athletics: Signed Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima to a two-year, $6.5 million contract with an option for 2015.
Blue Jays: Acquired pitcher R.A. Dickey and catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas from the Mets for catchers Travis D'Arnaud and John Buck and two minor leaguers and signed Dickey to a three-year, $30 million contract extension.
Cubs: Designated pitcher Jeff Beliveau for assignment.
Giants: Signed reliever Santiago Casilla to a three-year, $15 million extension with a club option for 2016, avoiding arbitration.

The Dickey trade puts us into territory we haven't seen recently: Toronto may very well enter the 2013 season as the favorite to win the AL East. Jon Morosi of Fox Sports polled 20 scouts and executives yesterday and 13 of them predicted the Blue Jays to win the division over the Yankees, Orioles, Rays and Red Sox.

Today in former Brewers:

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 18th anniversary of the final NFL game at Milwaukee County Stadium. Today is also Milwaukee native Joe Randa's 43rd birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 55 career HBP are the second most ever for a player born on December 18.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to up my game.

Drink up.

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