Thursday's Frosty Mug: Snowy Days Waiting For Spring

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Take a break from your shoveling to read today's roundup of all things Brewers.

Some things to read while waking up in a new place.

While many/most of us are looking out the window watching white death fall from the sky, let's take a moment and think warmer thoughts. It'll be a bright, sunny day when the Brewers report to Maryvale in February and yesterday we learned that righthander Alfredo Figaro will be one of the players in attendance. He signed a minor league deal with a major league camp invitation.

Figaro is 28 and has spent the last two years working as a starting pitcher in Japan. Adam McCalvy notes that Figaro is playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic, where his manager is Nashville skipper Mike Guerrero. We've got much more on him (including video of him hitting a home run in Japan) in the previous link.

While one new Brewer moves in, two old friends have moved on. Travis Ishikawa and Zach Braddock signed minor league deals with the Orioles yesterday and received invitations to spring training. Ishikawa was outrighted off the roster by the Brewers this winter and Braddock was released by the team in May.

Elsewhere in spring training invites, Adam McCalvy reports that Caleb Gindl's number has changed and he'll wear #15 in Maryvale this spring. Gindl is likely still a long shot to open the season on the roster, but that would suggest his chances have improved.

Of course, it'd be nice if the Brewers also had another starting pitcher to bring to camp. Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew says they should check in on Tigers pitchers Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly.

If the Brewers don't find another starter between now and February it could be an uphill climb to contention in 2013. J.P. Breen of Disciples of Uecker asks if the Brewers can win with a below-average rotation.

Apparently chicks (and Yahoo writers) do not dig guys with limited budgets: David Brown of Yahoo ranked Doug Melvin as baseball's 25th sexiest general manager.

It does appear, though, that Melvin made the right move when he signed this guy last winter: Aramis Ramirez hit the third longest home run by a Brewer in 2012.

In the minors:

Around baseball:

Angels: Acquired pitcher Jason Vargas from the Mariners for 1B Kendrys Morales.
Astros
: Designated outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin for assignment and acquired pitcher John Ely from the Dodgers for a minor leaguer.
Blue Jays
: Claimed pitcher Mickey Storey off waivers from the Astros and signed outfielder Ryan Langerhans, pitcher Ramon Ortiz and infielder Lance Zawadzki to minor league deals.
Cardinals: Signed catcher J.R. Towles to a minor league deal.
Cubs
: Signed pitcher Carlos Villanueva to a two-year, $10 million deal.
Diamondbacks: Hired Steve Sax and Turner Ward as their new first base and assistant hitting coaches.
Orioles: Signed pitcher Daniel Schlereth to a minor league deal.
Red Sox: Designated pitcher Pedro Beato for assignment.
Yankees: Designated pitcher Jim Miller for assignment.

Turner Ward was a 1994-96 Brewer.

Today in former Brewers: Billy Jo Robidoux is the inaugural profile in Value Over Replacement Grit's "Most Memorable Names Project."

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History celebrates Cecil Cooper's 63rd birthday. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times also noted the following anniversaries:

  • The Brewers trading franchise wins leader Jim Slaton to the Angels in 1983.
  • B.J. Surhoff signing with the Orioles as a free agent in 1995.
  • The Brewers trading Fernando Vina to the Cardinals in 1999.

Today also would have been Watertown, Wisconsin native Fred Merkle's 124th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 44 career HBP are the third most ever for a player born on December 20.

Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time for lunch.

Drink up.

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