Thursday's Frosty Mug: Packing Up And Heading Home

Bob Levey

The Winter Meetings wrap up in Nashville this morning, and we may know less now than we did when the Brewers got there.

Some things to read while moving the mouse to your other hand.

Day Four of baseball's Winter Meetings is really just a partial day, as most teams participate in this morning's Rule 5 Draft before catching the first cab to the airport. The Nationals are moving even faster, as they departed last night.

Nonetheless, the Rule 5 Draft is the final order of business this morning, scheduled for 9 am. Baseball America has a full draft order showing the Brewers picking 16th, although there's a strong chance they'll pass. Bucs Dugout has a draft preview that includes a note on Brewer farmhand and former sandwich round pick Kyle Heckathorn, and Tom Haudricourt has a reminder that Eric Farris has also been left unprotected for the minor league phase.

With the meetings all but over, it looks like the Brewers will return home with their biggest transaction of the week being Chris Jakukauskas' minor league signing yesterday. The longtime independent leaguer is 33 and split the 2012 season in AAA between the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks organizations.

Even if a transaction doesn't happen at the meetings, though, it's possible the groundwork for one is laid there. Doug Melvin met yesterday with agent Greg Genske, who represents Edwin Jackson and J.P. Howell among other free agents.

With that said, if the Brewers wait too much longer to make a move the market may move on without them. Adam McCalvy has a look at their bullpen options now that Sean Burnett (Angels) and Randy Choate (Cardinals) are off the table.

It also looks like it's possible that things aren't going to work out between the Brewers and Ryan Dempster. Tom Haudricourt reports the two sides have reached an impasse over Dempster's desire for a three year deal.

Sometimes a quiet week isn't all your fault: Doug Melvin told Adam McCalvy that the Brewers have lost out on three waiver claims this winter because their 2012 record leaves them in the middle of the pack in waiver priority.

In free agency:

It's tough to tell if he was serious or just thinking out loud, but in his press briefing earlier this week Ron Roenicke suggested that Rickie Weeks could return to the leadoff spot in 2013. Colin Bennett of Reviewing the Brew has a look at the possibility.

At least Craig Counsell will be back for 2013. He recently removed his name from consideration for Boston's hitting coach vacancy and told Adam McCalvy he's not ready to start coaching. He'll remain in the Brewer front office instead.

In the minors: Mark McCarter of the Huntsville Times talked to Ron Roenicke about current and recent Brewer farmhands Hunter Morris, Jean Segura and Jim Henderson. (h/t @Mass_Haas)

Around baseball:

Angels: Signed pitchers Joe Blanton (two years, $15 million plus a club option) and Sean Burnett (two years, $8 million plus a club option).
Braves: Exercised manager Fredi Gonzalez's 2014 contract option.
Cardinals: Signed reliever Randy Choate to a three year, $7.5 million deal.
Cubs: Signed outfielder Nate Schierholtz to a one year, $2.25 million contract.
Diamondbacks: Signed 1B/3B Eric Chavez to a one year, $3 million deal and re-signed catcher Wil Nieves to a one year, $800,000 deal.
Mariners: Signed outfielder Jason Bay (terms undisclosed).
Orioles: Signed first baseman Conor Jackson and pitcher Adam Russell to minor league deals and outfielder Nate McLouth to a one year, $2 million deal.
Padres: Pitcher Andrew Cashner may be limited in spring training after getting stabbed in the thumb in a hunting accident.
Rays: Signed outfielder Jason Bourgeois to a minor league deal.
Rockies: Re-signed pitcher Jeff Francis to a one year deal.
White Sox: Signed infielder Jeff Keppinger to a three year, $12 million deal.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need more costumes.

Drink up.

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