Tuesday's Frosty Mug: Camp Battles Approach

Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

We're talking about the competition for the Brewers' final roster spots and more in today's daily news roundup.

Some things to read while sharpening your pencils.

We are one week away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale for a spring training camp with an unusual number of unanswered questions. Dave Radcliffe of Yahoo has the top story this morning with a look at likely battles for playing time at first base and the final spots in the rotation, infield, outfield and bullpen.

Mark Rogers is certainly a contender in the rotation competition, and his lack of minor league options means he could also be a candidate for the bullpen if needed. Yesterday Conner Boyd wrote a BCB tryout post looking at Rogers and his chances of sticking in the majors long term.

Michael Gonzalez likely won't be a part of any of those battles, as his new contract almost assures him a spot in the bullpen. Matthew Leach of MLB.com listed Gonzalez among five smart under-the-radar acquisitions of this offseason.

Elsewhere in new acquisitions, Burke Badenhop talked to Andrew Gruman of Fox Sports Wisconsin about his role on the 2013 Brewers. He seems like a great guy to have around, and understands the relatively-anonymous role of successful middle reliever.

John Axford likely can also count on having a spot on the roster, but he's still coming to camp early: He ditched his plan to RV to Arizona and flew into Phoenix last night.

Rickie Weeks is also almost certainly guaranteed a spot on the roster and in the Opening Day lineup, but he still has a lot to prove after a down year in 2012. Justin Schultz of Reviewing the Brew has a look at Weeks as a bounceback candidate.

In the minors:

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

Around baseball:

Athletics: Acquired infielder Jed Lowrie and outfielder Fernando Rodriguez from the Astros for first baseman Chris Carter and two minor leaguers.
Giants: Claimed infielder Tony Abreu off waivers from the Royals.
Indians: Signed outfielder Jeremy Hermida to a minor league deal.
Orioles: Signed pitcher Joel Pineiro to a minor league deal.
Tigers: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Max Scherzer (one year, $6.725 million).

Pitcher Brad Peacock was one of the minor leaguers sent to the Astros in the Lowrie trade, and news came to him while he was driving from his home in Florida to A's camp in Phoenix. He had to turn around and drive back to Houston's facility in Kissimmee.

You can read more about the Lowrie trade and all of the action around baseball yesterday in MLB Daily Dish's Breakfast Links.

Baseball's most unusual transaction yesterday came from Toronto, where the Blue Jays have signed manager John Gibbons to a new contract with rolling vesting options. As long as Gibbons remains employed by the team, he gets an extra year tacked onto his contract each January to keep him from ever becoming a "lame duck."

Today in statistical notes: High Heat Stats has a look at rookie-eligible major leaguers who have been eligible for the batting title over time, and how their ranks have slowly dwindled.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History celebrates Hank Aaron's 79th birthday. For more on Hammerin' Hank, check out Joe Posnanski's birthday post.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm not sure I can fix this.

Drink up.

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