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Filed under: Off-Season Preview

Patrick Ebert at has an excellent article called "Hot Stove Preview." In the article Patrick describes the various off-season transactions that can/will happen, and especially useful are his timelines.

He even takes a crack at predictions, agreeing with Al, who mentioned a couple weeks ago that the Brewers might pursue Bill Mueller.

This, however, makes little sense to me since the Brewers & Helms have come to a mutual quasi-agreement to let Wes Helms walk. I can't imagine Mueller being much less expensive, though he'd probably produce more than Helms, even at 35. So, even though it's an upgrade, it doesn't seem to be a role the Brewers are that interested in filling, especially given their current depth and 2005 draft. And, if you bring Mueller in, and pay him what you would be paying Wes Helms to come off the bench, or platoon with Billy Hall, why not start him at third and trade Hall? Because it's the expensive short term solution, exactly what Melvin wants to avoid.

Al and Patrick seem to both agree that Doug Melvin may look to add a veteran OF as well. In Jenkins, Lee, and Clark we have three veteran OFs already. In Corey Hart and Nelson Cruz we have up-and-coming talent. Hart can play all three OF positions, too. Why bring in another veteran OF, this guy would just steal playing time from Cruz, Hart and possibly Krynzel.

This offense is on the verge of gelling into something great, and great for a long time, I say don't tinker with it. Add a veteran arm to the bullpen or the starting rotation, but don't steal playing time from Billy Hall, Fielder, Weeks, Hardy, Hart & Cruz. Not next year.

Anyway, here's the first paragraph of this great article:

Coming off of the first non-losing season since 1992 many to most fans of the Milwaukee Brewers are entering the offseason with an excitement not felt in quite some time. General Manager Doug Melvin has led the team to that magical mark, and now he is shouldered with the load to take the team to the next level. New owner Mark Attanasio may be just as important if he provides Melvin with the financial resources necessary for the Brewers to make any necessary improvements for the team to take the next step. This feature will point out specific dates to look forward to this offseason while breaking down some of the areas the team may be looking to improve.

Read the rest here.