We're on the brink of the slowest baseball news weeks of the year, so a few crumbs for ya...
Melvin, assistant Gord Ash, pitching coach Mike Maddux and bullpen coach Bill Castro had lunch with Kolb on Tuesday to discuss his possible return to the Brewers. Kolb flourished with the Brewers in 2004, becoming an all-star closer, which was the center of conversation.
Pittsburgh still needs a third sacker after losing Bill Mueller to the Dodgers, but don't count on the Pirates trading for Branyan:
As arose in a the comments of a thread last week, Joe Randa is a better option than I had given him credit for. He may be no Adrian Beltre--last year, actually, he was better, by OPS+--but league-average or better offense with decent D at the hot corner is probably worth $3m in 2006. Maybe, despite his age, Randa can get a $6m/2 type of deal. Aside from the minor difference in position scarcity, he's better than Mark Grudzielanek, who just got $4m to play in triple-A next year. [KC is still in MLB--ed.] May the Pirates continue overpaying to fill positions that are already filled, while the Brewers do not.
Oh, and, happy birthday, Joe Randa. And...Ty Cobb would've turned 119 today, doubtless still hitting well above replacement level.