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Tuesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while waiting for the "take off" sign.

Start your preparations now so you'll be ready to hold your breath for the entire WBC, as Ryan Braun is on the roster for Team USA and Yovani Gallardo is on the roster for Team Mexico. Follow the second link to see where seven other Brewers, including R.J. Swindle, Brett Lawrie, Mark DiFelice and Jorge Julio, will be playing. All of these rosters are preliminary, meaning any or all of these players could still pull out. The last thing the 2009 Brewers need is Yovani Gallardo logging high-pressure innings in March.

So what about Adam Dunn? Everyone seems to be talking about him the last few days. Chuckie Hacks wants to know if you'd rather have him or Corey Hart. (If you vote for Hart, you might be the first one.) Conversation on this topic has been going on in the FanShots for days: jihad has a look at what the Brewers would lose defensively if Hart had to move to center, BrewerBlue87 thinks the Brewers should go for it, and Braun Holio already has a home in mind for Corey Hart. Also, KFFL wants to know what happened to Hart in September.

Meanwhile, the bandwagon is starting to fill up with pundits who would like to see the Brewers trade Prince Fielder. Gerry Fraley of The Sporting News just climbed on. Baseball by Paul ranked Fielder as the sixth best fantasy 1B for 2009. If you haven't yet, you should head over and project Fielder for yourself in the BCB Community Projections.

Whatever the Brewers end up doing this offseason, the excuse for not doing more had better not be "lack of resources." Yesterday the team announced they've already sold 1 million tickets for next season. This is the earliest they've ever reached that milestone.

Let's take a quick look around the minors:
  • As Jeff noted in a FanShot, Alcides Escobar was 22 runs above average defensively in Huntsville last season.
  • Jim Callis of Baseball America says he'd take Alcides Escobar over Rangers prospect Elvis Andrus. The Rangers recently moved Michael Young to third to make room for Andrus.
  • If you're feeling retrospective, Hardball Warriors has compiled the last few BA Top 10 lists on one page, for easy perusal.
  • Bernie's Crew has profiles up for five minor league free agents the Brewers have recently signed, primarily as depth and filler.
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There are several former Brewers making hot stove news today:
  • Eric Gagne is either close to a deal with the Twins or just one of several options they're considering, depending on your source.
  • Ben Sheets and the Mets are reportedly not close to any kind of agreement: Sheets wants two years, and the Mets are looking for something closer to the incentive-laden one-year deal Brad Penny signed. The Reds are reportedly unlikely to get involved.
  • Craig Counsell is reportedly drawing interest from the Mariners. The Brewers are also interested in bringing him back.
  • Joe Dillon, who was designated for assignment for the second time this offseason a couple of weeks ago, cleared waivers and is headed to AAA.
Elsewhere on the hot stove:

D-Backs: Randy Wolf reportedly rejected an offer from the team, about a week after Jon Garland did the same.
Orioles: Signed a six-year, $66 million deal with Nick Markakis, buying out his three arbitration seasons and his first three years of free agency. They also traded Randor Bierd to the Red Sox for reliever David Pauley.
Phillies: Avoided arbitration by signing Ryan Madson to a three-year deal worth $12 million.
Rangers have reportedly reached agreement on a one-year deal with Omar Vizquel.
Reds: Signed Jonny Gomes to a minor league deal.

Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is quickly becoming a popular fellow. First, he spent $46 million on two adjacent houses in Malibu while Manny Ramirez is unsigned. Then, he left early at the Baseball Scouts Dinner, right in the middle of a speech by Hall of Famer Dave Winfield.

Got some time to kill today? AZ Snakepit wants your team of Alphabet All Stars. If you're lacking inspiration or just can't find a player starting with I, Recondite Baseball has the list of baseball's most and least common initials.

Oh, and by all accounts it's hard to make it to the big leagues as a manager, and even harder to win a Manager of the Year Award. But with that said, buying a Manager of the Year Award only costs about $200 on Ebay.

Drink up.