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Thursday's Frosty Mug

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No opening joke today.

So Ken Rosenthal and The Official Site are reporting that the Brewers are close to a deal with Trevor Hoffman. Oddly, one site is reporting Hoffman as being close to a deal with the Dodgers instead. Rumorville has been all over this.

I'm still not sure I like the move. Sure, Hoffman gives the Brewers the cool entrance they've been lacking. (That entrance is so cool its sunglasses are wearing sunglasses.) But the team's biggest need (starting pitching) is still unaddressed while the Brewers braintrust is off spending money on a 41-year-old reliever who gives up a lot of fly balls. I feel about the same way today as I did after the Gagne signing: I'm glad the team is doing something, I'm hopeful it works out, but it's not the move I wanted or perhaps even one I would have made.

I'm going to guess Bleacher Report hadn't taken this move into consideration when rating Doug Melvin as baseball's third best GM.

Beyond that, it's a slow news day again, so it's time to play "Where are they now?" with former Brewers:
  • Joe Dillon, snagged off waivers by the A's when the Brewers designated him for assignment after the season, has been designated for assignment again to make room on Oakland's roster for Jason Giambi.
  • Kevin Barker, who has made a grand total of 38 big league plate appearances since his last appearance as a Brewer in 2000, has been invited to spring training by the Reds.
On the hot stove:

A's: Are reportedly waiting and hoping Bobby Abreu and/or Orlando Hudson will slip into their price range.
Mets: Are reportedly interested in backup infielders Alex Cora, David Eckstein and Craig Counsell, but would have to unload Luis Castillo first.
Nationals: John Patterson is retiring at age 30. He hasn't been healthy enough to be a contributor since 2005.
Red Sox: Have reportedly reached agreements with both John Smoltz and Rocco Baldelli.
Reds: are reportedly talking to the Yankees about acquiring Nick Swisher or Xavier Nady, neither of whom have a consistent place to play in New York.

Going back to the Smoltz move, Braves' management's failure to retain their long-time ace has created quite a bit of vitriol from the blog community, and caused some bloggers to dig up some old stories on Wren, like this borderline unbelievable tale of the time he instructed the Orioles' team plane to take off without Cal Ripken.

Finally, kudos to David Brown of Yahoo for this story on the annual benefit dinner for scouts. It astonishes me that Major League Baseball can get away with pocketing billions, then holding a benefit dinner for people they've underpaid.

Drink up.