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Tuesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while having a new reason to hate Ft. Wayne.

The Brewers cleared a spot on their 40-man roster yesterday, but not in the way they had planned: The Astros claimed Jason Bourgeois off waivers when the Brewers tried to outright him to AAA (FanShot). Bourgeois hit .189/.250/.270 in 40 plate appearances as a Brewer, and .316/.354/.410 with 36 steals in 454 PAs for Nashville. Astros GM Ed Wade said he liked Bourgeois' versatility and expects him to compete for a spot in the outfield next spring.

With the World Series nearly ready to open, the Brewers are getting closer to decision time on Felipe Lopez. Baseball Reflections rated him as the top potential free agent second baseman this offseason.

It also wouldn't surprise me to discover they're working on a deal involving J.J. Hardy. Baseball Intellect took a look at Hardy's mechanics in an attempt to identify issues that came up last season, but found no notable changes. He expects Hardy to have a big bounce back season with a fresh start next spring.

We spent most of yesterday discussing Trevor Hoffman in the comments of yesterday's Mug. Today, we have more on Hoffman, as Miller Park Drunk has a post straddling the fence on the issue.

Up for more MVP talk? Quevedo at the Buffet has Prince Fielder second and Ryan Braun ninth on their MVP ballot.

In the minors and winter leagues:
  • Project Prospect ranked Brett Lawrie as the third best second base prospect in all of baseball. That's pretty high praise for a guy who's only spent a few weeks above Low-A.
  • Not only did Adam Heether hit in the minors this season, he's also spending the offseason in Venezuela showing off his grit: Plunk Everyone notes that Heether is tied for the VWL lead with 5 HBP.
  • The AFL's Peoria Javelinas picked up a 2-1 victory last night, moving into a tie for first place in the Western Division, with 20 games to play. You can read more about last night's game in today's Fall/Winter League Update.
While some Brewer farmhands spend the offseason in Arizona and across Latin America sharpening their skills, three other Brewers are in a variety of other places:
  • Rick Peterson was at the MLB Network Studios in New Jersey yesterday doing some taping for 3P Sports, his side venture. I guess I assumed some of that work would get back-burnered once Peterson was officially a Brewer.
  • Trevor Hoffman attended a U2 concert at the Rose Bowl with Rob Dibble.
  • Ryan Braun continues to work on his new restaurant. Adam McCalvy has more details on the plans for the Lake Geneva launch (scheduled for April), and the possibility of rapid expansion into Madison and/or Milwaukee. Meanwhile, Miller Park Drunk is not high on the idea.
I'm not quite ready to start looking ahead to Christmas yet but, if you are, then you may be interested in hearing more about the Brewer Holiday Cards that will be released on Friday. They'll be released as part of an event to "launch" Brewer Charities' presence on Twitter.

Just a quick reminder, in case you missed it yesterday: Brew Crew Ball is looking to add a weekend editor. Here are the details on what we're looking for. I'm hoping to wrap up the search within the next few days, so if you're interested, be sure to let me know.

Just one transaction note to pass along today:

Pirates: Pitcher Tyler Yates rejected an outright assignment to the minors and will become a free agent.

I've already announced my World Series allegiance: I'll be casually rooting for the Phillies if I happen to be in a place where the game's on, but I also doubt I'll stay up late enough to catch the end of most of the games. Tyler Maas of Bugs & Cranks also makes a half-hearted argument for supporting the Phillies. Amazin' Avenue will be cheering for the team that doesn't have Shane Victorino, and MetsGrrl reminds us that we're not legally obligated to pick a side. We'll have more on the topic later today.

Meanwhile, an unexpected prospect is making himself the early story of the Arizona Fall League. Grant Desme, a center fielder in the A's organization who just finished his first full professional season and has never played above High-A, has eight home runs in his first ten games, and is on pace to break the AFL record set by Angels prospect Brandon Wood in 2005. Desme has been the AFL's Player of the Week in each of the league's first two weeks.

Once the AFL is over, are you ready for the AWL? This is the first I'd heard of it, but apparently the Arizona Winter League is a showcase for independent players looking to latch on with a team before spring training. Players will report to their teams on January 24. In perhaps the most confusing part, the league has Arizona in its name but has four teams in a Canadian division. Baseball in Canada in January doesn't strike me as a good idea.

Happy birthday to two long time Brewers born on the same day: 1982 AL Cy Young Award winner Pete Vuckovich and four time 12-game winner Bill Travers. Both turn 57 today.

Oh, and today is a Woot-off day.

Drink up.