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Tuesday's Frosty Mug - Straight out of the Tap

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Something to read while considering skin treatments.

Another day, another fill-in.  Who am I you ask?  Why Mark Lange of course, but that's probably not enough.  First off, I am an unemployed sports reporter (no joke, I was even on television for a while; it may have been Duluth, MN, but still, it was legit).  Second, and more importantly, I am the main contributor on Wisconsin Sports Tap.  We're admittedly Brewer-centric, but we do our best to cover the Badgers, Packers and to a far lesser extent, the Bucks.

In fact, wouldn't it be convenient if we happened to have two fantastic Crew stories up right now?  Well we do! If you followed us on Twitter you'd already know that though (@WI_SportsTap, or me personally: @MillerParkNorth).  But in the meantime, here's what we have going:

My fellow founding contributor looks at the Brewers chances of bringing John Lackey into the fold for 2010.

And I continue ranking the Crew's positional prospects, today the third basemen.

Here are Five Predictions for the Brewers in this Hot Stove League.

5. Have a Catch(er)?  Angel Salome isn't ready for the major leagues and the team is down on him anyways.  So if the team were to have a prospect make the jump, it would have to be Jon Lucroy.  And why not?  The conservative approach the team has taken with prospects has always been a point of frustration with Brewer Nation, a prospect hasn't been rushed to the big leagues since Ryan Braun.  If the team likes Lucroy as much as they seem to, bypassing Triple-A might not be a bad idea.  If that's the case bringing back Mike Rivera would make the most sense, he's accustomed to a backup role and knows the team's returning pitchers well.  Also this would save a good chunk of money by not bringing back Jason Kendall.  But who am I kidding, Kendall and his .240 average will be back.

4. Jarrod's not coming.   After the disaster of a contract that GM Doug Melvin gave to Jeff Suppan, don't expect him to pony up four more years for a lefty who will be 35 before the end of next season.  Not to mention the fact that Washburn struggled and was hurt after being traded to Detroit last year.  In the first three years of his contract with the Mariners he had ERAs of 4.67, 4.32 and 4.69.  Why would you go after him when a comparable pitcher might be had for less money and less years?  Who is that pitcher?  I'm glad you asked...

3. Welcome back Double-D!  That's right, Doug Davis.  If you're going to sign a 34 year old left-hander why not bring in a guy you have a previous relationship with, is open to a return, and likely can be had for less years and less money (word is Davis is looking for a three-year deal and may be willing to go to a two-year offer).  Davis may walk more batters than Washburn, but he's otherwise a similar pitcher.  Also he had the misfortune to play home games in Chase Field, a notorious hitters park while Washburn played in the cavernous Safeco Field where he struggled for three of four years.

2. Mat Gamel will Stay.  I'm sure the team would love to add a young arm, and Gamel might bring that.  But with a wave of young, talented pitchers approaching Double-A and Triple-A Milwaukee would be wise to keep Gamel in house.  He is the type of high-ceiling prospect the team will need in the event that Prince Fielder can't be signed long term.  Plus the struggle of prospect Taylor Green in Double-A and the Arizona Fall League make you question his big league ability.  Until you know for sure what Casey McGehee brings to the table trading Gamel would be a mistake.

1. John Lackey will be a Brewer in 2010.  Or he might not, it's really hard to say.  If middle market teams are doing most of the bidding than the Brewers will have a very good chance of signing Lackey.  If teams like the Yankees, Red Sox or Phillies decide to get involved his cost will be too much for Milwaukee to bring him to the team.  With big money off the books this year and next, the team will make a very competitive offer.

I'm generally not one to deliver a load of links to my readers, but here's what I'm reading.

Miller Park Drunk and Al's Ramblings had a nice back and forth about the Carlos Gomez acquisition.  Anybody else remember when Gomez was the selling point in the Twins trade of Johan Santana?

The Free Agent Rankings are out, and the Brewers have five Type B players, Bernie's Crew has a good Breakdown.

Craig Counsell and David Weathers have officially filed for free agency.

Around the Central, Todd Wellemeyer, Kevin Gregg and Jose Valverde have all filed as well.

And in the downer category, Jon Heyman thinks the Yanks will be interested in John Lackey.

In fact SI.com has a good look at this offseason and the riskiest free agents in it.  Rich Harden riskier than Ben Sheets?  At least Harden pitched last year.

One more thing, since J.J. Hardy has finally been traded this is a good time to re-hash this old gem.

Drink up, it's all local brews on the Tap.