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Thursday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while getting the dog more fiber.

While it's hardly Earth-shattering, the Brewers made an interesting move yesterday, claiming catcher George Kottaras off waivers from Boston (FanShot). Kottaras is 26 and a former top prospect in the Padres organization. He reportedly requested his release, as he wasn't going to get much playing time with both Jason Varitek and Victor Martinez back in Boston next season. Here's a quick list of things to know about him:
  • He appeared in three games for the Red Sox in 2008, but saw his first significant MLB action in 2009, when he hit .237/.308/.387 in 107 PAs (45 games).
  • He's spent parts of the last four seasons in AAA, hitting .239/.331/.424.
  • He's out of options, so he'll either have to make the team in spring training or be placed on waivers.
  • He's left handed. The other three Brewer catchers on the 40-man roster (Mike Rivera, Angel Salome and Jonathan Lucroy) are all righties.
Doug Melvin acknowledged that this move was made for depth, not because he sees Kottaras as a front line catcher in 2010. With that said, this move probably isn't good news for Mike Rivera. Rivera is 33 and eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason, and the Brewers may see Kottaras as a player who could provide similar production for less money. With that said, Brew City Sports isn't too excited about him.

Kottaras wasn't the only player added to the roster yesterday: Lorenzo Cain and pitcher Amaury Rivas were also added to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft in December (FanShot). The Brewers still have four open spots on the roster, so they could feasibly add another player or two before tomorrow's deadline.

Unless another waiver claim comes up, it could be a quiet day today. Doug Melvin said the Brewers aren't likely to reach a deal with any of their pending free agents before they're allowed to negotiate with other teams tomorrow.

The neverending saga of Mark Mulder continues. Today, Tom H. says it would be a huge upset if Mark Mulder isn't a Brewer next spring. The only thing that moves slower than these negotiations is another Brewer free agent, Claudio Vargas.

Meanwhile, the field of contenders might be narrowing for Jarrod Washburn. Larry Larue of The Tacoma News Tribune says Washburn has expressed interest in playing for the Brewers, but is also considering the Twins and wouldn't mind returning to the Mariners (FanShot).

On another free agent front with mild Brewer interest: The OC Register has a poll asking readers where John Lackey will sign. As of this writing, the Brewers were tied for ninth in the voting.

As for moves that have already been made, Rubie Q is still not happy about the J.J. Hardy deal, but Miller Park Drunk takes a look at the similarities between Hardy's career path and the path of one of his top comparisons.

Down in the minors, we have stadium news in Appleton, where the Timber Rattlers are doing some renovations this offseason. They're moving the bullpens into the outfield to add some new seats (including an All-You-Can-Eat section), and adding a sand beach general admission area in right field.

No transactions of note today, so I'll move straight into the other notes:

Zach Greinke recently won the AL Cy Young Award, surprising no one, with an incredible season. Keep Turning up The Heat! compared Greinke's 2009 season to Ben Sheets' 2004 performance, and it's closer than you might think.

If you have hours to kill and would love to read Rollie Fingers talking about all things baseball (and his new book), then this Dugout Doctors interview was written with you in mind.

Just a few weeks ago, I mentioned the debut of the Florida Winter Baseball League, and the possibility that it could be a game-changer for American players looking for the opportunity to sharpen their skills without leaving the US. As it turns out, the Caribbean leagues won't have much to worry about, as FWBL has canceled the remainder of the season after just 15 games. So much for that idea.

Maybe the new goal can be "no games in November:" Bud Selig is reportedly looking into the possibility of eliminating some postseason off days to attempt to move things along a bit.

On this day in 1976, the Brewers signed Sal Bando as a free agent. Bando spent the final five seasons of his career in Milwaukee, hitting .250/.335/.382. He would later return as GM and spend most of the 90's digging a hole the Brewers would need another decade to dig out of.

No Brewer birthdays today, but happy birthday to the other Joe Morgan, who played in 13 games for the 1959 Milwaukee Braves and turns 79.

Oh, and every high school newspaper reporter makes this mistake once, but apparently some don't learn from it: Calling a player an idiot in "not for print" notes in your story is never a good idea.

Drink up.