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Thursday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while remembering that "port" is "left."

Welcome to day one of the Randy Wolf era (FanShot). He'll make $29.5 million over the next three seasons, plus an option for 2010. Reaction to the deal has come from everywhere:

But, the Brewers weren't done there: They decided to burn a little extra money by overpaying for bullpen help. The result is a two-year, $7.5 million deal for LaTroy Hawkins (FanShot). The move ensures the Brewers will have at least three pitchers in their bullpen earning more than $3.5 million next season (Hoffman, Riske and now Hawkins), as well as two pitchers with closing experience, both of which are 37 or older. Two more links on Hawkins: one good, one bad.

  • Aaron Gleeman notes that Hawkins has posted a 3.35 ERA over the last six seasons, in 379 innings. 
  • Brian McTaggart quoted Hawkins as being "very disappointed" about leaving Houston, which is pretty much exactly what you don't want to hear from a guy you just threw a lot of perfectly good money at.

Both signings and a few other topics came up in Doug Melvin's MLB Network interview last night, which Tristarscoop chronicled for us, in case you missed it.

Since then, Doug Melvin's had an interesting 12 hours or so. First, a valet lost the keys to his car. Then, after presumably getting a ride back to the meetings, Melvin raised his offer to Craig Counsell. Melvin seems confident a deal will get done, and if he's saying so, that means he's pretty sure. Counsell has also spoken to the Reds, but it doesn't sound like there's much happening there.

Meanwhile, what once looked like a sure thing still isn't done: Mark Mulder remains unsigned, and now the Royals are also showing interest in his services.(h/t MLB Trade Rumors)

The Brewers also filled one more spot on their 40 man roster, selecting Indians lefty Chuck Lofgren in the Rule 5 Draft (FanShot). In a later post, Baseball America called him one of the best stories taken. It sounds like he's had a rough couple of years, but he's a big, athletic lefty who throws hard (90-93), so he's exactly the kind of pitcher the Brewers should be seeking out to work with Rick Peterson.

Can't get enough Triple G? Batter's Box Interactive has some photos from a Gregg Zaun at bat in Toronto last season. Zaun was also the starting point for today's Thursday Thinker: stop back for that at noon.

You still have a few hours to cast your vote for a second baseman on our BCB All Decade Team. Voting for that position closes at 4 today. Prince Fielder officially became the first Brewer elected to the team yesterday. Voting for a shortstop opened yesterday and closes at 4 tomorrow. Voting at third base, perhaps the most depressing interesting choice on the team, will open at 4 today.

Around baseball:

Astros: Acquired reliever Matt Lindstrom from the Marlins for two minor leaguers and a PTBNL, and signed Brandon Lyon to a three year, $15 million deal.
Mariners:
Signed Corey Patterson to a minor league deal. (FanShot) Also re-signed infielder Josh Wilson.
Mets:
Re-negotiated their contract with Henry Blanco, due to concerns over the health of his shoulder.
Orioles:
Acquired Kevin Millwood from the Rangers for reliever Chris Ray and a PTBNL.
Padres: Released pitcher Eulogio de la Cruz.
Rangers: Agreed to terms on a one year, $7.5 million deal with Rich Harden, with a club option for 2011 and acquired Mike Lowell from the Red Sox for catcher Max Ramirez.
Rays: Acquired Rafael Soriano from the Braves for reliever Jesse Chavez.
Red Sox: Acquired Boof Bonser from the Twins for a PTBNL or cash.
Royals: Released Mike Jacobs and pitcher John Bale
Tigers: Designated pitcher Freddy Dolsi and catcher Dusty Ryan for assignment.

Two former Brewers continue to search for work, and for once I'd rather have Jay Gibbons. Jason Kendall has received a two-year offer from the Royals, while Gibbons is drawing interest from the Dodgers.

While some players are looking for new teams. J.J. Hardy is busy making friends with his. He recently played in Harmon Killebrew's golf tournament, and the Hall of Famer had some nice things to say about him.

Easily the biggest trade at the meetings so far has been the three way deal involving the Tigers, Yankees and D-Backs. A lot of people are burying Arizona for giving up on Max Scherzer, but Patrick Sullivan of The Baseball Analysts and I agree: The Diamondbacks might come out ahead in this deal, trading a pitcher with an unsure future for two that might pitch in their rotation this season. Meanwhile, no one seems to mention that the Yankees traded two starters and a center fielder for one player.

Ever wonder what folks in minor league front offices do during the offseason? I don't know, but the Timber Rattlers' premiere episode of The Offseason would suggest they have some time on their hands.

With Jason Kendall gone, I guess we probably won't be talking about plunkings as much, and that's probably ok. With that said, Jeremy Greenhouse of The Baseball Analysts has a look at the probability of getting hit by a pitch, and what matchups and velocities make a batter most likely to get plunked.

It's been a pretty busy week at the Winter Meetings, and the flow of information has been dizzying at times. Just imagine how fast information would flow out if the internet was working.

Still looking for a gift for someone this holiday season? I might have a suggestion for you. Boys of Summer is a documentary chronicling Robert Cochrane and his father's summer long road trip to visit all 30 major league parks. The film is now available on DVD for the first time, with all proceeds going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation to help support research on Parkinson's Disease.

On this day in 1986, the Brewers sent Tim Crews and Tim Leary to the Dodgers for first baseman Greg Brock. Brock would go on to hit .261/.348/.387 over five seasons as a Brewer.

Happy birthday today to Doug Henry, who turns 46. Henry pitched the first four seasons of his major league career (1991-1994) as a Brewer, racking up 61 saves.

Drink up.