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Wednesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while cleaning up the mess this will make.

Tom Haudricourt noted this morning that $4 million of Randy Wolf's 2010 salary has been deferred, meaning his impact on next season's payroll is only $5.25 million. He cites that as evidence that the Brewers are closing in on the top of their budget, but it's also possible that savings could be used on another move.

Meanwhile, a couple of minor signings slipped through the cracks over the last week or so: Baseball America's Minor League Transactions notes the Brewers signed pitcher Chris Waters and shortstop Anderson Machado to minor league deals. Waters has started 12 games for the Orioles over the last two seasons, posting an ERA over 5. He's also made 53 appearances (42 starts) in the minors over that time, mainly in AAA.

Machado is likely little more than minor league depth: 2010 will be his 12th minor league season, and the Brewers will be his seventh organization. With that said, he's a shortstop, and the Brewers don't have much depth at the position in the upper levels of the minors.

Baseball Musings is working their way from A to Z this offseason, producing a quick bio of each major league player. Yesterday, Dave Pinto had this post on Ryan Braun and some of his early accomplishments.

I know we love Prince Fielder around here, but I'm still not sure he's getting the attention he deserves nationally as one of the game's elite hitters. The B-Ref blog notes that there have only been 14 players over the last three seasons to average .8 or more total bases per out made. Fielder is one of just three players to do it twice in that span. (Chipper Jones and Albert Pujols are the others.)

Fielder is also the Brewer representative in The Walkoff Walk End Of Decade Personality Compendium Infocaps.

If you're feeling nostalgic as we approach the end of 2009, Adam McCalvy has a list of Brewer highlights from the past season. There certainly were plenty of memorable moments: McCalvy listed 21, but Jason Dondlinger and I picked up on two more he forgot.

You have until 4 pm today to vote for a #2 starter for our BCB All Decade Team. At the moment, CC Sabathia leads the field by a wide margin. You also have until 4 pm Saturday to select our final position player.

In the minors: Lorenzo Cain had a somewhat puzzling run with the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League, and there's some positive and some negative to take away from it. At the very least, he saw a lot of pitches, as demonstrated by the fact that he was among the league leaders in both walk and strikeout percentage.

Around baseball:

Braves: Acquired Melky Cabrera, pitcher Mike Dunn and a minor leaguer from the Yankees for pitchers Boone Logan and Javier Vazquez.
Mariners: Will reportedly receive outfielder Johermyn Chavez as the prospect in the Brandon Morrow/Brandon League deal.
Mets: Are reportedly close to a minor league deal with R.A. Dickey.
Royals: Signed outfielder Brian Anderson to a one year deal.

We've spent more than enough time this offseason discussing draft pick compensation for players, the risks involved in offering arbitration and whatnot. With that said, Beyond the Box Score has a great conversation starter discussing the value of expected compensation picks and comparing it to the value of available prospects. (FanShot)

Ever wonder what it's like to be a beat reporter on the road with the team? El Lefty Malo has a great interview with Giants beat reporter Henry Shulman, covering topics like objectivity, burnout and the offseason.

Another former Brewer has landed on his feet: Rattler Radio noted that the Great Lakes Loons of the Midwest League will have 1987-1991 Brewer Chuck Crim as their pitching coach next season.

I'll warn you in advance: Don't click the link unless you've got half an hour to spare, but if you have the time Joe Posnanski's piece on Strat-o-Matic and the Negro Leagues is a must-read. Even as someone who doesn't know all that much about the Negro Leagues and has never played Strat-o-Matic, I got started reading the post and couldn't put it down until I'd finished it. This morning's Mug is significantly later as a result.

On this day in 2000, the Brewers signed Jeffrey Hammonds to a three year, $22.2 million deal. If we held a poll today, Jeff Suppan's contract would almost certainly be voted the worst deal in franchise history, but Hammonds merits consideration: he missed most of the 2001 season, posted a 93 OPS+ the 2002, and was released after getting off to a .158/.220/.289 start in 2003.

We're awash in Brewer birthdays today:

  • Brad Nelson, who unfortunately will likely be most remembered for his 0-for-21 start to the 2009 season, turns 27 today.
  • Jesus Colome, who pitched in five games for the 2009 Brewers, turns 32.
  • 1985-1986 Brewer Tim Leary turns 51.
  • Dave May, 1970-1974 Brewer and 1973 All Star, turns 66.

Oh, and if you still need a Christmas gift, might I humbly suggest a TMNT Snuggie?

Drink up.