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The Weekend Mug, now with more Australians! And another Canadian!

After trading J.J. Hardy, Doug Melvin realized he had to win back the hearts of Wisconsin women everywhere.  Enter Oeltjen.
After trading J.J. Hardy, Doug Melvin realized he had to win back the hearts of Wisconsin women everywhere. Enter Oeltjen.

Some things to read while on a social networking site far, far away.

So far this is my second week doing the weekend post.  My first weekend was immediately after the Carlos Gomez trade, and this weekend comes after the Brewers announce signing Gregg Zaun.  It's my turn again the weekend following Christmas, so maybe Brewers fans can be expecting a Christmas present from Doug Melvin and the gang.

About the Zaun signing:

  • Adam McCalvy tells us that Zaun was assured the starting catching spot.  Zaun has played more than 110 games only once in his career and more than 100 games four times, and he's not getting any younger.  There should be plenty of opportunities for whoever the backup catcher should be.
  • Right Field Bleachers thinks that backup will be either Mike Rivera or George Kottaras, with the idea being another year of minor league polishing for Angel Salome and Jonathon Lucroy.
  • In Between Hops likens Zaun to a cheaper Jason Kendall.  Neither is very good at hitting (some would claim they are atrocious), but over the last three years, Zaun has been Kendalls slight superior in OBP and has been significantly better slugging.  Zaun did this in close to half of the plate appearances of Kendall. 
  • I think that View From Bernie's Chalet is more excited about the end of the Jason Kendall era than for the signing of Zaun.
  • Brewers! Brewers! Keep Turning Up the Heat! finds the signing to be strange and suggests that Milwaukee had enough readily available options.  Personally, I prefer having someone like Zaun around.  I don't think that Rivera would be a viable option to start the whole season, and the other options (Kottaras, Lucroy and Salome) are all younger and could really struggle, particularly Lucroy who would be skipping triple-A.  I think that I would like Lucroy to either back up Zaun for the first couple months of the season (like I said, there should be plenty of opportunities) or for him to be called up sometime in June provided he isn't massively struggling in Nashville.  Gradually working in what appears to be the heir apparent to the Catchers position seems like a much better idea than throwing him straight into the fire.
  • And the Grand National Championships thinks this is the most logical move in the history of sports.
  • Oh, and if I ever met Gregg Zaun, he does not look like a guy I would want to piss off.

Also from the Grand National Championships, they believe that re-signing Craig Counsell--who Doug Melvin has made an offer to--would be a bad idea and suggests signing someone like Esteban German instead.  If we were to go with someone else, I think that going with someone in house (like Adam Heether) would be just as good as signing someone from outside the organization.  I also think that a player like Craig Counsell is a boon to any team, though, and would serve as a very very good mentor to Alcides Escobar.

The Brewers also signed former Diamondback and full-time Australian Trent Durrington Oltjean...whichever.  Brew City Sports tried to reach him for comment, but unfortunately, Oltjean was too busy doing Australian type activities.  Oltjean is expected to provide protection for Ryan Braun in the cuteness batting order after the departure of J.J. Hardy.

For those hoping that the Brewers decide to pursue Brad Penny, the bad news is that he rejected a one year offer to stay with the GIants.  So it looks like any team that wants to sign him would either have to offer multiple years or a pretty significant--and guarenteed--amount of money for one year.

In Between Hops reminds us again of the comparison that can be made between Casey McGehee and Bill Hall.

Around the Majors:
Atlanta BravesRafael Soriano is considering accepting their offer of arbitration.
Chicago Cubs:  Could announce a signing of Mike Cameron as soon as Monday.
Houston Astros: Signed former Giant Ryan Sadowski
Kansas City Royals Signed Cuban lefty Noel Arguelles
Minnesota Twins: Signed 16 year old Dominican Shortstop Miguel Sano.
Seattle Mariners and Jack Z: Signed Chone Figgins to a $36MM, 4 year deal.

If you were disappointed when they announced they were shutting down production, good news!  A movie adaptation of Moneyball is going to be back underway!

Oh, and potentially the most exciting news of the day, Metsblog cites Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus as saying that there will be two big announcements at the winter meetings that will be way bigger than "any player signing or news made during".  I don't have any idea what it could be, so feel free to speculate.