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Wednesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while making your pitch to Gatorade.

It's been roughly 24 hours since we were told the Brewers were "very close" to a deal with Randy Wolf, but said deal has yet to materialize. Both Tom H. and Buster Olney are saying the Brewers are expecting a response today, now that Arn Tellem has had a day to shop the offer around, but reportedly hasn't found anyone willing to match it. Other notes on Wolf:

  • Tom H. says he "gets the feeling that the Brewers are suprised that Randy Wolf hasn't accepted their three-year offer yet."
  • Jayson Stark heard that the Brewers' offer to Wolf was bigger than the three year, $28 million deal the Braves recently gave Tim Hudson.
  • Jon Heyman tweeted that the Mets don't appear likely to land Wolf, and while MLB Trade Rumors lists them as showing interest in five other pitchers, Heyman says the price of mid-level pitching might drive them to spend a little more in pursuit of John Lackey.
  • The Junkball Blues has a look at the average return teams get on three year contracts to starting pitchers. There are some good ones (Greg Maddux, Andy Pettitte, A.J. Burnett), but also some disasters (Adam Eaton, Jason Schmidt, Carl Pavano).
  • Jorge Says No! wonders about the wisdom of offering Wolf a third year, but says the Brewers' willingness to do it implies they don't think they can sign Prince Fielder to a long term deal.

By the way, over two months ago Jorge Says No! predicted Wolf would get three years, $31 million on the open market. Impressive.

I feel the need to clarify my position on the Wolf rumor a bit, because I feel I was a little hard on the front office in this one act play last night. I still don't think Wolf wants to play in Milwaukee, which is why Arn Tellem has spent the last 24 hours searching for anyone on a coast willing to match the Brewers' offer. With that said, I'll give credit where credit is due to the front office for finding the guy they wanted and being aggressive in an attempt to get him here. If it turns out that the scenario I laid out is true and Tellem was just using the Brewers to raise the price for someone else, so be it. At least we're talking about the Brewers making an effort, and not hearing the reasons why they can't.

Meanwhile, the Brewers are close to a deal to bring Claudio Vargas back for another season, and are just waiting for formal acceptance from Vargas and his agent (FanShot). Conversation on the deal is probably complicated a bit by the fact that Vargas is currently in the Dominican Republic pitching in winter ball.

They're also expecting an answer sometime today from Craig Counsell, who may or may not be seeking a two year deal for next season. It sounds like Counsell and his agent spent the day yesterday checking out other options. Don't be surprised if a deal gets done relatively quickly.

Ken Macha told reporters yesterday that Yovani Gallardo and Manny Parra are the only pitchers guaranteed a spot in the Brewer rotation next season, implying that Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan will have to compete to earn an opportunity (FanShot). Open competition should be good for all involved, especially if the Crew manages to bring in some high-upside pitchers to compete.

Tom H. has all of those notes (and a terrible headline) in his roundup piece today, along with this note: The 40 man roster is starting to fill up, so don't be surprised if the Brewers decide not to take a chance on a Rule 5 pick in tomorrow's draft. I think that's a poor decision. Among others, Tim Dillard and Luis Cruz could probably pass through waivers without much notice. Passing on a cheap lottery ticket to protect one of those guys doesn't seem to make sense.

In the minors:

  • Project Prospect has a look at the speed of several Brewers who recently performed in the Arizona Fall League. Jonathan Lucroy appears to be in about the middle of the pack, while Taylor Green rated out way on the low end. They mustn't have had enough data to publish a ranking for Lorenzo Cain.
  • Angel Salome will be the next Brewer prospect to head out for winter ball: He's reportedly leaving at the end of the week to play for Este in the Dominican League. You can keep up with him and all the Brewer winter leaguers in our Winter League Updates.

We're continuing the effort to put together a BCB All Decade Team, and if you haven't cast your first votes yet, there's still time. Voting at first base will remain open until 4 pm today, and voting at second base runs until 4 pm tomorrow. Check back later today to vote for a shortstop.

Around baseball:

Braves: Designated outfielder Ryan Church for assignment.
D-Backs: Acquired pitchers Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy in a three way deal that sent Curtis Granderson to the Yankees and outfielder Austin Jackson and pitchers Max Scherzer, Daniel Schlereth and Phil Coke to the Tigers.
Mets: Signed 1B/3B Mike Hessman to a minor league deal.
Nationals: Signed outfielder Jerry Owens to a minor league deal.
Phillies: Signed Ross Gload to a two year deal.
Pirates: Are expected to sign Bobby Crosby to a one year deal.
Tigers: Signed catcher Robinzon Diaz, who was recently released by the Pirates.
Twins: Designated Boof Bonser for assignment.
White Sox: Signed Mark Teahen to a three year, $14 million deal, avoiding arbitration.
Yankees: Will receive the #1 pick in tomorrow's Rule 5 Draft as the PTBNL in the Brian Bruney trade.

Meanwhile, Gritty von Canthitalick Jason Kendall continues to search for work, but there's more suitors than you might think: The Rangers are reportedly strongly considering Kendall, now that Jarrod Saltalamacchia injured his shoulder playing winter ball. The Royals have also expressed interest.

From surprising news to what might possibly be the week's least surprising news: John Lackey is having a hard time finding a team willing to offer him a six year deal.

Actually, this might be the most surprising news: Kudos to the BBWAA for their decision to allow Sean Forman of Baseball Reference to join their organization.

We could have used this days ago, but Dave Cameron of FanGraphs has a guide to deciphering sources in Winter Meeting rumors. Again today, the meetings provide us with some things you might never have known without the internet, and wouldn't have missed:

On this day in 1977, the Brewers traded pitchers Jim Slaton and Rich Folkers to the Tigers for Ben Oglivie. The 29 year old Panama native would spend the last nine years of his career as a Brewer, hitting .277/.345/.461, leading the AL with 41 home runs in 1980, and appearing in three All Star games.

Happy birthday today to:

  • Doc Medich, who made the final ten starts of his major league career for the 1982 Brewers, and turns 61.
  • Ed Romero, who spent parts of eight seasons as a Brewer in the late 70's and 80's and later served as a minor league infield coordinator and manager. He turns 52.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some snowblowing to do.

Drink up.