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Tuesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while checking to see if you made the paper.

The Brewers are down to six unsigned, arbitration eligible players, as Jody Gerut agreed to a one year, $2 million deal yesterday (FanShot). It's a small raise from the $1.775 million he took home last season. If that's the midpoint between the team's likely offer and Gerut's asking price, then it's possible the team was planning to offer Gerut less than he made last season.

Meanwhile, the Brewers still have open arbitration cases with Dave Bush, Todd Coffey, Corey Hart, Carlos Gomez, Carlos Villanueva, and Rickie Weeks. Those six players will exchange figures with the team today, and likely settle somewhere near the midpoint in the coming weeks. If they can't reach a deal, arbitration hearings will begin on February 1.

Odds are the Gerut deal didn't factor into these considerations, but Jon Heyman says the Brewers have had the eighth best offseason, while also acknowledging they still need to add a pitcher.

In the minors:

  • In a FanPost over at Minor League Ball, a reader combined John Sickels' recent prospect rankings and Victor Wang's work to establish expected value for those players, and used the result to assign dollar values to all 30 MLB farm systems. The Brewers are in 8th place, with $118.08 million in surplus value on the farm (FanShot).
  • Meanwhile, Chris Mehring gives us a look inside the effort to combine and update a record book for Appleton baseball, which stretches back through several teams and leagues.
  • You have until 4 pm today to cast a vote for the #13 spot in our BCB Community Prospect Rankings. As of this writing, Cody Scarpetta leads Mark Rogers by 19 votes.

Here's yet another reminder of how far the Brewers have come over the last few seasons: The Baseball Reference Blog has Maximum Likelihood Estimations designed to rank teams based on their performance in the 2000s, and the Brewers come out in 27th place, ahead of just the Expos/Nationals, Royals and Pirates.

Looking for something to do with your school group this winter? Caitlyn Moyer has a look at the offseason plans for Miller Park Tours, and the pricing plans for offseason groups.

If you're looking for an excuse to shed a tear this morning, be sure to click over to the Journal Sentinel, where Jim Stingl covers the plight of the poor, downtrodden ticket scalper, facing a life that may become more pitiful than ever now that the Wisconsin legislature is working on a law designed to keep them from harassing fans. Stingl's sob-inducer focuses on one poor soul, scalper John Slavick, who says he was banned from Miller Park for "doing nothing more than directing a couple to the ticket resale zone." If he was there to resell tickets, what was he doing outside the ticket resale zone in the first place?

Around baseball:

Blue Jays: Avoided arbitration with reliever Shaun Marcum, who will earn $850,000 in 2010.
Diamondbacks: Avoided arbitration with pitchers Chad Qualls ($4.185 million) and Aaron Heilman ($2.15 million).
Indians: Acquired infielder Brian Bixler from the Pirates for a minor leaguer.
Mariners: Have reportedly signed Felix Hernandez to a five year deal.
Marlins: Avoided arbitration with pitchers Renyel Pinto ($1.075 million), Anibal Sanchez ($1.25 million) and Dan Uggla ($7.8 million).
Padres: Signed Jerry Hairston to a one year, $2.12 million deal.
Rangers: Avoided arbitration with reliever C.J. Wilson, who will earn $3.1 million in 2010.
Reds: Avoided arbitration with reliever Jared Burton, who will earn $810,000 in 2010.
Rockies: Avoided arbitration with outfielder Ryan Spillborghs, who signed a two year deal worth $3.25 million.
White Sox: Avoided arbitration with reliever Tony Pena, who will earn $1.2 million in 2010.
Yankees: Avoided arbitration with Chad Gaudin ($2.95 million) and Boone Logan ($590,000).

Ben Sheets is scheduled to throw for scouts in Monroe, Louisiana today in an effort to prove he's ready to pitch in the majors in 2010. At least one more team won't be there: Brian McTaggart says the Astros aren't interested. Trenni Kusnierek will be there, though, so you can expect a full report on MLB Network later today.

Major League Baseball recently ratified a new five year contract with the umpires, and Rob Neyer has a look at some of the implications. Perhaps most interesting is this one: Baseball may now be able to negotiate deals to buy out aging, ineffective umpires.

Happy birthday today to:

Drink up.