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Friday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while re-thinking the crossover.

The Brewers have one more arbitration deal down and three to go, as the team came to terms with Todd Coffey yesterday on a one year deal worth $2,025,002 (FanShot). The two sides settled $50,000 under the midpoint between the team and player's requests, but incentives in the deal make it possible for Coffey to get that $50k back.

Of the four Brewers to file for arbitration, Coffey and the Brewers were the farthest apart at $750,000. With his deal done, the biggest remaining gap is Corey Hart's $650,000. Dave Bush ($320,000 apart) and Carlos Villanueva ($275,000 apart) also remain unsigned.

Meanwhile, the Doug Davis signing continues to draw reaction from around the web:

  • In-Between Hops notes that Doug Davis pitched at least seven innings in 36% of his 2009 starts, and Randy Wolf did it in 35%. Jeff Suppan, Mike Burns, Braden Looper and Manny Parra did it in 14, 13, 12 and 11% of their games, respectively.
  • Jorge Says No! has another comparison of Wolf and Davis, and wouldn't be surprised if they put up similar seasons in 2010. He also has a look at the risks and rewards of the Davis deal, and counts it as another sign that the Brewers are "going for it" in 2010 and 2011.
  • Jim Breen of Bernie's Crew says "one can reasonably assume that Milwaukee will at least field a league-average starting rotation," and the Brewers have a chance for the rotation to be above average.

With the Brewers' major offseason goals all met, Adam McCalvy wonders if it's time to move on to extension talks with Prince Fielder. That post might be the best possible primer on the current situation, complete with nearly everything you need to know about the possibility of getting a deal done.

The Brewers unveiled details yesterday for "Brewers On Deck," which will be held January 31st at the Midwest Airlines Center. There's a ton of stuff going on, with Q&A sessions with the front office staff and players and other forms of entertainment throughout the day. With that said, if you're coming to get autographs, bring a lot of cash. There isn't a single free autograph listed on the schedule, and the cheapest autographs (including the likes of David Riske, Jeff Suppan and Tim Dillard) are $10, on top of the $15 price tag for advance tickets.

I've never been to either event, but it's hard not to compare this to the free open house the Padres are throwing for their fans next week.

I think opinions regarding Doug Melvin have shifted a fair amount over the last few weeks, but it's still hard to outrun the past: Based largely on his tenure in Texas, Shawn Hoffman of Baseball Prospectus ranked Melvin as baseball's seventh worst GM of the 2000's.

In the minors:

Around baseball:

Dodgers: Re-signed Vicente Padilla to a one year deal with $5.025 million.
Phillies: Signed Joe Blanton to a three year, $24 million deal and reportedly signed Shane Victorino to a three year, $22 million deal.
Pirates: Designated reliever Anthony Claggett for assignment.
Rangers: Designated outfielder Greg Golson for assignment.
Royals: Signed Rick Ankiel to a one year deal worth $3.25 million.

I think our optimism level is pretty high around here the last few days but if you're feeling a little down, here's something that should put it in perspective: Even with recent agreements with Octavio Dotel and Ryan Church, the Pirates project to have an Opening Day payroll of $35.6 million, roughly 42% of the Brewers $85 million projection.

Elsewhere on the hot stove, MetsBlog has a compilation of several rumors floating around with Brewer ties:

  • The Mets are reportedly interested in working out a deal with Ben Sheets.
  • They're also interested in signing John Smoltz.
  • If they sign Smoltz, it's possible they could revisit a deal that would send John Maine to the Brewers for Corey Hart.

I think it's probably a little too late in the offseason for a Hart-for-Maine swap to work. The Brewer rotation is already full with recent acquisitions, and the Brewers don't have an in-house replacement option for Hart, should they need to fill an everyday slot in right field.

(Now that I've said that, someone will immediately suggest Mat Gamel in right field. Gamel might eventually end up in the outfield, but would probably need more than a month of spring training to learn to do it. He's not an everyday option to start the season.)

This is certainly an extreme case, but it's instructive on the value of a good defensive center fielder: At The Hardball Times, Sean Smith has a look at the defensive differences between Torii Hunter and Gary Matthews Jr. in Anaheim, which project out to 80 runs over 162 games.

It's "and may not be ready for Opening Day" season: the time of year when every nagging injury and procedure leads to the use of that phrase. Today's example is Freddy Sanchez, who had arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder this week. He signed a new contract in October, but apparently the physical didn't reveal the need for surgery.

I've mentioned it before, so this new news means it's likely time to follow up: Major League Baseball has gone ahead with a plan to raise minor league per diem from $20 to $25 per day. Surprisingly, that wasn't one of the things Garrett Broshuis thought about during his MRI.

Planning on following the Brewers on the road this season? If Cincinnati is your destination, Red Reporter has Part 1 of a visitor's guide to Cincinnati and Great American Ball Park.

Looking for a ton of information on a stat that many consider obselete? Big League Stew has everything you always wanted to know about Win Shares.

Happy birthday today to Mike Caldwell, who turns 61. Caldwell ranks second on the Brewers' all time list in wins with 102. Twenty-two of those wins came in 1978, setting a franchise record. For whatever it's worth, here are the Brewers' active leaders in wins, along with their position on the all time list:

Pitcher Wins Rank
Chris Capuano 40 T-17th
Dave Bush 38 T-19th
Doug Davis 37 21st
Jeff Suppan 26 T-26th
Yovani Gallardo 22 T-36th


Oh, and if you thought my recipe blog had a lot of mac and cheese recipes before, odds are it's about to get a bunch more. I need to go get groceries. I think I'll pick up the ingredients for this too.

Drink up.