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Tuesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while getting out of there.

The Brewers are down to two arbitration eligible players, as Dave Bush agreed to a $4.215 million deal for 2010, a $215,000 raise over last season, plus $110,000 in incentives tied to innings pitched (FanShot). Bush seems to understand the Brewers' current situation, with six starters fighting for five spots, but told Tom Haudricourt he expects to be in the rotation on Opening Day.

Speaking of pitchers who expect to be in the rotation on Opening Day, the fan projections over at FanGraphs are pretty optimistic about Davis' chances to help the team this season:

Predictor ERA IP WHIP
Bill James 4.46 202 1.49
CHONE 4.69 167 1.56
Marcel 4.55 176 1.52
Fans 4.38 187 1.69

If the Fans' prediction comes true, Davis' 4.38 ERA would become the second lowest ever by a pitcher with a WHIP at or above 1.69: Sugar Cain posted a 4.25 ERA with a 1.748 WHIP for the 1933 Philadelphia A's. Tom Tango noted, though, that the Fans projections at FanGraphs are significantly too optimistic on the whole.

If you wanted to ask Davis about his high WHIPs, you might get a chance at Brewers On Deck, where he'll be making an appearance. Craig Counsell remains the only invited player who won't attend: he had a scheduling conflict.

Jeff Suppan, meanwhile, donated 1000 tickets to the event to the USO of Wisconsin. It's a very generous measure, proving once and for all that giving out free passes is something he does very well.

The Brewers have spent and committed to spend a fair amount of money this offseason, but have they actually made themselves better? Jonathan Ede of Brewers Daily has a rough look at the WAR numbers and isn't sure.

With that said, national audiences will get a fair number of early opportunities to watch the Brewers play: Adam McCalvy has the list of nine Brewer games that have had their start times changed to accommodate ESPN and Fox. The list only runs through early July, so more games could be moved if the Brewers are in contention at that point.

In the minors:

The Brewers took a significant chance at the time by drafting Prince Fielder, with questions about his conditioning, fielding and ability to physically handle the major leagues. With that said, it's hard to argue with the result: John Sickels has a look back at his top 50 hitting prospects list from 2005, and lists Fielder as "the only unqualified success." Rickie Weeks and Hernan Iribarren were also on the list.

Around baseball:

Angels: Signed Maicer Izturis to a three year, $10 million deal, avoiding arbitration.
Nationals: Signed pitcher Tyler Walker to a one year deal, and pitcher Chuck James and outfielder Chris Duncan to minor league deals.
Rangers: Designated infielder Joe Inglett for assignment.

Three former Brewer notes today:

Yesterday I mentioned a disputed report that had the Brewers as a possible team to relocate to Orlando, and noted the Rays as a more likely candidate. The report prompted Peter Gammons to wonder if the Rays might also be a candidate to become the third team in the New York market we've also discussed recently.

Happy birthday today to Bob Uecker, who turns 75. It's hard to imagine anyone else doing the job he's done as voice of the Brewers over the last 30+ seasons.

If you're a racing fan or just someone who wants to help beat cancer once and for all, you owe it to yourself today to stop by Ranting and Raving and check out what they're doing to try to help cancer survivor and racecar driver Ricky Byers, as he attempts to raise money to compete this season to raise awareness and money for cancer research.

Finally, I wanted to take a moment today to acknowledge what's happening over at The Daily Drink, where friend of the site and guest Mugger Dan Walsh announced that the SportsBubbler site will be shutting down on February 4. Dan is one of the best people I've had an opportunity to meet in this endeavor and, while I'm glad to hear he'll be staying on with the JS, I'm disappointed to hear he'll no longer be blogging.

So, this one's for Dan. Drink up.