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Wednesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while plotting your escape.

And we're down to one: The Brewers came to terms yesterday with Carlos Villanueva on a one year, $950,000 deal, avoiding arbitration (FanShot). The deal is $12,500 above the midpoint between Villanueva and the team's requests, and in line with deals given to Zach Miner and Robinson Tejada, who are both in similar situations.

The Brewers have pushed through most of their arbitration contracts pretty quickly, but it doesn't sound like they expect to have similar luck with Corey Hart. The two sides were $650,000 apart in their contract offers, and Gord Ash said "It's looking more and more like that one's going to a hearing" in the link above. Hart is requesting $4.8 million.

Meanwhile, Doug Melvin isn't done working on the roster for 2010. He told Tom Haudricourt he's "working on one other thing," and that it "would be a minor league deal." (FanShot) That prompted Haudricourt to speculate about some outfielders who are still on the market. As things stand right now, the Brewers will have seven outfielders in camp: Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez, Corey Hart, Jody Gerut, Trent Oeltjen, Lorenzo Cain and Adam Stern. Recent signee Norris Hopper has yet to receive an invite.

Speaking of Braun, he was a guest yesterday on Jim Rome's show on ESPN, and seemed happy with the direction the team has taken this offseason. Right Field Bleachers has the video, and if you're somewhere where you can't watch it Tom Haudricourt has some quotes.

Adam McCalvy cleaned out the Inbox yesterday: Follow the link for his thoughts on the starting rotation, Manny Parra, Eric Arnett, Mat Gamel in the outfield, keeping a winning minor league team together, and anniversary celebrations.

In the minors:

  • MLB FanHouse ranked the Brewers ninth in their Farm System Rankings.
  • Burke Granger at Prospect Junkies is the latest guest ranker at Jonathan Mayo's blog, and he has Alcides Escobar as baseball's 17th best prospect. Mayo's list will be revealed on MLB Network at 7 pm tonight.
  • Closer Jim Henderson, who split 2009 between Wisconsin, Brevard County, Huntsville and the Canadian World Cup team, is the subject of this week's Interrogation Room.

With spring training just a few weeks away, I guess we're getting close to prediction season: Mighty Casey thinks the Brewers will win 88 games and compete in the Central.

Here's two statistical nuggets that I found interesting but didn't know what to do with:

Around baseball:

Athletics: Signed Ben Sheets to a one year deal worth $10 million (FanShot).
Cardinals: Signed Rich Hill to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.
Cubs: Signed Xavier Nady to a one year deal worth $3.3 million, and also signed Chad Tracy to a minor league deal.
Dodgers: Re-signed Brad Ausmus to a one year deal worth $1 million and re-signed Ronnie Belliard to a one year deal worth $825,000.
Orioles: Signed Miguel Tejada to a one year deal.
Padres: Signed Jon Garland to a one year deal worth $5.3 million, with an option for 2010 and designated reliever Mike Ekstrom for assignment.
Rangers: Avoided arbitration with Frank Francisco, who will earn $3.265 million in 2010.
Red Sox: Avoided arbitration with Jeremy Hermida, who will earn $3.345 million in 2010.
Twins: Signed Jim Thome to a one year deal worth $1.5 million.
Yankees: Acquired outfielder Greg Golson from the Rangers for a minor leaguer and cash.

The stove is getting so hot, it's even lukewarm over where Derrick Turnbow is standing. Yesterday I mentioned that the Rockies have expressed interest in him. Jerry Crasnick is reporting the Diamondbacks are interested too.

It's time for today's episode of "It Could Be Worse: You Could Be A Royals Fan:" Rany Jazayerli notes that ESPN will have a Royals game on Sunday Night Baseball in July, marking the first Royals Sunday Night game in fourteen years.

On this day in 1999, the Brewers signed pitcher Jim Abbott. Born without a right hand, Abbott's major league career was inspirational, but his time in Milwaukee was less so: Abbott went 2-8 with a 6.91 in 20 outings before being released in July.

Happy birthday today to:

Oh, and today is a Woot-off day.

Drink up.