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Tuesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while showing up late.

The Brewers aren't expected to be all that active in free agency this offseason, so the fact that they have offers out to three different players right now is something of a surprise. Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt that he has offers out to Chris Capuano, Craig Counsell and 2010 Brave Eric Hinske (FanShot).

Hinske is easily the biggest surprise, and frankly I'm not sure I understand the logic behind it. If the Brewers are serious about bringing Craig Counsell back, then having both Hinske and Counsell on the roster would seriously dampen the possibility that Mat Gamel (or Joe Inglett) can make the team next spring. 

The Brewers did make a minor transaction yesterday, signing pitcher Zack Segovia to a minor league deal. He made eight appearances for the Nationals in 2009 and spent the 2010 season in the Yankees organization, posting a 4.19 ERA with 51 strikeouts for 62.1 innings for AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. As always, Tom Haudricourt has the hard-hitting analysis.

Around Rumorville:

I'll be the first to admit that I don't know much about new Brewer pitching coach Rick Kranitz, so I welcomed this Journal Sentinel profile of him. Here's the quote I found most telling:

Asked to summarize his pitching philosophy, Kranitz said, "I'm big on pitching to your strengths and knowing who you are as a pitcher. You want to understand what makes them tick, see what they like to do in certain situations.

"Everybody is different, and you have to treat them that way. You have to do different things to get hitters out. My job is to let them know what they're doing right. I love a positive approach."

I'm hoping that means the end of the "everyone needs to have a changeup" days.

By the way, you can officially close the book on Rick Peterson's time with the Brewers: he posted this tweet yesterday saying he's moving on to other ventures.

As you likely know by now, Joey Votto won the NL MVP yesterday, getting 31 of 32 first place votes. Ryan Braun finished 15th overall and Corey Hart appeared on one ballot. In the Sweetspot voting, Rickie Weeks and Yovani Gallardo each received votes.

In the minors:

  • Brian Carriveau of Pocket Doppler talked to Jake Odorizzi's agent yesterday and said he expects to receive an invitation to big league camp next spring. Odorizzi is not a candidate to make the roster, so his time in camp would likely be brief.
  • The Brewers Bar has a look at Brendan Katin, who was left unprotected for the Rule 5 Draft.

It's the season of giving, and kudos to LaTroy Hawkins for doing his part: Hawkins and his family donated 250 turkeys to families in their hometown of Gary, Indiana.

If you're home this weekend, here's something to look forward to: The episode of Bob Costas' Studio 42 featuring Bob Uecker will air Friday night. If you're not going to be home, go set your DVR now.

Around baseball:

Braves: Signed pitcher Jay Sborz to a minor league deal.
Cardinals: Signed reliever Raul Valdes to a minor league deal.
Giants: Signed first baseman Aubrey Huff to a two year, $22 million deal with an option for 2013.
Pirates: Designated third baseman Andy LaRoche for assignment.
Reds: Signed pitcher Dontrelle Willis to a minor league deal.
Tigers: Signed catcher/first baseman Victor Martinez to a four year, $50 million deal.

A day later, it still looks like the A's are going to have a hard time working out a deal with Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma. We now know they committed a $19.1 million posting fee in exchange for the rights to negotiate with him, and they're believed to be offering $3.8 million per year, which would be $8.5 million once the fee is factored in.

Meanwhile, the situation has exposed an economic flaw in the posting process for Japanese players. As Tangotiger notes, the fact that the posting fee is fully refundable creates the possibility that a team like the A's could overbid for a player they're not actually interested in signing, just to block another team from getting the player.

I've got a metric ton of former Brewer notes today:

The only bad news here is that it won't be out soon enough for someone to get it for me for Christmas: There's a Flip Flop Fly Ball book coming out this spring.

We won't have to wait as long, meanwhile, for the Rule 5 Draft. Bucs Dugout has a look at 14 players that could be interesting targets, and Pirates Prospects has a look at six more. (h/t WHYGAVS for the second link)

Over the past couple of weeks I've mentioned John Axford's Twitter account several times. If you've ever wondered how the network of player Twitter accounts is structured, Dave Allen of FanGraphs has a graphical representation.

Looking for an offseason project? Baseball Past and Present could use your help selecting the 50 best baseball players who haven't been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Happy birthday today to Dale Sveum, who turns 47.

Also, over the weekend I missed AZL Brewers Greg Hopkins (22 on Monday) and Wayne Dedrick's (21 on Sunday) birthdays. My bad.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to sitting still.

Drink up.