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Tuesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while writing a Christmas card.

The Brewers took a break from their holiday shopping to introduce Zack Greinke at Miller Park yesterday. Adam McCalvy has video of the occasion, and Todd Rosiak of the Journal Sentinel has a transcript of Ron Roenicke's comments.

Here's a second day's worth of reaction to the deal:

Is anyone else bothered by the fact that the Brewers are trading for a player suspected of losing interest in playing for the Royals? Sully Baseball compares the Greinke deal to Gary Sheffield's Milwaukee departure.

With Greinke in the fold, the Brewers are officially out of the running for Carl Pavano. Chris Narveson is now the most likely candidate to fill the #5 spot in the rotation, and Matthew Leach noted that his major league strikeout numbers have been better than you'd expect.

Meanwhile, I think we'll be spending a fair amount of the next few months discussing the shortstop position and anyone else that could possibly fill it. Here's today's dose:

Elsewhere in shortstop news, Tom Haudricourt is reporting that Craig Counsell's 2011 deal will pay him $1.4 million. Tyler Maas of Bugs & Cranks has a look at some of the lesser-known incentives in that deal. Adam McCalvy wonders if the Brewers are now done shopping.

Actually, here's a little more shortstop news: The Brewers announced four minor league signings yesterday, and one of them was shortstop Edwin Maysonet. Maysonet is 29 years old and has appeared in 46 big league games, most recently with the 2009 Astros. He's a .276/.317/.342 career hitter in the big leagues, and hit .252/.312/.331 in 86 games for AAA Round Rock last season. He can also play second and third base, but 477 of his 742 minor league games have been at short.

Here are the other three signees:

  • Catcher Shawn Riggans is 30 years old and appeared in 64 major league games with the Rays between 2005 and 2009, hitting .202/.255/.356. He spent most of last season playing in the Can-Am League.
  • Pitcher Jesus Sanchez is a 23 year old converted catcher. He reached the Florida State League in the Phillies organization last year, and has a 3.21 ERA with 204 strikeouts and 76 walks in 266.1 innings since moving to the mound.
  • Re-signed reliever Jim Henderson is a 28 year old minor league veteran: 2011 will be his ninth minor league season and the Brewers are his third organization. He posted a 5.46 ERA with 60 strikeouts and 35 walks in 61 innings for Huntsville last season.

In the minors: The Huntsville Stars may not be moving to Pensacola, but they will be playing in an improved facility in 2011. Josh Leventhal of Baseball America has a look at some renovations taking place at Joe W. Davis Municipal Stadium. Here's a couple of paragraphs that really paint a picture of how bad things used to be:

Huntsville also laser-graded the playing field, evening out a surface that had built up in some areas as much as four to seven inches. (Huntsville GM Buck) Rogers said accumulation of grass clippings over the years caused the uneven playing field. The team will also re-sod the field in the spring.

The team also added a second batting tunnel and a new dugout drainage system—the team had to postpone games last season when dugouts flooded following a rain storm. "The field would be fine, but we'd have rainouts because the dugouts were flooded," Rogers said. 

Also in the minors: Wisconsin Sports Tap has a look at the state of the Brewer farm system in center field, shortstop and on the mound and concludes that "The overall state of the Brewers farm system is still good, though not perfect." Those glasses are awfully rose-colored.

Around baseball:

Blue Jays: Signed reliever Brian Stokes to a minor league deal.
Indians: Signed outfielder Austin Kearns to a one year, $1.3 million deal and signed outfielder Travis Buck to a minor league deal.
Nationals: Signed pitcher Ryan Mattheus to a one year deal and outfielder Rick Ankiel to a one year, $1.5 million deal.
Pirates: Re-signed pitcher Tyler Yates and signed outfielder Josh Fields to minor league deals.
Rangers: Signed infielder Omar Quintanilla and pitcher Zach Jackson to minor league deals.
Rockies: Signed pitcher Billy Buckner to a minor league deal.
Royals: Designated infielder Joaquin Arias for assignment.

I haven't spent as much space this year on Hall of Fame discussion, but I did think this was pretty interesting: Beyond the Box Score's Interactive Hall of Fame Ballot suggests that the stats for the Hall's median pitcher would actually go up if Kevin Brown were inducted.

Here's today's former Brewer note: Baseball Reference has a list of 24 players that recorded 90 or more hits while playing their final major league season before age 30. Kevin Reimer, Dave Nilsson and Mike Ferraro all did it as Brewers.

With help from and the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm supposed to be quiet during the anthem.

Drink up.