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Some things to read while signing a taco.

The final order of business at this week's Winter Meetings was this morning's Rule 5 Draft, and we have a new Brewer to discuss: The team selected Orioles reliever Pat Egan with the ninth overall pick (FanShot). Egan is 26 years old and split the 2010 season between AA and AAA, making 49 relief appearances with a 3.44 ERA and a 42/16 K:BB ratio in 83.2 innings. As is the rule with Rule 5 selections, the Brewers must either keep Egan on their 25 man roster or DL through the 2011 season or offer him back to the Orioles for $25,000.

Tom Haudricourt has the best scouting report on Egan I've seen. Here's the quick version:

  • Brewer scouts compared Egan's arsenal and ability to get ground balls to Kameron Loe.
  • They saw him pitch in the AFL this fall.
  • They like the fact that he can pitch multiple innings.

The most interesting note from that post, though, has little to do with Egan. Not that long ago the team seemed to dismiss the notion that Kameron Loe could move to the rotation, but this quote would seem to suggest they're considering it again now:

And [Brewer special advisor Dick] Groch noted that with a shortage of starting pitching, keeping a pitcher such as Egan might allow the Brewers to move Loe back to a starting role, which he has done in the past.

"It gives us the opportunity to experiment with Loe, if we choose," said Groch.

Jim Callis of Baseball America posted a quick scouting report on Twitter, and said Egan "lacks a true go-to pitch."

Meanwhile, the Brewers also lost a pitcher in the draft: Adrian Rosario, who split 2010 between Helena and Wisconsin, was selected by the Orioles fourth overall. Rosario made just 14 appearances for the Timber Rattlers in 2010, posting a 4.50 ERA with 15 walks and 44 strikeouts in 32 innings. Even Jim Callis of Baseball America seemed surprised by the selection.

Egan was the Brewers' only Rule 5 selection. They passed in the second round of the major league phase and all rounds of the minor league phase. Rosario was also the only Brewer selected by other teams.

There had been some speculation that the PTBNL in the Carlos Villanueva trade would be named after today's draft, but apparently that's not the case. Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star is reporting that the delay had nothing to do with the draft, and the player coming to Milwaukee won't be named until after the first of the year.

New acquisition Wil Nieves' deal is expected to be made official tomorrow, once he passes his physical. The deal is non-guaranteed, which makes me feel a little better about it. Ben Goessling of MASN passes along this Youtube video of Nieves' defining moment (and possibly his only positive contribution) as a National.

Elsewhere in Winter Meeting news: The Brewers continue to pursue Carl Pavano, but Tom Haudricourt says they're unwilling to offer more than two years (FanShot). It sounds like the front office may finally have learned their lesson about long term deals for pitchers in their mid-30's. The Twins are expected to offer Pavano a third year and remain the most likely candidate to sign him.

Team officials also met with Craig Counsell yesterday and had "a nice exchange," but it's still unknown if Counsell is planning on playing next season.

Here are some notes on things that aren't happening:

The Brewers and Braves could still work something out, though: Mark Bowman of says the two sides are still trying to find the right fit.

Looking back, Adam McCalvy has the final note on the Brett Lawrie/Shaun Marcum trade. Lawrie told Gregor Chisholm of that he knew a trade was coming.

Around baseball:

Braves: Signed reliever George Sherrill to a one year deal.
Diamondbacks: Re-signed pitcher Mike Hampton to a minor league deal.
Mariners: Signed 1B/DH Jack Cust to a one year, $2.5 million deal.
Mets: Signed pitcher Boof Bonser to a minor league deal.
Orioles: Acquired J.J. Hardy and infielder Brendan Harris from the Twins for two minor league pitchers and re-signed pitcher Koji Uehara to a one year deal with a vesting option for 2012.
Padres: Acquired shortstop Jason Bartlett from the Rays for pitchers Cesar Ramos and Adam Russell.
Phillies: Signed reliever Dennys Reyes to a one year, $1.1 million deal.
Pirates: Acquired pitcher Cesar Valdez from the Diamondbacks, completing the Zach Duke trade.
Red Sox: Signed Carl Crawford to a seven year, $142 million deal.
Reds: Re-signed infielder Miguel Cairo to a two year deal.
Royals: Signed outfielders Melky Cabrera (one year, $1.25 million) and Jeff Francoeur.

Carlos Pena's new one year, $10 million deal with the Cubs was one of this week's more interesting transactions. Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball notes that the Cubs now owe over $91 million to six players in 2011.

Today in former Brewers: The Platoon Advantage ranked the 40 greatest shortstops of all time, and Robin Yount checked in at #6.

The Winter Meetings come to a close today, leaving us alone to face the cold, hard reality that we're still over two months away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training. If you're suffering from the related depression, here's something that clearly won't help: ESPN has created a calculator that tells you how long it takes for Jayson Werth to earn your annual salary.

On this day in 1977, the Brewers traded pitchers Jim Slaton and Rich Folkers to the Tigers for Ben Oglivie. The deal turned out to be one of the more lopsided in Brewer history: Slaton only pitched for the Tigers for one season before returning to the Brewers as a free agent while Oglivie spent the final nine years of his career in Milwaukee, making three All Star appearances and winning a Silver Slugger Award.

On this day one year ago, the Brewers officially announced the signings of Randy Wolf and LaTroy Hawkins.

Happy birthday today to:

  • 1977, 1980-85 and 1989 Brewer Ed Romero, who turns 53.
  • 1957-58 Milwaukee Brave Bob Hazle, who would have turned 80.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got mail.

Drink up.