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Tuesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while flipping the actual bird.

While the countdown to pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale is at 96 days the GM meetings continue this week at the Pfister Hotel, but it sounds like "GM meetings" might be a misnomer. At one point yesterday Doug Melvin was the only general manager in attendance. He was there meeting with agent Paul Kinzer, who represents Rafael Furcal and Aramis Ramirez (FanShot). He also said he's talked to Casey Close, who represents Jerry Hairston Jr.

Also included in a note above was this tidbit: Yuniesky Betancourt remains interested in returning to Milwaukee, but the Brewers have told him they intend to check out the market first. Reviewing the Brew asks if you could deal with another season of Yuni.

Another season of Yuni seems much more likely than any seasons of Jose Reyes. Jon Heyman acknowledges that Doug Melvin has only talked to Reyes' agent one time, but still thinks he's the Brewers' top target. Reyes is represented by Peter Greenberg, who is not in attendance in Milwaukee this week.

Meanwhile, here's another potential option: MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima will be posted this winter. Nakajima hit .297/.354/.433 for Seibu in 2011.

Here are this morning's Prince Fielder notes:

Elsewhere in free agency, Aaron Gleeman has a solid list of free agent relievers for the budget-conscious shopper.

Dale Sveum's offseason adventure continues, as he's expected to meet the Red Sox tomorrow for a second interview. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that he's the only candidate they've called back to this point. Doug Melvin told reporters "I think Dale is to the point where he's ready." Tom Haudricourt says longtime Brewer minor league instructor Sandy Guerrero could be a candidate to replace Sveum if he moves on.

The BBWAA is (finally) announcing their 2011 awards this week, with the NL MVP scheduled to be the last one announced on Friday. Prospect Insider polled several writers from around the web and predicted Matt Kemp will win the award over Ryan Braun.

Kemp, meanwhile, reportedly agreed to an eight year, $160 million contract extension with the Dodgers yesterday. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar has a look at the deal and notes that Kemp's average salary ($20 million) will be higher than Braun's highest salary ($19 million) at any point during his deal. Kemp also has a full no-trade clause.

Today's installment of Carson Cistulli's Offseason Notes has several Brewer-relevant tidbits, so let's break out the bullet points:

  • Bill James is predicting Yuniesky Betancourt will have a .290 wOBA in 2012, which is less than free agents Ramon Santiago and Luis Rodriguez.
  • Caleb Gindl is second among all Venezuelan Winter League hitters in Carson's SCOUT stat, which measures a player relative to his peers in home runs, walks and strikeouts.
  • Former Brewer Vinny Rottino is also spending the winter in Venezuela, and is also among the league leaders in SCOUT.

Elsewhere in the minors:

Missing Miller Park this morning? Michael Cuddyer has a collage of photos he took at the park when the Twins were in town this season. You can see his full collection here.

If you'd like more Brewer content today but you're sick of reading, Ron Roenicke will be appearing live on MLB Network at 2:15.

Our Brewer-by-Brewer look at the 2011 season continued yesterday with this profile of Kameron Loe. Our 16th Brewer in the series is due up later this afternoon, so be sure to check back.

Around baseball:

Diamondbacks: Sold pitcher Kam Mickolio to Hiroshima in Japan.
Dodgers: Signed infielder Mark Ellis to a two year, $8.75 million deal.
Phillies: Jonathan Papelbon's new contract has a $13 million option for 2016 that vests if he finishes 55 games in 2015 or 100 combined games between 2014-15.

While a handful of signings and a boatload of rumors are coming out of this week's meetings, the big story in baseball right now is the new collective bargaining agreement, which could be announced any day now. The latest rumor is that the new deal will end the practice of taking first round picks away from teams who sign Type A free agents, and will install penalties for teams that spend more than a certain allowance on draft picks (FanShot).

Today in former Brewers:

  • The Orioles are revealing their new hats today, but Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun still says the Brewers' ball and glove logo was the greatest MLB hat of all time.
  • Rollie Fingers has advanced to the semi-finals of The Outside Corner's MLB Mustache Madness tournament and now faces Sal Fasano.

Assuming they eventually get there, several new MLB GMs will be in attendance at the Pfister this week. Vince Caramela of The Hardball Times has a quick scouting report on the game's new top executives.

If we do nothing else this winter, perhaps we can help improve the baseball lexicon. Carson Cistulli of NotGraphs has twenty new terms for the curveball. I think "Breathtaking Short Film" might be my favorite.

This morning's edition of Today in Brewer History remembers a trade that brought pitcher Matt Kinney and catcher Javier Valentin to Milwaukee in 2002. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the anniversary of Jim Bouton signing a one year, $22,000 contract with the Seattle Pilots. Bouton would later become better known for writing Ball Four.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to read the fine print.

Drink up.