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Tuesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while wishing you'd thought of that.

We're only 88 days away from spring training and it's been over a month since the Brewer season ended, but the BBWAA will finally be ready to announce the 2011 NL MVP at 1 pm Central time today. The end result is anyone's guess, but either Ryan Braun or Matt Kemp will almost certainly take home the hardware. Here's what the internet is saying about it:

The market for Prince Fielder's services has been slow to develop this winter, but don't tell that to Jon Heyman: He's still predicting the first baseman will get an eight year, $195 million contract and lists the Nationals, Mariners, Rangers, Orioles and Cubs as candidates to give it to him. On the second page of the same piece he predicts LaTroy Hawkins will get two years and $8 million and Yuniesky Betancourt will get $5 million on a one year deal. That would mean a pay raise for a 38 year old relief pitcher and a situation where Betancourt actually came out ahead by getting his option declined.

Meanwhile, Nick Prill of The Brewers Bar has a look at shortstops that might be available on the trade market. Howie Magner has a less conventional suggestion.

In the minors:

  • It was a quiet day across the winter leagues yesterday, but Mat Gamel went 0-for-4 in Oriente's 6-0 loss against Gigantes. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Notes.
  • Gamel is 2-for-9 in his first three Dominican games with two walks to raise his line to .222/.417/.222.
  • Meanwhile, Caleb Gindl remains fourth among all hitters in Venezuela in Carson Cistulli's SCOUT stat. Interestingly enough, he's behind three guys named Luis.

If you haven't yet, please take a moment today to vote in this week's BCB Tracking Poll. The poll, which largely focuses on potential Brewer extensions, will remain open through the day today and results will be posted tomorrow.

We also continued our player-by-player look at the 2011 Brewers yesterday with this profile of Yuniesky Betancourt. Check back later today for the next installment.

Around baseball:

Orioles: Are expected to sign Korean pitcher Chong Tae-Hyon to a major league deal.
Pirates: Designated catcher Brian Jeroloman for assignment.
Rangers: Signed reliever Joe Nathan to a two year, $14 million deal with a club option for 2014.
Red Sox: Signed pitcher Chorye Spoone to a minor league deal.

Today's biggest story will likely be this: After a month of speculation, Major League Baseball is expected to announce the new collective bargaining agreement in about an hour. It's a five year deal, meaning baseball will go at least 21 years without any games missed due to a work stoppage.

Today in former Brewers:

  • The Sacrifice Bunt has another reminder of Mark Kotsay's lack of recent value.
  • Bluebird Banter has a look at Carlos Villanueva's 2011 season in Toronto.
  • 1990's Brewer coach Doug Mansolino is returning to the Phillies for 2012 as their minor league infield coordinator.
  • Rob Neyer notes that Mariners outfielder Greg Halman is only the third active major leaguer to be murdered. One of the other two was Seattle Pilot Miguel Fuentes, who pitched the team's final inning in 1969.

This may seem like a fun offseason pastime, but it's probably not actually a good idea: An intruder broke into White Sox GM Kenny Williams' house yesterday and drank his beer, wore his World Series ring and started defrosting a lobster, among other things. The man was caught and arrested.

Meanwhile, this offseason pastime carries a little steadier legal footing: A's outfielder Michael Taylor is spending the winter interning at San Francisco radio station KNBR, the Giants' flagship.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to preheat my oven.

Drink up.