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Wednesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while being back in business. (h/t Halos Heaven)

We're 59 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and yesterday's biggest news was addition by subtraction. Yuniesky Betancourt has signed a one year deal to return to Kansas City (FanShot), once and for all eliminating the threat of him returning to the Brewers in 2012. Here's some reaction from around the web:

The Brewers commemorated the occasion by spending the entire day doing not much else. As such, we'll move on to today's Prince Fielder notes:

Meanwhile, the Brewers have updated the 40 man roster to reflect several new uniform numbers (h/t @Adam McCalvy). Here are the changes:

Player Number
Santo Manzanillo 67
Wily Peralta 60
Jose Veras 40
George Kottaras 9
Aramis Ramirez
Alex Gonzalez 11
Zelous Wheeler 51
Caleb Gindl 54
Brock Kjeldgaard 66

Gonzalez and Ramirez will be key parts of the Brewers' new infield. Vince of Miller Park Drunk would like to introduce you to the newcomers.

In the minors: Frankie De La Cruz's awful winter continued yesterday, as he allowed six runs on eight hits over three innings and dropped to 0-7 in Estrellas' 8-5 loss to Gigantes. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Notes.

There's not much else for news today, unless you haven't seen the Brewer Holiday Greetings.

This morning's Mug is the 992nd in BCB History. Assuming I don't miss more than one between now and then, we'll be celebrating The Night of (Approximately) 1000 Mugs at Rounding Third on January 3.

The BCB Book Club met one more time last night to discuss the final chapters of The Extra 2%. Stop by to share your thoughts if you haven't already, and help us decide what the club's next steps should be.

Around baseball:

Dodgers: Pitcher Ronald Belisario is expected to be suspended for the first 25 games of 2012 due to a violation of baseball's drug policy.
Nationals: Signed infielder Chad Tracy and outfielders Brett Carroll and Xavier Paul to minor league deals.
Pirates: Signed first baseman Jeff Clement to a minor league deal.
Rays: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Joel Peralta (one year, $2.175 million)
Red Sox: Former third base coach Tim Bogar will serve as bench coach in 2012.
Rockies: Signed third baseman Casey Blake (one year, $2 million) and pitcher Carlos Torres (minor league deal).

In what's becoming a time-honored tradition, each year we as a baseball community come together to point and laugh when teams dramatically overpay for relievers like Jonathan Papelbon. At FanGraphs, Jack Moore has a look at how you can use WPA to at least somewhat justify the decisions.

In former Brewers: One time Rule 5 pick Chuck Lofgren re-signed a minor league deal with the Giants and is attempting to make the switch from pitcher to position player.

Today in baseball economics:

  • The Mets are citing tight finances as the reason for their decision to discontinue their Gulf Coast League (Rookie) team. This would be roughly the equivalent of the Brewers suspending operations in Arizona.
  • Despite recent success and some $100 million+ payrolls in the early 2000s, the Rangers have still never drawn 3 million fans in a season. They set a new franchise record with 2.9 million in 2011, but that was their first season over 2.6 since 2001.

Are you a stathead looking for an opportunity to get your foot in the door in baseball? If so, it's possible the Orioles would like to talk to you.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get in shape before "Owners' Workout Day."

Drink up.