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Tuesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while going unseen.

We're 74 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, but yesterday's first day of the Winter Meetings didn't tell us much of anything about which players will be headed to camp. We do know one player who won't, though: Jerry Hairston Jr. signed a two year, $6 million deal with the Dodgers yesterday (FanShot). He told Amy K. Nelson of SB Nation that being close to home was a factor, so it's possible the Brewers matched or exceeded the offer but didn't get the player anyway. Either way, Hairston had never earned more than $2.3 million in a season before.

Ron Roenicke sat down with reporters yesterday, saying among other things that he spoke to Shaun Marcum following the season, the Brewers need to decide on a #4 hitter and expect Casey McGehee back in a full time role in 2012. You can see the full transcript of his comments here. There's also video available of his appearance on MLB Network last night.

This would come as a surprise to me, but it's possible the Brewers are one of the top contenders to land Jimmy Rollins. This report suggests the Brewers and Phillies are "going toe-to-toe" over the veteran shortstop's services. @wezen-ball has a reminder that even a fictional alien would get on base more often than Yuniesky Betancourt. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker has a look at the shortstop situation.

It is, of course, extremely unlikely to happen, but Jack also raised an interesting question on Twitter yesterday: Should the Brewers call the Marlins and offer Zack Greinke for Hanley Ramirez?

The Aramis Ramirez rumor isn't going away. David Schoenfield of listed a Brewers/Ramirez contract as one of ten things he'd like to see at this week's meetings.

Here are a couple of other notes on infielders that may come up again: Jayson Stark said Mark DeRosa, who is a free agent this winter, could be a fit with the Brewers. Meanwhile, Jerry Crasnick is reporting the Giants are considering non-tendering or trading infielder Jeff Keppinger. Keppinger only played second base last season but has made 178 appearances at shortstop in his career.

On the relief front, it seems like LaTroy Hawkins is going to become a former Brewer. His agent told Tom Haudricourt the team has shown no interest in bringing him back. They have, however, apparently expressed interest in Todd Coffey and Octavio Dotel. View From Bernie's Chalet has a look at some relievers available on a relatively low budget.

If this is true, then one of the bullpen vacancies might be filled: Zack Braddock is expected back at full strength in Brewer camp in 2012.

Here are today's Prince Fielder notes:

  • Baseball Nation spotted a Buster Olney report saying the Brewers are "out" on Fielder.
  • Jerry Crasnick is reporting something that flies in the face of things we've heard elsewhere: Someone close to Fielder told him he's "not necessarily going to chase the most money," and that comfort is a factor.

Fielder, by the way, has something in common with five other relatively unknown players on this list at High Heat Stats. I have no idea what that something might be.

Elsewhere in unusual lists: Value Over Replacement Grit notes that there were 44 major leaguers in 2011 who have all five vowels in their name. Four of them were Brewers: Craig Counsell, Eulogio (Frankie) De La Cruz, Francisco Rodriguez and Yuniesky Betancourt.

In the minors:

Our Brewer-by-Brewer look at the 2011 season continued yesterday with this profile of Mat Gamel. The series continues later today, so be sure to check back.

This morning's Frosty Mug is the 980th in Brew Crew Ball history. We're still on pace to publish the 1000th Mug on Tuesday, January 3 and we'd like you to join us afterwards for The Night of 1000 Mugs.

Around baseball:

Diamondbacks: Signed pitcher Joe Martinez to a one year deal.
Dodgers: Signed pitcher Aaron Harang to a two year deal believed to be worth $12 million.
Rockies: Acquired pitcher Kevin Slowey from the Twins for a PTBNL and claimed outfielder Jamie Hoffmann off waivers from the Dodgers.
Twins: Claimed pitcher Pedro Florimon off waivers from the Orioles and signed reliever Matt Capps to a one year, $4.75 million deal with an option for 2013.

The Rule 5 draft is coming up on Thursday, but this year I've seen a surprisingly low number of previews for it. View From The Bleachers has four players they'd consider selecting, and Ben Badler of Baseball America tweeted a scouting report on Tigers pitcher Jay Voss.

In former Brewers:

Today in baseball economics:

  • It's got to be a scary time to be a Mets fan. A report this week showed that Mets ownership is roughly $1.5 billion dollars in debt from deals regarding the acquisition of the team, SNY and Citi Field. That's more than they could probably even make back by selling the team, and doesn't include money they may be forced to pay as part of the Madoff lawsuit.
  • Meanwhile, the average MLB salary for 2011 was $3.095 million. The Biz of Baseball has a breakdown by service time.

If you've finished this morning's Mug and you're still looking for other things to do, maybe you have time to enter to be a part of MLB's Fan Cave promotion in 2012. Getting paid to watch a lot of baseball seems like a sweet deal.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to be reminded again.

Drink up.