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Monday's Frosty Mug

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Cesar Izturis seems to have a pretty good shot at making the Opening Day roster.
Cesar Izturis seems to have a pretty good shot at making the Opening Day roster.

Some things to read while running out for bricks and mortar.

We're 33 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, and I'd like to welcome those of you joining or re-joining us today following yesterday's conclusion to your NFL season.

One way or the other we may have significant news today as the Brewers have until 4 pm tomorrow to announce their plans regarding Norichika Aoki. If the two sides can't work out a deal the Brewers get their $2.5 million posting fee back, but Japanese publication Sponichi (via NPB Tracker) seems to think they'll reach an agreement (FanShot).

Meanwhile, three more Brewers have received invitations to big league camp: Pitchers Dan Meadows and Josh Butler and catcher Patrick Arlis will be in Maryvale in a few weeks (Our post). Meadows is probably the only one of the three with a significant chance to contribute to the team in 2012: He's been a very good lefty reliever in the upper levels of the minors over the last two seasons.

Adam McCalvy has the details regarding Cesar Izturis' new contract, and they'd seem to imply he has a pretty good chance of making the team out of spring training. He'll earn $875,000 if he makes the roster plus a possible $375,000 in incentives, and can opt out of the deal if he's not on the big league roster on March 30.

As things stand right now the Brewer bullpen looks like it's full, but I guess there's always room for one more. @JWuss noted that Todd Coffey was in Milwaukee on Friday.

Speaking of the bullpen, Jon Paul Morosi has been asking around for estimates on Francisco Rodriguez's arbitration payday and said some of the predictions were in the $10 million range. That would actually be a pay cut for K-Rod, who made $11.5 million in 2011.

Better late than never, I guess... Miller Park Drunk has a collection of new year's resolutions for various Brewers.

Here are today's Prince Fielder notes:

We're still waiting for resolution regarding Ryan Braun's potential suspension, but another player has stepped up to defend him: Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay is a former college teammate of Braun's and said he's been in touch with the NL MVP and is "a big Ryan Braun supporter."

There may be a reference I don't get or something else I'm missing, but I think "Dionysus with Rabies" is a pretty cool nickname and Nyjer Morgan is currently leading the voting to receive it at NotGraphs.

John Axford attended this weekend's Baseball Canada awards banquet and Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star wrote a story about him.

In the minors:

Friday's edition of Offseason Notes at FanGraphs came out too late to make that day's Mug, but included an opportunity to help with the site's crowdsourced rankings of the Brewer TV broadcasts. You presumably watch some of those, so you should go share your thoughts.

Around baseball:

Angels: Avoided arbitration with infielder Alberto Callaspo (one year, $3.15 million).
Athletics: Signed pitcher Bartolo Colon to a one year, $2 million deal.
Blue Jays: Avoided arbitration with outfielder Colby Rasmus (one year, $2.7 million).
Braves: Avoided arbitration with infielder Martin Prado (one year, $4.75 million) and signed infielder Jack Wilson to a one year, $1 million deal.
Cubs: Re-signed pitcher Kerry Wood to a one year, $3 million deal and signed infielder Alfredo Amezaga to a minor league deal.
Indians: Shortstop Adam Everett has retired and accepted a job as a special assistant with the team.
Nationals: Signed pitcher Gio Gonzalez to a five year contract extension with club options for 2017 and 2018.
Phillies: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Kyle Kendrick (one year, $3.585 million) and signed pitcher Joel Pineiro to a minor league deal.
Pirates: Avoided arbitration with closer Joel Hanrahan (one year, $4.1 million) and pitcher Chris Resop (one year, $850,000).
Rays: Designated catcher Nevin Ashley for assignment.
Red Sox: Avoided arbitration with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (one year, $2.5 million) and outfielder Ryan Sweeney (one year, $1.75 million).
Reds: Signed pitchers Ron Mahay and Clay Zavada to minor league deals.
Rockies: Avoided arbitration with outfielder Seth Smith (one year, $2.415 million).
Royals: Signed third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff to a minor league deal.
Twins: Signed pitcher Joel Zumaya to a one year, $800,000 deal.
Yankees: Acquired pitcher Michael Pineda and a minor league pitcher from the Mariners for catcher/DH Jesus Montero and a minor league pitcher, and signed pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to a one year deal believed to be worth $10-11 million.

Today in former Brewers:

In baseball economics:

  • Over 49,000 fans paid to see a Supercross event at Arizona's Chase Field over the weekend. That's over 10,000 more fans than paid to see the Diamondbacks and Brewers play NLDS Game Four.
  • The Indians' "Snow Days" feature, where they turn Progressive Field into a winter sports park, is going to lose money for the second consecutive year.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find matching shoes.

Drink up.