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Thursday's Frosty Mug: Welcoming Jesus Sanchez

The Brewers are one step closer to having the 2013 roster in place this morning.

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Thanks for stopping by, Livan.
Thanks for stopping by, Livan.
Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

Some things to read while taking a pounding.

We're still several months away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, but the clubhouse staff can start preparing a locker for reliever Jesus Sanchez. The Brewers added the 25-year-old Venezuelan righthander to the 40 man roster yesterday to protect him from minor league free agency and the Rule 5 draft. Sanchez posted a 1.63 ERA in 52 appearances for Huntsville and Nashville last season and struck out better than eight batters per nine while allowing just two home runs all year.

I had previously said that Sanchez would not be eligible for minor league free agency this winter, but @Mass_Haas emailed me to correct that: Sanchez played for the Phillies in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela from 2005-08, so 2012 was actually his ninth professional season but his fifth stateside.

Meanwhile, the Brewers cleared a couple of spots on the roster yesterday by outrighting Livan Hernandez and Yorvit Torrealba to the minors. Both players refused assignments and are now free agents, but would have been following the World Series anyway.

The Brewers will report to Maryvale a little earlier than usual next spring because it's a World Baseball Classic year, which extends spring training a bit. Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk has Ryan Braun projected to start in the US outfield in the games next spring.

We're two days in and haven't seen any real surprises in our MVBrewers rankings. Aramis Ramirez won the #2 spot yesterday, and you can read his profile here. The voting for #3 is open now and will be until 2.

Carlos Gomez is another player on that ballot (this is his third ballot), and Twinkie Town has a look at his (and Livan Hernandez's) season as part of their post on former Twins in 2012.

Today in free agency:

  • Bruce Levine (via Blaine Blontz of MLB Daily Dish) says "Pitchers coming off injury or bad years that will take one or two year deal is probably the direction the Cubs will go," and lists Shaun Marcum as one such candidate.
  • Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register is predicting Zack Greinke will get a five year, $115 million deal this winter.

While the Brewers are probably unlikely to bring either of those pitchers back for 2013, MLB Depth Charts listed starting pitching as their top priority in their offseason preview. Brandon Berg of also has a look at the rotation situation.

Around baseball:

Blue Jays: Claimed outfielder Scott Cousins off waivers from the Marlins and pitcher Cory Wade off waivers from the Yankees.
Diamondbacks: Fired first base coach Eric Young.
Dodgers: Pitcher Blake Hawksworth has refused an outright assignment and is now a free agent.
Mets: Catcher Rob Johnson has refused an outright assignment and is now a free agent.
Nationals: Outfielder Brett Carroll and catcher Carlos Maldonado have refused outright assignments and are now free agents.
Orioles: Pitcher Dana Eveland and catcher Ronny Paulino have refused outright assignments and are now free agents.
Red Sox: Claimed pitcher Sandy Rosario off waivers from the Marlins and designated outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin for assignment.
Reds: Outfielder Ryan Ludwick has declined his half of his mutual option for 2013 and will be a free agent.

Around baseball yesterday's biggest story came in Detroit, where last night's scheduled Game 4 of the ALCS was delayed despite the fact that it had not yet started raining and eventually ended up getting postponed. Jason Beck of has a look at the decision to wait until today.

Today in baseball economics:

  • Crawfish Boxes has a look at the cities in Texas that are not yet reached by CSN Houston, the Astros' new team-owned TV network, and how that could impact the fanbase going forward.
  • Wendy Thurm of FanGraphs asks if a new ballpark would solve Oakland's attendance issues.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've found my backpack.

Drink up.