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Monday's Frosty Mug: Enter Offseason

The final out of the 2012 season has been recorded, and our daily news roundup has everything you need to get your offseason started.

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Some things to read while making a challenge.

When Sergio Romo struck out Miguel Cabrera in the tenth inning last night it opened the door for the moment we've all been waiting for: The official beginning of the offseason. The countdown to 2013 starts now, and here are some important dates looming on the horizon:

  • The Brewers have somewhere between three and five days (this appears to vary from contract to contract) to exercise or decline shortstop Alex Gonzalez's club option for 2013.
  • Free agents are allowed to sign contracts with other teams starting on Saturday.
  • Teams have until November 30 to decide whether to tender or non-tender arbitration-eligible players.
  • The Winter Meetings will be held in Nashville on December 3-6, with the Rule 5 draft on the 6th.

We can also start the countdown to someone else signing Josh Hamilton so that rumor can go away. Tom Haudricourt threw some cold water on the speculation about the Brewers signing the former AL MVP over the weekend, and badgernoonan of Ron Roenicke Stole My Baseball has a list of reasons why it never made sense in the first place.

Even without Hamilton the Brewers could get an offensive boost in 2013 if Rickie Weeks can bounce back from his relatively dismal 2012. Brian French of Fake Teams listed Weeks as a potential fantasy value pick for next season.

The fact that I've already seen two articles like this since the season ended is starting to concern me a bit: Jeff Zimmerman of FanGraphs has a look at the theory that pitchers who struggle to locate the strike zone may have mechanical issues that could lead to injury, and lists Yovani Gallardo as someone who could be affected.

Elsewhere in Brewer pitchers: On Friday we named Marco Estrada as 2012's ninth most valuable Brewer, and you can see his profile here. The voting for the #10 spot, the final reader-voted position on the list, will remain open until 1:30 today and the winner will be announced at 2.

Award season continued over the weekend with Buster Posey being selected over Ryan Braun to win the NL Hank Aaron Award, given annually to the league's best hitter. As of this writing about 65% of voters in this Bleed Cubbie Blue poll are also taking Posey over Braun to win the NL MVP.

At any rate, now that the 2012 season is over we can all move on to more important matters, as demonstrated by Carson Cistulli in our Tweet of the Day:

In the minors:

Back at home, Stadium Journey has posted a review of Miller Park and gave it a 3.9 out of 5. I think that might be a little generous but I'll take it.

Around baseball:

Astros: Claimed outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin off waivers from the Red Sox.
Cubs: Pitcher Manny Corpas has rejected an outright assignment and is now a free agent.
Diamondbacks: Claimed infielder Gustavo Nunez off waivers from the Pirates.
Padres: Pitchers Tim Stauffer and Dustin Moseley have rejected outright assignments to the minors and are now free agents.
Rays: Outfielder Rich Thompson has rejected an outright assignment to the minors and is now a free agent.
Royals: Claimed pitcher Chris Volstad off waivers from the Cubs.

In former Brewers:

The World Series featured a scary moment on Thursday as Tigers pitcher Doug Fister took a line drive off the back of his head but was OK and able to remain in the game. The incident sparked another discussion about protective headgear for pitchers, and Major League Baseball says the effort is "on the fast track."

The Tigers may not have won the World Series but at least their logo got to be a part of the celebration: Big League Stew noticed a champagne bucket congratulating the World Champion Tigers being carried around during the Giants festivities.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the fourth anniversary of the Brewers claiming Casey McGehee off waivers from the Cubs. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the tenth anniversary of the Brewers hiring Ned Yost.

Now, if you'll excuse me, all I have is a flat head.

Drink up.