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Friday's Frosty Mug: Judgment Day For Manny Parra

The Brewers have until midnight tonight to offer the much-maligned reliever a contract or allow him to become a free agent.

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The Brewers continued their transaction silence yesterday but we'll almost certainly have a move to discuss by the end of the day today as midnight tonight is the deadline for the Brewers to offer 2013 contracts to five arbitration-eligible players. John Axford, Carlos Gomez and Marco Estrada are locks to get tendered and Chris Narveson is almost certain to get an offer as well, but the jury remains out on Manny Parra.

For me the decision isn't all that difficult. I'd let Parra, a lefty who has struggled to retire lefties and floundered in both starting and relief roles, seek a change of scenery on the free agent market. I also suspect his eventual free agent deal will be worth less than the $1.6 million MLB Trade Rumors predicts he'll get in arbitration, but on Twitter this morning several of you disagreed with that sentiment.

Meanwhile on the free agent market, Ryan Dempster may be the first player on the market this winter with a serious possibility of becoming a Brewer. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Brewers are one of three teams believed to be in the mix for the former Cub and Ranger, who is believed to be seeking a three year deal despite the fact that he'll be 36 in May. Buster Olney notes the "proximity" angle: Milwaukee may make sense for Dempster because it's close to Chicago, where he was comfortable for years.

If Dempster does come to Milwaukee, though, it won't be cheap: Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star is reporting the Royals had a two year, $26 million deal on the table for him and it was rejected.

Elsewhere in free agency:

Free agency will probably heat up a bit next week during baseball's Winter Meetings in Nashville. Adam McCalvy has another preview of the Brewers' potential activity with a look at their needs and possible trade candidates.

In the minors:

  • has a great look at the Brewer minor leaguers available in next week's Rule 5 draft, and notes that Eric Farris could also be taken in the minor league phase if he's not taken in the major league portion.
  • Martin Maldonado had a big night last night in Puerto Rico, going 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles in Mayaguez's 9-8 win over Manati. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Recap.
  • Joe Block noted yesterday that Maldonado has been getting some time at first base in Puerto Rico this winter, and he told Block he's "just trying to get innings there."
  • The ownership group with control over the Nashville Sounds appears committed to keeping the team in Nashville, but has sent out a call for new investors.

If you'd like more Brewer coverage this morning but you're sick of reading, has links to archived audio from Jonathan Lucroy and Josh Prince's appearances on Brewers Weekly on WTMJ last night.

Around baseball:

Athletics: Signed infielder/outfielder Scott Moore to a minor league deal.
Diamondbacks: Released pitcher Brad Bergesen.
Indians: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Blake Wood (one year, $560,000).
Mets: Signed third baseman David Wright to a seven year, $122 million contract extension through 2020.
Nationals: Acquired outfielder Denard Span from the Twins for a minor league pitcher.
Pirates: Signed catcher Russell Martin to a two year, $17 million deal.
Rays: Signed pitchers Matt Buschmann and Will Inman, infielder Shawn O'Malley and first baseman Nick Weglarz to minor league deals.
Royals: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Felipe Paulino (one year, $1.75 million plus incentives).
Yankees: Re-signed reliever Mariano Rivera to a one year, $10 million deal.

Today in former Brewers:

Now, if you'll excuse me, asparagus is cool again.

Drink up.