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Friday's Frosty Mug: So Who's Left?

Ryan Dempster, who appears to have been the Brewers' #1 target this winter, is off the market. So what now?

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Scott Boehm

Some things to read while waiting for the turtle to pick you up.

So now what? After we've spent weeks being told Ryan Dempster would sign with the first team to offer him a three-year deal, Dempster must've gotten sick of waiting and signed a two-year, $26.5 million deal with the Red Sox yesterday. We can and likely will argue about whether or not the Brewers should have offered him more, but the fact that their primary free agent target is headed elsewhere certainly changes the direction of the Brewer offseason a bit.

With Dempster off the market, Doug Melvin told Adam McCalvy that the Brewers don't intend to pursue any of the top remaining free agent pitchers. Going "Dempster or Bust" really seems like a bizarre move, but Melvin told Tom Haudricourt he hasn't been seeing much reciprocal interest from top free agents. I have a theory on why that might be.

If the Brewers do decide to pursue other free agent options, Edwin Jackson might be the most interesting name left on the market. J.P. Breen of Disciples of Uecker has a look at Jackson as a candidate. MLB Trade Rumors says the Padres are "strongly pursuing" him, and Jon Heyman says the Rangers are also interested. Texas probably has plenty of money to spend after losing out on both Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton.

Elsewhere in free agency, Doug Melvin told reporters yesterday that he's had no contact with Shaun Marcum, raising the possibility that the door Marcum had previously said was "still open" is actually closed and locked from the inside. Jaymes Langrehr of Disciples of Uecker has a look at the injury issues that are likely part of the reason the Brewers aren't interested.

If the Brewers aren't going to add pieces in free agency this winter, is it possible they should be looking to move in the other direction? Keep Turning Up The Heat! wonders if the Brewers should actually turn down the heat a bit and rebuild.

Anyway, let's move on to happier news. Mike Vassallo has a photo of the Mel Ott Memorial Trophy (which I just learned is a real thing), awarded to Ryan Braun for leading the National League in home runs in 2012. Meanwhile, Lee Panas of Tiger Tales says Braun has "participated in a run" in 29.1% of his career plate appearances, the seventh best percentage since 1950.

Meanwhile, Carlos Gomez's offseason adventures continue. Robert J. Baumann of NotGraphs has (among other things) a photo of Gomez holding a shotgun while standing next to an emu. Gomez, by the way, hit the seventh longest homer by a Brewer in 2012.

If I had to guess, I'd say Aramis Ramirez's offseason has probably been significantly less interesting. Paul Rice of Fake Teams, though, credits Ramirez for being a steady offensive performer at a position that doesn't have many of them.

In the minors:

  • Jairo Asencio pitched 1.2 perfect innings last night but it was not enough as Este lost 4-3 in 16 innings to Licey in the Dominican Republic. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Update.
  • Veteran journeyman infielder Tommy Manzella, who hit .252/.336/.298 in 62 games for AA Huntsville this season, has signed a minor league deal with the Rockies and has been invited to spring training.
  • Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has the latest renovation update from Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium, where work appears to be coming along nicely.

If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, has a link to archived audio from last night's edition of Brewers Weekly on WTMJ with Rickie Weeks and Johnny Hellweg.

Around baseball:

Angels: Signed outfielder Josh Hamilton to a five year, $125 million deal.
Braves: Signed utility infielder Ramiro Pena to a minor league deal.
Cardinals: Signed 1B/3B Ty Wigginton to a two year, $5 million deal.
Cubs: Signed Korean reliever Chang-Yong Lim to a minor league deal.
Giants: Signed pitcher Chad Gaudin to a minor league deal and outfielder Andres Torres to a one year, $2 million deal.
Nationals: Signed infielder Brian Bocock to a minor league deal.
Orioles: Hired Bobby Dickerson as their new third base coach.
Reds: Signed third baseman Jack Hannahan to a two-year deal (previous reports indicated one year).
Tigers: Signed pitcher Anibal Sanchez to a five year, $80 million deal.
Twins: Signed outfielder Brandon Boggs, shortstop Ray Olmedo and pitcher Bryan Augenstein to minor league deals.
Yankees: Signed outfielder Ichiro Suzuki to a two year, $13 million deal and signed catcher Bobby Wilson and infielder Gil Velazquez to minor league deals.

You may want to take the Sanchez news with a grain of salt, because yesterday it was reported that he had signed with the Cubs. They've since said they're out, though.

Of course, today's big story around baseball is the Hamilton signing. Among those surprised by the news is new Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter, who says the Angels told him they were out of money before finding $25 million annually in the budget for their new outfielder.

Today in former Brewers:

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks what would have been the 139th birthday of John Anderson, offensive star of the 1901 Milwaukee Brewers. Plunk Everyone notes that Anderson's 53 career HBP are the second most ever for a player born on December 14.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've been spotted.

Drink up.