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Tuesday's Frosty Mug: Defending A Lower Payroll

Barring something unforeseen the Brewers will open 2013 with a 25% lower payroll. We're talking about that and more in today's daily news roundup.

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Some things to read while serving your new purpose.

We are 22 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training and that day likely can't come soon enough for Jim Henderson, who took a picture of sweat freezing in his beard after his workout yesterday.

Slightly further south in Milwaukee, Tom Haudricourt has an extended piece in today's Journal Sentinel on the Brewers' decision to cut payroll from over $100 million in 2012 to well under $80 million in 2013. Barring a major signing, this team's payroll will be their lowest since 2007.

Ron Roenicke could have his hands full managing a young starting pitching staff this season. Justin Schultz of Reviewing the Brew wants him to spend more time defending his players with the umpires in 2013.

Roenicke also needs to figure out how he's going to manage a bullpen that features several new faces. Brandon Berg of has a look at the knowns and unknowns among relievers heading into spring training.

Oh, and did I mention that Roenicke's team has 14 players leaving for the World Baseball Classic? Noted leisured gentleman Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs has a statistical look at the players on the US WBC roster, including Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy.

Meanwhile, they've also got a gap to fill at first base. Jaymes Langrehr of Disciples of Uecker has quotes from Mat Gamel's recent radio appearance talking about the opportunity to win a job out of camp with Corey Hart on the shelf.

Despite all of those question marks, we continue to inch closer to Opening Day. The Brewers unveiled a lottery system for the chance to buy the few remaining tickets to their April 1 home opener against the Rockies yesterday.

In the minors:

  • Seedlings To Stars has Wily Peralta as baseball's 101st best prospect.
  • The Brewer Nation has a profile of Nick Bucci as part of their "Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers" series.

If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, I'll be appearing on The Sports Den with Downtown Ollie Burrows on SportsFan 100.5 in Wausau at 5:30.

Around baseball:

Astros: Signed pitcher Erik Bedard to a minor league deal.
Indians: Signed outfielder Ben Francisco to a minor league deal.
Mariners: Reportedly signed catcher Ronny Paulino to a one-year, $1 million deal.
Mets: Signed pitcher Pedro Feliciano to a minor league deal.
Pirates: Signed pitcher Francisco Liriano to a two-year, $12.75 million deal.
Rangers: Avoided arbitration with outfielder David Murphy (one year, $5.775 million) and signed pitcher Nate Robertson to a minor league deal.

The big news around baseball yesterday might have been the report that Cincinnati will host the 2015 All Star Game. New ballparks in both Washington and Miami will each have to wait at least two more years.

Today in former Brewers:

  • Uni Watch has a photo and the story from the day the Royals' uniforms were stolen from the visitor's clubhouse at County Stadium and they had to play their game against the Brewers in Milwaukee's road uniforms. (h/t John Steinmiller)
  • MLB Daily Dish has Hank Aaron as the second best black baseball player of all time, behind only Willie Mays.
  • True Blue LA remembers Jesse Orosco's contributions to the 1988 Dodgers.

Today's sabermetric note comes via Jon Roegele of Beyond the Box Score, who has an interesting look at how pitchers' pitch movement change as they approach Tommy John surgery.

This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the ninth anniversary of the Brewers signing reliever Matt Wise as a minor league free agent in 2004. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also been 6000 days since Paul Molitor set a career high with four extra base hits in a Brewer win over the Indians in 1986 and 30,000 days since the birth of 1982 Brewer manager Harvey Kuenn.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to tell more people about the cold.

Drink up.