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Monday's "Arbitration Countdown" Frosty Mug

We're talking about Marco Estrada, Juan Francisco and more in today's roundup of all things Brewers.

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Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Some things to read while waiting for the mail.

We are 74 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and today two 2013 Brewers will learn their plans for next season. The Brewers have until midnight Eastern time tonight to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players and have two remaining: Marco Estrada and Juan Francisco. Estrada is a near-lock to remain with the team, but the jury is still out on Francisco. There's a poll in the previous link, and as of this writing 59% of you would tender a contract to Estrada but not Francisco. 40% would give contracts to both.

Francisco's tendency to swing and miss is a big part of the reason he finds himself on the chopping block today. Over at Baseball Analytics Alec says Francisco needs to improve against non-fastball pitches if he's going to succeed in the majors.

The Marlins also have until the end of the day today to decide what to do with first baseman Logan Morrison, and Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish says the Brewers are expected to be interested if the Marlins decide to trade him. Morrison is 26 and hit .242/.333/.375 in 85 games for Miami last season.

Meanwhile, Norichika Aoki is already under contract for 2014 but remains one of the Brewers most likely to be traded this winter. Walk Like A Sabermetrician notes that Aoki's .347 OBP was the third best in all of baseball among leadoff hitters in 2013.

Today in free agency:

The Brewers would have much more money to spend in free agency if they were able to unload Rickie Weeks and Aramis Ramirez's contracts. Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew has a look at Ramirez and Weeks as trade candidates this winter.

Ryan Braun also carries a heavy price tag for 2014 ($10 million), but despite all of his troubles he'd probably get more on the free agent market. Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation suggests Braun would receive nine years and $190 million if he were on the open market this winter.

Speaking of Braun, Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless of ESPN recently debated whether or not he should be forgiven. I'll admit I declined to subject myself to that discussion.

In the minors:

  • David Goforth's fall season wrapped up a few weeks ago as he recorded the save in the Arizona Fall League championship game. Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew has a look at Goforth and an attempt to project his future.
  • Plans are moving forward and could be approved in the next two weeks for a new ballpark in Nashville. The Tennessean has a look at how the city may actually have saved millions by waiting seven years to construct a new facility. (h/t @Buster_ESPN)
  • In Puerto Rico, Hiram Burgos pitched four scoreless innings and Martin Maldonado hit a three-run homer but it was not enough as Mayaguez lost 5-3 to Caguas yesterday (box score). Jose De La Torre pitched a scoreless eighth inning for Caguas.
  • Alfredo Figaro was a tough luck loser for Licey yesterday, allowing a single run on three hits over four innings in a 1-0 loss to Escogido (box score). Former Brewer Kameron Loe pitched 4.1 scoreless innings for the victors.
  • You can read much more about the previous week in winter baseball (including Jason Rogers' Dominican debut) in morineko's Sunday roundup.
  • Meanwhile on the other side of the globe, 2013 Huntsville reliever Eric Marzec is on his way to Australia to pitch winter ball down under. (h/t
  • Back in the states, Huntsville has a new radio play-by-play man for 2014: Steve Jarnicki will take over on Opening Day, and he's on Twitter at @SteveJarnicki.

Alfredo Figaro, by the way, is on Twitter as @Guden45.

If you weren't around the site over the holiday weekend, here are some things you might have missed:

Around baseball:

Blue Jays: Are expected to sign catcher Dioner Navarro to a two-year deal.
Dodgers: Avoided arbitration with reliever Scott Elbert ($575,000), catcher Drew Butera ($700,000) and outfielder Mike Baxter ($700,000).
Giants: Re-signed pitcher Ryan Vogelsong to a one-year deal that could be worth $6.5 million with incentives.
Orioles: Acquired catcher Johnny Monell from the Giants for cash.
Rays: Re-signed reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo to a one-year deal.
Royals: Signed general manager Dayton Moore to a two-year contract extension through 2016.
Twins: Signed pitcher Phil Hughes to a three-year, $24 million deal.

And in former Brewers:

Today in baseball economics:

Finally, with help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy 38th birthday to 2011 Brewer Mark Kotsay. We covered his birthday in Today In Brewer History last year, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 13 career HBP are the third most ever for a player born on December 2.

Today is also the tenth anniversary of the Brewers signing starting pitcher Victor Santos as a free agent in 2003. We covered that event in Today In Brewer History two years ago.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get back in line.

Drink up.