Okay, to say I have a man crush on Brewers’ General Manager might be a little strong, but I’ve been a fan of his since he came to Milwaukee. He has consistently made great trades, picked up diamonds in the rough off the scrap heap and makes very shrewed free agent signings. The latest and biggest is of course the pending signing of closer to be Eric Gagne. I’ve made it no secret that I am a huge Gagne fan and thought it would be great to get him to Milwaukee. Well my Brewers’ Christmas gift is coming a few weeks early. The deal is said to be a one-year, $10 million deal with incentives and a club option for 2009. Gagne is back in the National League where he had his greatest success with the Dodgers from 2002-04. Gagne will replace the recently departed Francisco Cordero. Along with the newly acquired Guillermo Mota, David Riske and Salomon Torres the Brewers have turned their bullpen to at least on paper one of the most dominant bullpens in the league. Even if Torres decides to retire, the Brewers still have Derrick Turnbow, Brian Shouse, Seth McClung and any of the starters that don’t make the rotation to fill out a deep pen. Matt Wise will unlikely be back and Mitch Stetter, Luis Pena and Randy Choate will most likely start the season at Triple A, Nashville. Since season end, the Brewers bullpen went from a weakness to full-blown disaster after Cordero and Scott Linebrink left and it has returned and now looks stronger than ever. It took Melvin just over two months to solve this problem. The next problem is obviously what to do about left field/third base. Melvin has just over two more months until Spring Training starts. Personally, I’d be fine it they went with some sort of a Gabe Gross, Tony Gwynn, Joe Dillon platoon, but I have a feeling there are more trades coming, especially with the Scott Rolen-Tony LaRussa mess in St. Louis. I think the Brewers may have passed the Cubbies as NL Central favorites, but they need to keep getting better to stay ahead of the North Siders.