Monday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read instead of simulating a universe with rocks.

So if you missed the announcement yesterday, I decided to go ahead and create the Brew Crew Ball WhatifSports League. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, click this link for an explanation. There are only 12 teams in the league and two have already been created, so if you want one of the 10 remaining spots, click the first link soon.

As the trade market continues to swirl, you may find yourself wondering, "Has anyone ever created a database featuring every trade Doug Melvin has ever made as a major league general manager?" Yes, someone has.

There are more than a handful of free agent predictions out there today, so I'll just dump them into bullet points and you can decide for yourself what's worth noting:
  • Fire Brand of the American League predicts the Brewers will pick up Jeremy Affeldt and Brad Penny, and has the Brewers as the runner-up to land Juan Cruz and Jon Garland.
  • The Pinstriper has the Brewers signing Brad Penny, Juan Cruz, Jeremy Affeldt, Russell Branyan and Brad Wilkerson.
  • Baseball Blogging Network says the Brewers would be a good fit for Trevor Hoffman. So does FakeTeams.
  • A monkey drawing names and teams out of a plastic cup thinks CC Sabathia will be a Marlin.
Let's move right into a Sabathia Smorgasbord:
  • Dave Cameron of FanGraphs estimates Sabathia's value at 6 years, $162 million.
  • Blue Jays beat writer Jordan Bastian says the Yankees' big offer to Sabathia could impact the Jays' negotiations with A.J. Burnett.
  • Chone Smith has a projection for the 2009 Yankees that includes Sabathia, Burnett AND Derek Lowe.
  • The Mets reportedly are not pursuing Sabathia after all.
  • Sabathia received one vote in ESPN's NL MVP balloting.
  • Oh, it's THOSE Girls has made a list of pros and cons for Sabathia to consider before signing or not signing in New York.
Staying on the mound, there are a few notes out there regarding Ben Sheets. Crawfish Boxes has combined predictions for the Astros for 2009 and the monetary value of a win to make the case that, in Houston, signing Ben Sheets could pay for itself. USS Mariner thinks the Mariners should also be keeping a close eye on him. Finally, Recondite Baseball noted that Sheets was one of only twelve pitchers since 1990 to post a season with a WHIP under 1 and pitch enough innings to qualify for the ERA title. (Sheets did it in 2004)

Will the Brewers trade one high priced, high injury risk pitcher for another? Adam McCalvy says the Brewers are not a likely candidate to sign Kerry Wood. Neither are the Tigers.

On defense: Baseball Musings Probabilistic Model of Range has the Brewers 23rd in baseball in first base defense, and Prince Fielder well below average at 95.26. On the flip side, Brewer catchers ranked first, and Jason Kendall was the best full-time defensive catcher in all of baseball at 109.97. It's worth noting that a measure of range isn't really the complete picture on catcher defense.

Two prospect notes today: The Official Site has another look at Lorenzo Cain's impressive season in the AFL, and Hot-prospects.net thinks the Brewers will have Brent Brewer play in Brevard County for the third straight season in 2009.

Elsewhere, around the hot stove:

A's: Might be looking to trade Bobby Crosby.
Braves: Are reportedly out of the running for Jake Peavy but may have interest in A.J. Burnett.
Cardinals: Are reportedly making left-handed relief and shortstop a priority.
Cubs: May consider offering a deal to Randy Johnson.

As Francisco Rodriguez, Brian Fuentes, Kerry Wood, Trevor Hoffman and others continue to sit on the free agent market, Big League Stew asks when everyone started hating closers. The answer is pretty resounding: "When they started asking for 5/$75 deals."

Does the ball fly differently at Miller Park based on the month? Beyond the Box Score did the math and the answer, perhaps surprisingly, is yes.

FanGraphs has resurrected their "Get to know a stat" series. The first two up this time are First pitch strike percentage and outside swing percentage.

Looking for something to do in between Mugs? Apparently MLB.com is hiring. I think I may polish my resume a bit today.

Oh, and as someone witnessing way too much wedding planning, seeing virtually every picture taken at Chad Cordero's wedding was a bit more than I needed this morning.

Drink up.
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