Friday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while making excuses for not doing anything today.

We open today with a Sabathia Smorgasbord:
  • Ken Davidoff, via MLB Trade Rumors, reports the Yankees might be willing to raise their offer to $150 million over six seasons if another team, like the Angels, offers Sabathia $130 million.
  • Rob Neyer says replacing Jon Garland with Sabathia would make the Angels 3-4 wins better next season, which doesn't sound like much but becomes more relevant when you realize the 2008 Angels already won 100 games. And if Jon Garland is as bad as projected in 2009, the difference is even bigger.
  • Everyone loves CC. Absolutely everyone. Not only is he friends with LeBron James, Mike Cameron and Nick Swisher, but Buster Olney says his best friend in baseball is David Riske.
  • Sabathia's midseason acquisition and the jersey rush that followed are probably a big part of the reason the Brewers sold more named jerseys than any other team in 2008.
  • FanGraphs says Sabathia had the single greatest pitching performance in 2008. (Ben Sheets had the second best.)
  • Kenny Doyle of Dugout Central says the Braves need CC Sabathia...because he's black. I tend to think he's valuable for reasons that extend beyond his skin color.
  • Over 10,000 people have voted, and so far the Yankees hold a slight edge in Ken Rosenthal's poll on CC Sabathia's destination.
  • Sabathia was second on The Brew Town Beat's Top Ten List of things to be thankful for.
  • Sabathia also made Big League Stew's list of 101 things, along with Ryan Braun's nickname, Bob Uecker, and the food and tailgating at Miller Park.
Of course, there is other movement on the free agent market. These two pieces of news were so huge, for example, that the mainstream media just assumed you knew about them and passed by: Mel Stocker is a Mariner and Callix Crabbe might be too.

Since they haven't signed any Type A or B free agents (yet), the Brewers still project to draft 27th in the 2009 draft. With two Type A free agents (Sabathia and Sheets) still out there, they stand to pick up several extra early picks.

Here's a mishmash of one sentence notes falling under the heading of "bullpen:" Baseball Musings takes a look at how defense affected pitchers in 2008. Sabathia, Ben Sheets and Dave Bush were helped the most by the Brewer defense, while Carlos Villanueva was the only Brewer to be hurt by it.

While I'm on the subject of defense: I know fielding percentages and error counts are not the only or the best way to measure defensive ability, but Vinny Rottino, Brendan Katin and Tony Gwynn were all among the bottom of AAA in terms of fielding percentage and among the leaders in errors. Just saying.

I hope everyone remembered yesterday to be thankful for R.J. Swindle. He's Canadian, so his Thanksgiving is actually the second Monday in October, but Independent Baseball Chatter says he has extra reason to be thankful this season anyway.

If Balking Traditionalism's 2009 pitching projections are accurate, we may not have as much Brewer success to be thankful for at this time next year.

Rowland's Office thinks the Braves are making a mistake pursuing A.J. Burnett if the price is five years, $75 million, comparing Burnett to Pete Harnisch. He thinks the Braves should pursue Ben Sheets instead.

And if free agent pitching is too expensive for you, Baseball Analysts takes a look at some pitchers available in the Rule 5 Draft.

I didn't collect as many hot stove links as I normally do today, but here are a few:

Braves: Mike Hampton is reportedly shopping for a one year deal, but wants a straight salary, not an incentive-based deal. I can't believe I'm saying this, but on a one year deal he might be worthy of consideration.
Mets: The team is likely just posturing, but has publicly stated Brian Fuentes' request for a 3 year, $30-$33 million deal seems "a bit high."
Phillies: Matt Stairs is most likely the only current major leaguer spending the offseason coaching high school hockey in Maine.

So, if you're reading the Mug this morning, it's probably safe to assume you skipped the long lines and insanity of Black Friday shopping. If you did, and you're still looking for gifts, might I suggest a shiny new Wisconsin Timber Rattler hat? I'd wear one.

Finally, I've made a point of keeping my work and this blog separate for most of my tenure here, but today it's for a good cause so I'll break the rule. I've been ring announcing pro wrestling shows for 3XWrestling in Des Moines for the last 2 1/2 years, and tonight we have a show in Des Moines as a toy drive for Toys for Tots. If you're located somewhere near Des Moines and looking for something to do tonight, c'mon out with a new, unopened toy and help support a great cause. Even if you're not near Des Moines, Toys for Tots is a great cause to support, as is Child's Play, which is helping two hospitals in Wisconsin this year.

Drink up.
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