So, on the biggest front, there's not much to report. The Mike Cameron for Melky Cabrera deal is still under discussion. Melky Cabrera is still below average at pretty much everything he does. Chuckie Hacks, Between the Green Pillars and Tyler Maas of Bugs and Cranks all have reservations about it. Buster Olney is already working on a eulogy for the 2009 Brewers. And somehow, inexplicably, 64% of JS readers (poll is in the Tom H. blog linked above) think the trade is a good idea.
Meanwhile, Doug Melvin is preaching patience. I spent almost an hour on the phone yesterday with my dad clarifying a point on my frustration, so maybe I should clarify it here too:
I'm having no problem being patient this offseason. I understand that working out a deal and improving a pitching staff takes time. I understand that making a trade like the Cameron move to cut payroll could make it easier to sign someone. If the Brewers need to trade Cameron to make room to improve somewhere else, I understand that.
But, and this is the important part, Mike Cameron, big contract and all, is ridiculously more valuable than Melky Cabrera. Cameron would have been a Type B free agent and the best center fielder on the market if the Brewers hadn't exercised his option. He's making $10 million this season, which really isn't that much to pay for a consistently above average center fielder. Melky Cabrera was a below average player both offensively and defensively as a rookie three years ago, and has gotten progressively worse every season since. Better players than Melky Cabrera will get non-tendered today and given away for nothing. So if the Brewers have to trade Mike Cameron, there should be a better deal out there. And if the Brewers really are trading Cameron for a bad center fielder and a low-level pitching prospect (anyone but Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy), then maybe we should have a conversation about goals.
Speaking of non-tenders, Jayson Stark has a list of players that could get non-tendered today, including Gabe Gross. The Official Site is reporting that Chris Capuano is the only Brewer in danger of being non-tendered.
Maybe Doug Melvin is asking us to be patient because the pitchers he's shopping for walk slowly now that they're getting older. The Brewers are reportedly talking to Jamie Moyer, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz and Randy Wolf. If you're scoring at home, Wolf is the only pitcher on that list under 40. All joking aside, though, I'd welcome a Moyer signing, and agree with Jeff's assessment that Moyer is probably more likely to pitch 180 quality innings in 2008 than A.J. Burnett.
Not that there was a hot rumor out there or anything, but Giants GM Brian Sabean says he didn't discuss any Brewers at the winter meetings.
So I liked having CC Sabathia as a Brewer, and odds are you did too. But did you enjoy his half season of work enough to consider retiring his number? I couldn't find any other source to back up that report.
On the Hot Stove:
Angels: Could still be in the hunt for Jake Peavy.
Blue Jays: Signed Matt Clement to a minor league deal.
Cubs: Acquired David Patton, who the Reds had chosen in the Rule 5 draft, for cash considerations.
Padres: May continue their youth movement by signing 41-year-old Omar Vizquel to replace Khalil Greene.
Phillies: Signed Raul Ibanez to a three year deal.
Pirates: Are reportedly close to a deal with Ramon Vazquez.
Reds: Have reportedly signed Arthur Rhodes.
Royals: In addition to signing Horacio Ramirez and Kyle Farnsworth, they also signed Doug Waechter.
Twins: Re-signed Nick Punto for two years, $8.5 million.
White Sox: Signed Wilson Betemit to a one year, $1.3 million deal.
Two economic notes to close the Mug today: The Diamondbacks, who recently let some office staff go, aren't filling unfilled positions either. And, less than a few weeks after the death of their owner and the layoffs of much of their sales staff, the Blue Jays may be going up for sale.