Monday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while protecting your mate from unwanted advances.

So you've probably heard that CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets and Brian Shouse all declined arbitration over the weekend. In fact, of the 24 free agents offered arbitration, 22 declined. Bleeding Blue and Teal thinks the Mariners should target Shouse, but as noted below, the Mariners appear to be targeting the entire Brewers organization.

Bleeding Blue and Teal also has the Brewers as a potential 2009 destination for 3B Adrian Beltre. There are worse options out there.

How's your fastball? The Junkball Blues takes a look at the fastball of Ben Sheets, CC Sabathia, Seth McClung and a host of other Brewers.

Here's today's Sabathia Smorgasbord:

  • You've likely heard this one, as Jon Heyman and several other outlets are reporting the Brewers are expected to upgrade their offer to Sabathia, perhaps to include a sixth season.
  • Could the Red Sox be a player? MLB Trade Rumors says team officials will meet with Sabathia. Ian Browne of MLB.com downplayed the possibility anything could happen.
  • Bill Hall says 5 years/$100 million might be enough to keep Sabathia around.
  • Dayn Perry says Mark Teixiera will be a much less risky signing for his eventual team.

FanGraphs thinks the Brewers got a pretty good deal on Jorge Julio, based on his projections for 2009.

We've been talking for months about the possibility of Mike Cameron moving to New York, but I don't know if we've ever discussed the possibility that he could be a Met.

Are you craving more minor league discussion? John Sickels is getting ready to release his list of the top 20 Brewer prospects. Click the link to go discuss your favorite prospects.

Speaking of prospects, TheJay has continued the series over at Recondite Baseball by making leaderboards for errors in AA, giving me the opportunity to point out that Chris Errecart (1B), Mike Bell (2B), Mat Gamel (3B) and Cole Gillespie (OF) were all among the leaders.

So, with the Winter Meetings almost over, the next deadline is Friday, when teams could non-tender players for 2009. MLB Trade Rumors has a list of candidates, including Chris Capuano. Elsewhere on the hot stove:

Angels: Francisco Rodriguez, Mark Teixiera and Jon Garland all declined arbitration, but Darren Oliver accepted.
Astros: Signed Matt Kata to a minor league deal.
Athletics: The team reportedly offered Rafael Furcal a four year deal, but will move on to other targets now that he's rejected it.
Blue Jays: A.J. Burnett declined arbitration. Joe DelGrippo says his mechanics make him a high injury risk.
Braves: Team officials sound pretty optimistic about John Smoltz's chances to return in 2009 after watching him throw off a mound this weekend. They're also aggressively pursuing Raul Ibanez at the winter meetings.
Cardinals: May still be in the running for Jake Peavy after all. They're also showing interest in A.J. Burnett.
Cubs: Signed former Brewer C Mark Johnson and two others to minor league deals.
D-Backs: Brandon Lyon declined arbitration and is likely headed elsewhere. With him and Adam Dunn gone, the team might have money to re-sign Randy Johnson after all.
Dodgers: Manny Ramirez, Derek Lowe and Casey Blake all declined arbitration. Also, Joe Torre downplayed a rumor that Andy Pettitte could come to LA.
Giants: Are downplaying their interest in several big-ticket free agents, but especially Manny Ramirez.
Indians: Signed Tomo Ohka to a minor league deal.
Mariners: The team has to be hoping one of the jilted suitors for Pirates SS Jack Wilson will turn their attention to Yuniesky Betancourt. Also, Raul Ibanez declined arbitration.
Mets: Oliver Perez declined arbitration.
Rangers: The team may be looking to trim payroll, which I guess makes them a less likely suitor for Ben Sheets. Also, Milton Bradley declined arbitration.
Red Sox: Jason Varitek declined arbitration.
Reds: Re-signed Mike Lincoln to a two-year deal. Also, they may or may not have reached a deal to trade Homer Bailey to the White Sox for Jermaine Dye, depending on which source you believe, and David Weathers accepted arbitration.
Rockies: Brian Fuentes declined arbitration.
Tigers: Have reportedly reached a deal to acquire C Gerald Laird from the Rangers. They could also be looking to sign Kerry Wood.

Obviously, we're still a while away from knowing which players made the Hall of Fame on the BBWAA ballot, but Dugout Central is reporting Joe Torre, Dick Allen and Ron Santo will be elected by the Veterans' Committee. UPDATE: THEY'RE WRONG. Meanwhile, Dan Plesac, one of three former Brewers on the BBWAA ballot, has accepted a job with the new MLB Network. He'll get to play in their new mini stadium.

I'm still somewhat behind the curve on defensive metrics, although I'm trying to learn. If you're also learning, you should probably check out Dave Cameron's post on the goals and limitations of defensive stats.

We'll always have enough Tigers, Lions, Bears and Wildcats, so I for one applaud the voters for renaming the Winston-Salem baseball team The Dash.

In what can only be considered good news for the game, baseball continues to become more of a global sport. Just this offseason, the Pirates have signed players from South Africa and India, and the Rays are opening an academy in Brazil.

Meanwhile, if you're looking for a job that pays next to nothing a little closer to home, the Brewers are hiring interns.

Oh, and this doesn't work. Trust a voice of experience.

Drink up.

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