Monday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while savoring the experience of typing a sentence.

My apologies for being unable to write Friday. A lot has been said about the Hoffman deal since Thursday, so it's time to bust out the bullet points: So where does this leave the Brewer offseason? Two Fisted Slopper ranks the Brewers among the 20 teams whose offseason plans didn't work out. Quevedo at the Buffet estimates the 2009 payroll at about $74.3 million, as it stands right now. View From Bernie's Chalet thinks the likelihood of re-signing Ben Sheets increases as time goes by.

Let's talk projections for a moment:
  • Bleacher Report lists Yovani Gallardo as a breakout candidate for 2009.
  • Replacement Level Yankees Weblog projects the Brewers to win 83.4 games and finish third in the Central. They give the Brewers a roughly 24% shot at the postseason. (h/t BBTF)
  • In the FanShots, reader jhmoore gives the Brewers a 59% chance of winning 85 or more games.
Here's something you know: Prince Fielder is pretty strong. Here's something you may not have known: He maximizes his power through a strong hip rotation, as broken down with video at Baseball Intellect.

Two minor league notes today: First, as noted in this Fanshot, Lisa Winston of MILB.com recently interviewed Lorenzo Cain. There's nothing groundbreaking in there, but it gives you a feel for the personality of one of the faster-rising Brewer prospects. Also, as of this writing Omar Aguilar leads Brad Nelson by nine votes in balloting for Community Prospect #13. Balloting closes at noon today, and I'm hoping to open the voting for #14 sometime around noon.

On the hot stove:

Braves: Will reportedly sign Kenshin Kawakami.
Cubs: Are reportedly close to a deal with 40-year-old Japanese pitcher Ken Takahashi.
Dodgers: Signed Shawn Estes to a minor league deal.
Marlins: Have reportedly been talking to Pedro Martinez about coming to Miami.
Mets: Newsday is reporting the Mets will likely sign either Oliver Perez or Derek Lowe. They also signed Tim Redding.
Nationals: Have reportedly packed up shop and left the free agent market.
Orioles: Ken Rosenthal is reporting the team may be interested in signing Jim Edmonds to play first base.
Rangers: Michael Young has reportedly asked to be traded after being told he'll be moving to third base for 2009.
Rays: May be done signing position players but may have interest in Gabe Kapler if B.J. Upton won't be ready by Opening Day.
Red Sox: Have reportedly signed Takashi Saito and re-signed Mark Kotsay.
Royals: Signed Willie Bloomquist to a two year deal worth $3 million.
Tigers: Signed Taiwanese pitcher Fu-Te Ni to a minor league deal.

More on Willie Bloomquist: Just how little value does he have? Joe Posnanski estimates that a lineup of nine Willie Bloomquists would score more than 400 runs less than a lineup of nine Adam Dunns.

How do you define clutch? It appears the folks over at Fire Jim Bowden may need a new formula, because their calculations show Johnny Estrada was the clutchiest National in 2008.

Oh, and I don't know about you, but I would have been glued to my TV for the series premiere of Turnbow: Texas Ranger.

Drink up.
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