Thursday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while writing in the snow.

Today may be the slowest news day of the offseason, but that's ok because you may need the time to learn to play Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock.

So the Brewers reportedly asked Ben Sheets to accept an incentive laden contract similar to those given to John Smoltz and Brad Penny, and the two sides haven't spoken since he said no. Meanwhile, Sheets' age and injury history make him the perfect target for Mets GM Omar Minaya.

FakeTeams lists Sheets 16th among fantasy NL starting pitchers, which is interesting because they don't even know if he'll sign with an NL team. Yovani Gallardo makes the honorable mention on that list.

UmpBump is about as disappointed with this Brewer offseason as most of the rest of us are, grading it a D.

Meanwhile, despite hitting just .224/.289/.302 in 128 plate appearances, scouts are still raving about Alcides Escobar's defense in Venezuela. Escobar also led all shortstop prospects in range factor in 2008.

On the hot stove:

Cubs: Traded Garrett Olson and Ronny Cedeno to the Mariners for Aaron Heilman. They're also reportedly interested in Braden Looper and Randy Wolf if they can't trade for Jake Peavy.
Orioles: Are also interested in Braden Looper.
Twins: Have ended negotiations with Eric Gagne.

Want some insight into the things you learn while spending decades evaluating minor leaguers? John Sickels has you covered over at Minor League Ball.

Oh, and artist renderings of the new Marlins ballpark aren't as bad as some are making them out to be...but it does still look like a spaceship when the roof is closed. (h/t Rob Neyer)

Drink up.
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