Monday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while settling in to cuddle with the dog.

Doug Melvin is back from his cruise and sounds like he's ready to get back to work. He could be getting back into the swing of things by reaching out to Derek Lowe, who the Brewers are either pursuing, not pursuing because he's not interested in Milwaukee, or haven't contacted at all depending on your source. His demands are reportedly down to 4 years, $64 million, but it's questionable if he'll be able to find a team willing to spend that. The Phillies are also new to the rumors.

Buster Olney has the Brewers as one of his ten stories to watch, citing them as one of the few teams with money left to spend.

I've got a bunch of player ranking notes today, so it's time to bust out the bullet points: What to do with Jeff Suppan? Less than a week after I suggested Suppan is unlikely to fill a relevant bullpen role, In-Between Hops has the other end of the spectrum: Suppan as closer.

A few minor league notes:
  • Al posted his top ten list of Brewer prospects over the weekend. Alcides Escobar is #1 and Jonathan Lucroy is conspicuous by his absence.
  • Taylor Green leads Jake Odorizzi by 110 votes for the #8 spot in our Community Prospect Rankings. Click the first link to vote for #8 before noon today, then this one to help determine how many prospects we'll rank. Voting for #9 will open around noon today.
  • West Virginia pitcher Daniel Merklinger, catcher Eric Fryer second baseman Eric Farris and shortstop Matthew Cline were among the leaders in 2008 errors in A ball.
As for former Brewers on the hot stove:
  • Blue Notes wonders if the Dodgers should be interested in Ben Sheets.
  • Jon Heyman of SI.com rates Ben Sheets as the 14th best free agent still available, behind Derek Lowe, Jon Garland, Oliver Perez and Andy Pettitte, among others.
  • FanGraphs has Eric Gagne and Brian Shouse projected to be worth more than half a win each next season, and sets their values at $2.7 and $2.8 million, respectively.
Elsewhere on the hot stove:

Cardinals: Along with the Orioles and Twins, they are one of the final contenders for the services of Kenshin Kawakami.
D-Backs: Re-signed Tony Clark to a one year deal worth $600,000.
Dodgers: Reached an agreement to restructure Andruw Jones' contract, and will try to trade him or release him before spring training. No one appears to be running to the front of the line.
Giants: Could be interested in Joe Crede.
White Sox: May have replaced the Cubs as the team most likely to trade for Brian Roberts.

Teams who offered arbitration to Type A and B free agents who sign somewhere else will receive a sandwich pick in the 2009 draft...but what is that pick worth? This story suggests not much, but the comments on it are more enlightening than the post itself.

Via Three Days of Cryin, here is the 2009 MLB Calendar. Pitchers and catchers report in 39 days.

Also on the calendar: Next week's announcement of 2009 inductees to the Hall of Fame. I haven't written much here about the Hall of Fame because I tend to feel like it's getting covered everywhere, but this post is on pace to set a record for bullet points, so here are some more:
  • Joe Posnanski takes a look at every player on the 2009 ballot. He also has a poll going, and so far only Henderson and Bert Blyleven would make it if his readers made the call.
  • If you have a Facebook account, Seamheads wants your Hall of Fame vote. (h/t Baseball Musings)
  • The other BCB wants to know which one nominee not named Rickey Henderson most belongs in the hall.
A few weeks ago we discussed cost of living issues in New York and how they might impact the value of CC Sabathia's contract. As part of that conversation, we wondered aloud how the income tax system handles a player who plays in New York but lives elsewhere, as Sabathia does. Finally, someone has figured it out, and the Yankees new additions will contribute about $3 million to the state's income tax base.

Ned Yost and Dale Sveum may have had some drawbacks as managers, but apparently they didn't abuse the intentional walk: Fire Jim Bowden has them near the middle of the pack in "definitely not smart" IBBs.

Corey Koskie might be an early favorite for Comeback Player of the Year. Here's a nice profile of Koskie in the National Post as he prepares to play in the 2009 WBC.

Oh, and Tom Tango is consulting for the Mariners now.

Drink up.
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