Perhaps the biggest Brewer news today is the ending of news: The Brewers reportedly aren't actually interested in Derek Lowe or Mark Mulder. It's always possible Doug Melvin is just throwing reporters off the track in an effort to look mysterious, but it seems more likely that Boston Globe reporter Nick Cafardo, the same guy who reported the Brewers were "close" to signing Braden Looper, has led us off the trail again. As noted in the comments in Rumorville, it may be time to stop giving any value to rumors that start in the Boston Globe.
Also included in the first link, though, was the first real optimism I've seen this offseason in regards to potentially bringing back Ben Sheets. FanGraphs projects Sheets at 3.4 wins next season, and thinks someone should sign him for 2 years/$28 million with a vesting option for a third year, which is relatively close to what 67% of readers voted for over a month ago. Brewers Bar thinks Melvin should start a conversation with Sheets ASAP. On the flip side, The Grand National Championships expects a healthy return from Chris Capuano, the emergence of Todd Coffey as a closer, and sudden precipitation involving $100 bills.
Meanwhile, Melvin appears to have Trevor Hoffman on speed dial. News popped up in Rumorville yesterday that the Brewers have been talking with Hoffman about closing in Milwaukee. The Dodgers offered Hoffman a one year deal, but can't guarantee him the opportunity to close, which Milwaukee might. Tom H. thinks the Brewers could learn their fate with Hoffman as soon as today.
More fun with rankings: Tiger Tales has Hardy tied for fifth place among defensive shortstops, right around a win above average. That seems a little low.
Around the minors:
- Jonathan Lucroy was one of three catchers to receive an invitation to spring training yesterday. Carlos Corporan and Martin Maldonado were both also invited.
- With a few hours left in the voting, Cole Gillespie leads Cutter Dykstra by 25 votes in the race for #10 in our Community Prospect Rankings. A new poll will open at noon today.
Elsewhere on the hot stove:
Cardinals: May not have as much money to play with as previously reported.
D-Backs: May be interested in former National Chad Cordero.
Indians: Signed Carl Pavano to a one year deal.
Mariners: Signed Tyler Walker to a one year deal for $750,000.
Mets: Are believed to have made an offer to Tim Redding.
Nationals: Are reportedly interested in signing Randy Wolf, so he can teach their young pitchers how to win. Commence banging head on desk.
Orioles: Signed Japanese pitcher Koji Uehara.
Padres: Have expressed interest in both David Eckstein and Omar Vizquel.
Phillies: Signed Chan Ho Park and Marcus Giles to deals for 2009.
Rays: Signed Randy Choate to a minor league deal.
Reds: Reportedly will re-sign Jerry Hairston for 2009.
Yankees: Signed Angel Berroa to a minor league deal, and also signed Jason Johnson and designated Shelley Duncan for assignment.
For a lot of aging veterans (including Ray Durham), the market never really opened up this winter. As a result, a player like Garret Anderson could end up accepting a non-roster invite to spring training.
Sometimes winning a sweepstakes isn't the best possible outcome. The Transaction Oracle isn't real excited about Derrick Turnbow's 2009 chances. The whole thing is worth a read, but the money lines are, "Absent a miracle, I think I'd rather have hepatitis than Turnbow," and their prediction of a 73 ERA+.
If you thought NL hitters would see an increase in their stats when Shea Stadium was torn down, think again: It turns out Citi Field may be even more of a pitcher's park.
Apparently Reds OF Chris Dickerson is spending his offseason increasing his value...to planet Earth. Follow the link for more on what Dickerson wants the Reds to do to go green.
That's all for today. I'm off to the gym.