Some things to read while letting nothing stand in the way of your music.
In just a few short hours (at noon, to be specific), pitchers and catchers will report to Maryvale. View From Bernie's Chalet has the appropriate level of excitement.
I haven't heard yet if the two newest Brewers will be joining the team today, or if they need some extra time to make arrangements. First, Braden Looper: He officially signed with the Brewers yesterday. Troy Renick of the Denver Post has the best rundown of specifics and incentives in Looper's deal that I've seen. Here they are, best as I can tell:
- Looper will make $4.75 million in 2009.
- His incentive clauses start kicking in at 19 starts, and he can add up to $750,000 to his deal by making 30 starts.
- He gets an extra $750,000 if traded this season, or $250,000 if traded next season.
- The deal has a $6 million mutual option for 2010, with a $750,000 buyout.
- That buyout escalates to $1 million if Looper makes 30 starts or pitches 180 innings.
Also yesterday, as noted in this FanShot, the Brewers picked up SP Nick Green off waivers from the Angels. To make room for Looper and Green, the team designated Luis Pena and Vinny Rottino for assignment. Joshua Kusnick of 39 on the Line is Pena's agent, and he gives us a quick look into what it's like to be the agent of a player on the move.
I'm starting to feel like I'm piling onto Corey Hart, but on top of posting a .300 OBP in 2008, he also had the fourth worst outfield arm in baseball last season according to Beyond the Box Score, costing the Brewers 4.6 runs.
As most of the Brewers were packing for Arizona, one former Brewer prospect packed for a longer trip: 2008 Nashville Sound Nic Ungs is headed to Taipei to pitch for the Brother Elephants in the Chinese Professional Baseball League. New Brewer bullpen coach Stan Kyles has some nice things to say about him.
Ben Sheets had successful surgery yesterday and could still pitch in the second half of 2009 if rehab goes well. Best of luck to him.
Speaking of luck, there's still time to test yours in the two remaining Brewer Advent Calendar giveaways: You have until noon today to sign up to win a ball autographed by the 2008 Nashville Sounds and until noon tomorrow to sign up to win Wisconsin Timber Rattler tickets and a Brewers/Timber Rattlers hat.
Now that spring training is starting I guess it's time to retire the hot stove, but there's still news to report on the transaction wire:
Marlins: Lost their arbitration case with Dan Uggla, who will earn $5.35 million in 2009.
Nationals: Are no longer interested in Orlando Hudson.
Rays: DFA'd reliever Juan Salas to make room on their roster for Brian Shouse.
It appears we can lay concerns about MLB coverage on satellite radio to rest: While Sirius-XM is still expected to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the near future, both MLB and the NFL are protected from said filings.
Every spring we get at least one bizarre injury that has nothing to do with baseball. The Mets narrowly avoided one when Mike Pelfrey rolled a golf cart carrying he and John Maine. It appears no one was harmed, but Pelfrey wore a helmet in workouts yesterday, just to be safe.
Oh, and the Braille on the "Umpires Room" sign at Dodger Stadium probably isn't necessary...I hope.