Ladies and gentlemen (probably mostly gentlemen), today is the first of about half a dozen days we've been waiting for since October: Good morning and welcome to Truck Day.
The Brewers avoided arbitration with Rickie Weeks yesterday, agreeing to a one year deal worth $2.45 million. The deal includes a $100,000 playing time incentive. With that deal done, the only arbitration eligible Brewer remaining is Corey Hart. In-Between Hopes has a somewhat frightening comparison between Hart and two players generally considered to be more valuable. The arbitration hearing is scheduled for February 18. The Brewers are reportedly also interested in working on a long term deal for Yovani Gallardo.
Earlier this offseason, the Brewers ended their relationship with Midwest Express, but it didn't take them long to fill in that gap: Yesterday the Brewers announced a sponsorship agreement with AirTran. Again, it's the story of two press releases, one touting a new source of revenue and one making sure we know payroll isn't going up.
Around the minors today: MiLB.com's Jonathan Mayo has a scouting report on Mat Gamel, their #23 prospect. Also, The Official Site has a profile of Mark Rogers, full of if's and possibles. Does anyone else feel like these paragraphs have the cart in front of the horse a bit?
"Hopefully he'll get feeling good there and then move up to Double-A, and then if he's healthy we'll see if he can pitch in the [Arizona] Fall League and start to make up for lost time," Ash said. "Then, assuming he's healthy and he feels good, he would come into  Spring Training right where he would have been anyway."
On the hot stove:
A's: Are interested in signing Orlando Cabrera.
Mets: Are reportedly done spending on offense this offseason.
Nationals: Signed Javier Valentin and Alex Cintron to minor league deals. They also reportedly have an offer on the table for Adam Dunn.
Orioles: Signed Ty Wigginton to a two year deal worth $6 million.
Phillies: Are interested in signing Nomar Garciaparra to fill out their bench, but he may retire.
Rays: Will reportedly sign Morgan Ensberg to a minor league deal.
Twins: Have apparently lost interest in acquiring Jarrod Washburn from the Mariners.
White Sox: Made an offer to Bobby Abreu for a one year deal worth $8 million.
Yesterday I mentioned that FanGraphs was working on determining replacement level for 2009 across positions, and linked to catcher and first base. Second base and shortstop are up today.
I'm assuming there's still some form of approval process that will need to happen, but there's a deal in place for Jeff Moorad to buy the Padres from the Moores family. At least they won't have to scrape many letters off the name on the door.
Isn't there, or shouldn't there be, some kind of rule about what players are allowed to put on the back of their jersey? Russell Martin, who doesn't have a J anywhere in his name, will wear "J. Martin" on the back of his jersey in 2009. J is the first initial in his mother's maiden name. Remembering mom is always nice, but that's a weird gesture.
Oh, and odds are you (and the rest of South Florida) weren't planning on attending a Marlins game this season, but they're hoping KC and the Sunshine Band can change that.