Some things to read while adding bacon to your favorite websites.
By now you've probably heard that Ben Sheets
might need surgery might make the Brewers pay for surgery is having surgery. I could write more about this, but virtually every baseball blog on earth has it covered, so I'll just assume you've heard it.
So, with that option off the table and Odalis Perez signing a minor league deal with the Nationals, what's left? In-Between Hops thinks the Brewers should consider a 4-man rotation with low inning counts and designated long relievers. Christina Kahrl of Baseball Prospectus, meanwhile, thinks the Brewers should gut the farm system and trade for Jake Peavy, who may or may not be willing to accept a trade to Milwaukee at all.
Assuming the Brewers don't make another move, Chase Wright will open camp with an outside shot to make the starting rotation. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Times-Tribune has a profile of Wright and his time as a Yankee (h/t Bernie's Crew). Tyler Maas of Bugs and Cranks also likes the move, and has a great picture of Wright. I expect more from Wright in 2008 than Chris Capuano, and possibly more than Jeff Suppan. Am I wrong?
RotoTimes has the Brewers' spring preview up. They suggest Rickie Weeks, Yovani Gallardo and Manny Parra as players who could have breakout years in 2009, and caution fantasy owners not to overpay for Prince Fielder.
The Wilmington Star caught up with Trot Nixon and took a look at his offseason regimen to get ready for spring training. Replace every mention of Nixon with Gabe Kapler and this story will look really familiar.
On the hot stove:
Blue Jays: Claimed T.J. Beam off waivers from the Pirates and designated IF Russ Adams for assignment.
Mariners: Signed LHP Tyler Johnson to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.
Mets: Signed Elmer Dessens to a minor league deal worth $600,000.
Padres: Designated Matt Bush for assignment to make room for Cliff Floyd. Bush is a former #1 overall pick.
Reds: Signed Jacque Jones and Daryle Ward to minor league deals with invitations to
block young talent spring training.
Yesterday I mentioned that Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated has a history of publishing sometimes unfounded rumors involving Scott Boras clients and cited his story involving the Rangers and Andruw Jones as an example. Today he says the Phillies are interested in Jones. Tomorrow he might report he's not coming off the ledge until Andruw Jones is signed.
FanGraphs continues to compare replacement level players to league average, but they've come across something interesting: While the first six positions surveyed all came out somewhere between 1.5 and 2 wins below average, center field was only about .5 wins below average. The numbers went back to the trend in right field (1.5 wins).
So what happens when you move a defensively poor middle infielder to the outfield? Driveline Mechanics takes a look at a hypothetical situation where Derek Jeter moved to center field to make room for Orlando Cabrera in the Yankees' lineup. Even if Jeter were terrible in center field, the Yankees would gain about a win over their current alignment, with Jeter at short and Melky Cabrera in center. I'm bringing this up because every now and then we discuss the possibility of moving Rickie Weeks to center, and this is an interesting starting point for the argument, but the Jeter move would have a greater impact because:
A) Jeter is a bigger liability defensively at shortstop than Weeks is at second, and
B) Mike Cameron, the Brewer who would be displaced, is a significantly better hitter than Melky Cabrera.
Oh, and the guy who made the thumb tack Cal Ripken also made a bottle cap Mr. T.