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Wednesday's Frosty Mug

Some things to read while wondering how much rice one could get for Mike Cameron.

Obviously, the Cameron trade is still a hot topic around here: As of this writing, we've already had 344 comments on an astonishing nine posts since Thursday discussing the topic. (UPDATE: It's actually more like 425 and eleven posts, as I missed two FanShots.)With that said, Jeff brought a new point to the table last night, and even if you're completely sick of the conversation, you should go read it for the insight on the unique economic plight caused by a $200 million payroll.

View From Bernie's Chalet notes that the financial flexibility gained from a Cameron trade would allow the Brewers to continue to pursue Brian Fuentes. That argument works if all of the following is true:

1) The savings on Cameron won't be immediately handed to Kei Igawa.
2) The improvement created by adding Fuentes to the bullpen is greater than the loss created by replacing Cameron with Cabrera in center field.
3) Fuentes won't sign with any of a half dozen other teams that are reportedly interested in him, including the Yankees.

Meanwhile, it's possible the Yankees are pursuing Manny Ramirez, which might force them to move Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui back to center and leave them without a place to play Cameron. It is about the money, stupid isn't thrilled with that premise.

Also, rumor has it Mark Teixiera is getting close to making a decision. If he signs with the Red Sox, Brewed Sports thinks it will set off a series of moves ending with J.J. Hardy in Boston and Mike Lowell and Manny Delcarmen in Milwaukee.

Three minor league notes to pass along today:

  • The Baseball America Prospect Blog has started a project to evaluate catcher defense. Click the link to see how close Jonathan Lucroy is to the top and how close Angel Salome is to the bottom in caught stealing percentage.
  • Project Prospect has Alcides Escobar #1 over Mat Gamel on their list of top five Brewer prospects.
  • 2008 Brevard County Manatees Stephen Chapman, Taylor Green, Brent Brewer and Charlie Fermaint were all among the leaders in errors in high A ball.

Gabe Kapler's play in Los Angeles was voted This Year in Baseball's top play for 2008, with over 12 million voters weighing in. There's video of the play at the link.

On the hot stove:

Cardinals: The team is one of several talking to Brian Fuentes, and may also be interested in Takashi Saito, Kenshin Kawakami and Koji Uehara.
D-Backs: CEO Jeff Moorad chatted with fans Tuesday and made it sound like the team is still in the market for a fourth starter.
Mets: Are treating newly acquired reliever J.J. Putz as a one-year acquisition, despite his $9.3 million club option for 2010.
Pirates: Signed reliever Chris Bootcheck to a minor league deal.
Tigers: May be getting ready to sign Matt Treanor, who has a history with Dontrelle Willis.

Also, this isn't team specific, but does relate to a free agent: Rocco Baldelli's diagnosis with a mitochondrial disorder may have been incorrect, and his condition may actually be treatable. That could raise his value a fair amount.

In an era where baseball seems to be spreading across the globe, it's weird to have two stories on the same day going in the other direction: the Astros are closing their academy in Venezuela (h/t Crawfish Boxes) and Major League Baseball is ending its affiliation with Hawaii Winter Baseball.

Hope springs eternal...except in Seattle. Washington is the only state in a recent ESPN poll voting that their favorite MLB team won't compete in 2009.

Oh, and what if this whole oil thing had gone the other way?

Drink up.