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Tuesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while watching out for giant inflatable bears.

If you're wondering where today's Winter League Update went, there isn't one. Everyone was off yesterday. The Update will be back tomorrow.

There are 74 more days until pitchers and catchers report, but only four more to vote in the BCB Reader Survey. Please take a moment to do so, if you haven't already.

As noted below, the Brewers offered arbitration to CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets and Brian Shouse yesterday, but declined to offer it to Eric Gagne. If Sabathia or Sheets sign with another team, the Brewers get one of thier draft picks (either in the bottom half of the first round or the top of the second), and a pick between the first and second rounds. If Shouse signs with another team, the Brewers just get a pick between the first and second rounds. Gagne is free to sign with anyone, no compensation required.

Also, as noted in the FanShots, the Brewers signed former Braves 1B Scott Thorman to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training. Barring some sort of emergency, he likely won't appear above AAA in 2009.

Are you craving more CC Sabathia links? Rob Neyer wonders if Sabathia's weight and the New York media's tendencies to make fun of overweight athletes might make the Yankees a bad fit for the 290 lb lefty. Meanwhile, Peter Gammons is suggesting the Angels may court him by taking him to Del Taco.

Now, a moment to focus on Jason Kendall's defense. Beyond the Box Score says he saved 4.86 runs this season by blocking pitches, the third most in all of baseball. Kendall's actual block percentage is lower than a handful of other catchers, but Kendall saved more runs based on increased opportunity.

Via Rattler Radio, I noticed that MILB.com has started their Top 50 prospects list, and Jeremy Jeffress is #44. There's a joke here about being high on Jeffress, but I'll pass. Prospects 31-40 are due out today.

This year's Hall of Fame voters will see the smallest ballot ever, with only 23 players eligible for induction. Among ten first time candidates are former Brewers Jesse Orosco, Dan Plesac and Greg Vaughn.

Lots of arbitration news, and some other stuff on the hot stove today:

Angels: Offered arbitration to Francisco Rodriguez, Mark Teixiera, Darren Oliver and Jon Garland, but not Garret Anderson.
Astros: Signed Mike Hampton to a one year deal.
Blue Jays: Offered arbitration to A.J. Burnett but not Gregg Zaun.
Braves: Declined to offer arbitration to John Smoltz.
Cardinals: Declined to offer arbitration to Russ Springer, Braden Looper and Jason Isringhausen.
Cubs: Declined to offer arbitration to Kerry Wood.
D-Backs: Offered arbitration to Orlando Hudson, Juan Cruz and Brandon Lyon, but not to Adam Dunn or Randy Johnson.
Dodgers: Offered arbitration to Manny Ramirez, Derek Lowe and Casey Blake but declined to offer it to Joe Beimel, Greg Maddux, Brad Penny and Jeff Kent.
Giants: Declined to offer arbitration to Rich Aurilia.
Marlins: Declined to offer arbitration to Luis Gonzalez, Paul Lo Duca and Arthur Rhodes. They may also be looking to trade Matt Treanor.
Mets: Offered arbitration to Oliver Perez but not Luis Ayala or Moises Alou. They also signed C Rene Rivera.
Padres: Declined to offer arbitration to Trevor Hoffman.
Phillies: Declined to offer arbitration to Pat Burrell and Jamie Moyer. They also expressed interest in Mark Loretta.
Rangers: Offered arbitration to Milton Bradley.
Reds: Offered arbitration to David Weathers and extended an offer to Arthur Rhodes.
Rockies: Offered arbitration to Brian Fuentes.
Royals: Offered arbitration to Mark Grudzielanek.
Tigers: Declined to offer arbitration to Edgar Renteria.
Twins: Offered arbitration to Dennys Reyes.
White Sox: Offered arbitration to Orlando Cabrera, but not to Ken Griffey, Toby Hall or Juan Uribe.
Yankees: Declined to offer arbitration to all eight of their free agents, including Andy Pettitte, Bobby Abreu, Jason Giambi and Chad Moeller.

If you want to check my work or see all this information nicely color coded, Amazin' Avenue has you covered.

Also, the Hanshin Tigers have reportedly agreed to a deal with Kevin Mench.

On a sad note, Blue Jays owner Ted Rogers has passed away. He was 75.

Fire Brand of the American League recently interviewed Peter Gammons, and of course they asked him what he thinks of blogs. His response is moderately incoherent and rambles off onto a tangent, but I think it's possible he likes blogs...maybe?

Oh, and it took Kirbir and I, working together, an hour and a half to beat this game yesterday. Can you do better? I never would have gotten out of the bathroom without her.

Drink up.