Some things to read while reacting to Russell Branyan's departure.
Pitchers and catchers report in 72 days...or so.
I'll open today with Russell Branyan, since I already mentioned him. As noted in the FanShots, Branyan is a Mariner now. The Yost Infection has a list of their favorite Branyan moments. Lookout Landing notes the difference between new and old Mariner management, and Bucs Dugout notes that Branyan chose the M's over the Pirates. Instead, the Pirates may have to settle for Derrick Turnbow. (noted in FanShots)
While Russell Branyan looks for ways to spend his $1.4 million, Ben Sheets appears ready to turn down arbitration to go out and pursue a multi-year deal. As I write this, 70% of voters are ok with the Brewers offering Sheets the contract I outlined here.
I'm not entirely sure I get it, but Kerry Whisnant of Dugout Central says Sheets and the Brewer defense combined to give the team a projected winning percentage of .549 in his starts. Follow the link to see where CC Sabathia, Manny Parra, Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan rank.
Meanwhile, Beyond the Box Score wants to teach bloggers how to be more Saber-Friendly. In their first installment, they take a look at BABIP. The news is good for Manny Parra, but not as good for Dave Bush.
Every time I see a story like this, I feel like Doug Melvin is doing a good job: The Giants are reportedly interested in acquiring J.J. Hardy to play third base, but haven't made a good enough offer to pry baseball's best defensive shortstop away from Milwaukee.
MiLB.com continues to release their top 50 prospect list ten at a time. 21-30 came out yesterday, with Mat Gamel checking in at #23.
Of course, not everyone in the minor leagues is a prospect. Transaction Oracle takes a look at new Brewer Scott Thorman's 2009 MLB projections. ZiPS gives him an 82 OPS+ at first base, and a 35% chance of even reaching replacement level.
All the enjoyment of coaching Scott Thorman and the rest of the 2009 Nashville Sounds will go to former Brewer and Huntsville Stars manager Don Money, the biggest name in yesterday's announcement of 2009 coaching staffs. Others of note:
- Former Brewer Chris Bosio will be the pitching coach in Nashville.
- Bob Miscik is the new manager at Huntsville.
- Former short-term Brewer Matt Erickson will be the hitting coach for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
On the hot stove:
A's: Signed P Kevin Cameron and 1B Tagg Bozied.
Braves: Will reportedly be the first team (and perhaps the only team) to offer a five year deal to A.J. Burnett. They also signed C David Ross and are not interested in Adam Dunn.
Cardinals: Have reportedly reached a deal to acquire Khalil Greene from the Padres. Terms are unknown, but it's believed the Cardinals are sending a pitching prospect to San Diego. The team also finalized their deal with Trever Miller.
Cubs: Re-signed Chad Fox for 2009.
Dodgers: May be a potential suitor for Trevor Hoffman.
Giants: Signed Bob Howry to a one year deal, may be looking to trade for Jorge Cantu and could sign Edgar Renteria this week.
Mets: Signed former Brewer Nelson Figueroa and three others to minor league deals.
Red Sox: Bought three arbitration seasons and the first three seasons of free agency from Dustin Pedroia for $40.5 million.
So some free agency time has passed, and it's passed pretty quietly for Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn and Pat Burrell, among others. Rob Neyer asks if the time has passed for all-bat, no-glove corner outfielders.
Oh, and all those empty beer cans and liquor bottles in your garage may have a use after all.