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Thursday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while remembering to use the doorbell.

Brian Anderson returned to his blog yesterday and gave us a tidbit of news I haven't seen anywhere else: Brewer pitchers and catchers will report on February 13, which is just 28 days away. Let the countdown commence.

After attending several winter events with Doug Melvin, Anderson had this to say about Ben Sheets:
Free agent Ben Sheets has informed the Brewers that he is going in a different direction.
Meanwhile, the Rangers are calling Sheets a person of interest and John Fay thinks the Reds should also be interested. Sheets is one of MLB FanHouse's dozen unanswered questions.

Several minor league notes to pass along today:
  • The Diamond Cutter lists Mat Gamel as baseball's #21 prospect.
  • Bird Land asked Jim Callis of Baseball America to rate the top 30 prospects in the NL Central. The Brewers have three in the top ten and six in the top 30.
  • Kary Booher of Baseball America has a deeper look at the Brewers' current philosophy regarding Dominican players and how it might change.
And, it's time once again to play "Where are they now?" with minor league transactions:
  • Chris Barnwell is an Astro.
  • R.A. Dickey is a Twin.
  • Randy Choate is a Ray.
  • Scott Podsednik has been invited to spring training by the Rockies.
  • Greg Aquino (and Kirk Saarloos) have been signed to minor league deals and invited to spring training by the Indians.
  • Callix Crabbe and Chris Woodward have been invited to spring training by the Mariners.
So how hard can Trevor Hoffman throw? Turns out he's not sure, since the radar gun at Petco Park may have been fudged. There's no real reason or need to do that.

Are you unemployed for the summer? Do you have high energy and enjoy dressing like a sausage? The Brewers are looking for game-day entertainers to join The Brew Crew.

On the hot stove:

Angels: Signed Chone Figgins to a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration. No word on the terms.
Blue Jays: along with the Marlins, they're reportedly interested in Orlando Cabrera.
Cardinals: Along with the Dodgers, they're reportedly one of the teams showing the most interest in Kris Benson, who will work out for teams in Arizona next week.
Dodgers: May release Andruw Jones as soon as today.
Nationals: signed Josh Towers to a minor league deal.
Padres: May be close to a deal with Omar Vizquel, or may just be having fun seeing how many gritty middle infielders they can be linked to.
Rays: Avoided arbitration with Gabe Gross by agreeing to a one-year, $1.25 million deal.
White Sox: Signed Bartolo Colon to a one-year deal.

Also, Paul Byrd has reportedly decided to sit out the first half of 2009 and hopes to sign a mid-season deal with a contender.

Ever wanted to own the AAA affiliate of a division rival? The Cardinals plans to buy their affiliate in Memphis have fallen through and the team will likely be back on the market.

If you didn't know this one, you should look at a map more often: Seattle is pretty far away from every other MLB franchise. U.S.S. Mariner has a look at what this means for their travel plans, and ponders the impact it might have on the team's performance.

Oh, and Shysterball doesn't sound too excited about an evening with Harmon Killebrew.

Drink up.