Some things to read while learning that your breast implants will keep you from boxing. (h/t Grand National Championships)
It's been noted ad nauseum this offseason that Doug Melvin has not been involved in an arbitration hearing since joining the Brewers, but the team is coming down to the wire with Corey Hart. Hart's arbitration hearing is scheduled for tomorrow and the two sides do not sound close to resolving their $1.1 million difference.
$1.1 million may not sound like a lot, but you can use it to sign all kinds of retreads and reclamation projects. As noted in this FanShot, the Brewers have expressed interest in a minor league contract for Jason Isringhausen. They're also still monitoring Chad Cordero's rehab process.
Maybe signing a multi-year deal had an impact after all: Prince Fielder has reportedly slimmed down and his improved physique is drawing notice in camp. Hopefully Fielder can keep his weight in check from here on out...having weight and conditioning issues before your 25th birthday doesn't exactly bode well for a long major league career.
On the other side of the coin, Jason Kendall appears to want to catch every day until he's 50. As noted in this FanShot, Ken Macha is hoping to get Kendall a little more rest in 2009, but recognizes it will be a struggle at times.
- Dugout Central has Hernan Iribarren, Vinny Rottino and Eduardo Morlan as the Brewer rookies to watch in 2009. With the possible exception of Morlan, it's hard to imagine a scenario where any of these guys make the roster.
- Adam McCalvy notes that Alcides Escobar and Mat Gamel are two of just three Brewer camp invitees that haven't reported yet (Mike Cameron is the other). Gamel recently became a father for the first time, and Escobar apparently missed his flight out of Venezuela. McCalvy also notes that Escobar was not actually kicked off his winter league team, as had been previously reported.
- Baseball America's minor league transactions shows the Brewers signed minor league journeyman John Raburn to a deal. Raburn has played 954 games as part of four organizations in nine minor league seasons, but just 45 games above AA.
Behold a momentus day, Brewer fans, because today is the first time I'm linking to 2009 Playoff Odds. MLB Playoff Odds projects the Brewers for 82.5 wins, giving them a 21.7% chance at winning the Central and a 27.8% chance at the playoffs overall.
On the transaction wire:
Braves: Ken Griffey is expected to decide today if he wants to play for Atlanta or Seattle in 2009.
Mariners: Signed Jason Phillips to a minor league deal.
Nationals: Odalis Perez has reportedly changed his mind about his minor league deal with the Nationals, and is now waiting at home, although he was gone for three days before the Nationals figured out why. (h/t FanShot)
Red Sox: Signed Brad Wilkerson to a minor league deal.
Twins: Corey Koskie has not signed a contract with the team, but he is working out in camp with the Twins and hopes to sign a contract after playing for Team Canada in the WBC.
Speaking of the WBC, there are a handful of stories every day about this or that player deciding to play or not play, and I usually scroll past most of them, because I don't think they're that interesting. This one, though, is new: Byung-Hyun Kim will miss the WBC because he lost his passport.
Yesterday I mentioned visa issues as a staple of spring training reporting. Today, visa issues are making Tony Armas, Jr. late to Mets camp for the second straight season. Enjoy AAA, Tony.
Last year I reported on every spring training bump and bruise I heard about, and it may have been overkill. This year, I'll try to limit it to injuries that may impact a player's readiness for Opening Day. Pedro Feliz, for example, is experiencing delays in his recovery from offseason back surgery, and his ability to be ready in April is in doubt.
Oh, and what would you do with a painting of you slaying a dragon? I've got a blank wall in my office where it would fit nicely.