- The Brewers wait to see how much Scott Boras and Prince Fielder will ask for in arbitration. This will be an interesting stare down. I expect it to go to the hearing.
- In that same column, Tom Haudricourt wonders if Ben Sheets made a mistake by not accepting arbitration from the Brewers. It appears so. It appears as though he has not received a multi-year deal yet.
- Also in that column, the Brewers are considering signing former Washington reliever Chad Cordero after watching him pitch recently. He would likely not be able to pitch in a game until midseason because he’s rehabbing an injury, but he’d be a nice low-risk signing if the money is right.
- Haudricourt’s last nugget from Saturday’s column is that the Brewers were not interested in any of a number of players they looked at in a recent tryout. Those players included Randall Simon, Mark Bellhorn, and Robert Fick.
The Orioles backed off free-agent righty Braden Looper after signing Japanese righty Koji Uehara, and the Dodgers are more inclined to sign righty Jon Garland or lefty Randy Wolf. The Brewers, however, remain interested, and other clubs also are in the mix. Looper, 34, had a 3.75 ERA after June 1 last season, but some teams are concerned by his low strikeout rate and road performance the past two seasons with the Cardinals.
- The Mets reportedly have an interest in Ben Sheets. I think they want Oliver Perez more and may be using Sheets to influence the negotiations.
- The Brewers had some interest in free agent outfielder Adam Dunn, but appear to have cooled on him since the Mike Cameron trade to the Yankees fell through. I still think Dunn could be an outstanding bargain this offseason. I hope they consider all options seriously, including trading Cameron, Hart, or Fielder for quality pitching to make room for Dunn.
- jihad at Brew Crew Ball says that adding Dunn to the outfield and subtracting Cameron (with Hart shifting to center) would be about a one-win downgrade when considering fielding and hitting. As I’ve said before, I think projections like this usually overvalue outfield defense, so I’m not really buying it completely, but it’s an interesting look at the concept.
Even if the move was neutral at first glance, I think the addition of a pitcher (in the trade), the fact that Dunn is a lefty, and the fact that the Brewers would likely control Dunn beyond this season would push the advantage to Dunn. The Brewers might even come out ahead financially in this scenario.
- Bernie’s Crew discusses the “Fielder Dilemma.” Would you trade him for the right piece?
- With Michael Young moving from shortstop to third base for the Rangers, Hank Blalock’s name is starting to come up as a potential Brewers trade target again (HERE and HERE). Blalock is pretty young, a pretty good fielder with some upside in his bat (when he’s healthy), and he’s a lefty. He’d be a nice pickup if the Rangers are willing to trade him (they may use him at DH) and don’t ask too much for him.
- Cubs starter Rich Harden is rehabbing from a shoulder injury and has a tear in the joint. You simply can’t count on this guy staying healthy. He makes Ben Sheets look like a perfect picture of health.
- The Cubs traded outfielder Felix Pie to the Orioles for pitchers Garrett Olson and Henry Williamson. I like this trade. I think the Cubs are giving up on Pie way too soon, and they didn’t get a great return for him.
- The Cubs signed So Taguchi to a minor-league deal. Taguchi, 39, is over the hill and horrible at baseball.
- The Pirates are reportedly interested in Pedro Martinez. That move would make absolutely no sense for the Pirates.