Milwaukee Brewers: In the News (Dec. 8)

Right Field BleachersCorrespondent IDecember 8, 2008

Brewers News

- Sheets declined arbitration. His time as a Brewer is very likely over. The Brewers will get a first-round pick and a sandwich pick if he signs with another team (unless that team finished in the bottom half of the league last season, then they’d get a second-round pick and a sandwich pick).

- Sabathia also declined arbitration. Duh...Same deal with the picks for Sabathia as Sheets.

- Shouse also declined arbitration. The Brewers get a sandwich pick if he signs with another team.

- Bob Wolfley looks at some numbers from the ‘08 Brewers team.

- Brew Crew Ball analyzes UZR stats to analyze the Brewers defense.

Rumors and Speculation

- The Brewers could up their offer to six years if they feel they’re still in the running for Sabathia.

- Milwaukee does not seem to want to go away quietly in the Sabathia bidding. Despite not being very close to the Yankees’ offer, the Brewers might still have a chance at CC. He doesn’t seem to want to play in NY very much. Apparently, CC has told his friends he expects the Brewers to up their offer soon.

- The Sabathia camp appears to be waiting for the Teixeira camp to sign and vice versa, likely because when one signs, other teams could rush in on the bidding for the other.

- Melvin will meet with Sabathia’s agent Monday.

- The Brewers would try to acquire at least one starter if they don’t sign Sabathia or Sheets and could go after two.

- Melvin is not looking to move Hardy or Escobar and his statements seem to indicate Escobar will start the year in AAA, but could be on the Major League roster at some point during the year.

- Melvin is also not seeking out a trade involving Weeks, saying he’d need a “pretty good hitter” in order to give Weeks up. He seemed to indicate the leadoff spot is still Weeks’ to lose.

- The plan for third base is a platoon between Hall and Mike Lamb. Casey McGehee could also get some time at third. Melvin also seems open to letting Gamel develop at third in the Majors though and says they’ll take a look at him in Spring Training.

- It sounds like Melvin would rather hang onto Cameron than deal him, unless they can get a center fielder in return.

- Melvin indicated the team would likely search for a cheap closer option or develop one from their current staff rather than go after the high-priced free agent alternatives.

- But Ken Rosenthal says the Brewers could throw big money at a closer if they don’t re-sign Sabathia or Sheets.

- Hardy has been hearing rumors about the Brewers possibly trading him. He makes it clear he’d like to remain a Brewer. I like his comments. I expect he will be a Brewer in ‘09 unless a team blows the Brewers away with an offer.

- Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says the Brewers are a darkhorse for Jake Peavy. I find it pretty unlikely Milwaukee will get involved in those trade talks, but anything is possible I guess.

- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times suggests the Mariners and Brewers would be good trading partners because they match up well and Jack Z and Melvin are very familiar with each other. I’m sure there will be a lot of discussions between those two, but we’ll have to wait and see if anything comes of it.

- Al at Al’s Ramblings suggests the Rangers’ Hank Blalock could be a nice target for the Brewers. He’s a third baseman, has a reasonable one-year contract, does not really have a spot in Texas and is a lefty. Sounds like a good target to me too.

- Bernie’s Crew asks “Ben Sheets or Randy Johnson?”

Minor Leagues

- Baseball Prospectus lists the top 11 Brewers prospects. They have five four-star prospects, four three-stars and two two-stars. Escobar tops the list with Brett Lawrie coming in at #2. On the downside, they say, “The system’s become rather mediocre quickly due to graduations and trades.”

NL Central

- Peavy to the Cubs is “on life support.”

- It was reported that the Reds traded Homer Bailey to the White Sox for Jermaine Dye, but the report appears to be false.

Other News

- Cafardo breaks down each team’s needs going into the Winter Meetings.