1. J.J. Hardy signed a one-year contract for 2009 for $4.65 million, thus avoiding arbitration.
2. Doug Melvin is signaling that he may stand pat for the '09 rotation, e.g. not adding any free agent arms. He stated that he was not interested in Derek Lowe (more likely his price tag)...since the article, Lowe signed with the Braves.
3. Former Brewer Gabe Kapler signed with the Rays...possibly pushing former Brewer Gabe Gross out of a job. Gross is now listed third on the Rays' depth chart for right field...behind Kapler. Projected starter Matt Joyce bats left-handed, as does Gross, while Kapler bats right-handed.
No word yet on where Ben Sheets will wind up...if the Rangers want to sign him, they need to move Kevin Millwood or Vincente Padilla to free up money. The Rangers' shortstop, Michael Young, is griping about being asked to move to third base and has asked to be traded...hmmm. Young for Bill Hall (with Hardy moving to third) would be nice...too bad the Rangers aren't quite that dumb (or desperate)...the Brewers expressed interest in adding Kevin Millwood...with Chris Davis projected as the Rangers' opening day first baseman, they might be interested in Prince Fielder...Davis is also left-handed; if arbitration negotiations between Prince Fielder and Scott Boras turn ugly, could a trade of Bill Hall, Prince Fielder, and, say, Carlos Villanueva for Michael Young, Kevin Millwood, and Chris Davis make sense?