Thursday, December 20, 2007

Brewers Making Lateral Moves in the Offseason

After their first winning season since 1992, the Milwaukee Brewers were finally in a position to contend for some meaningful baseball. They failed to make the playoffs by a few games, but were now capable of drawing some big name free agents, and continue to make some of the key trades that had got them to this point. Three months after they played their final out of the 2007 season, I don't feel like the Brewers are any better off than they were in September.

Maybe the bullpen is better, but is it really? Gagne, Riske, Torres, Mota, Turnbow. It might appear better, but is it really any different then Cordero, Wise, Linebrink, King, and Turnbow? That and the fact that we still don't have a decent catcher, and we have no idea who is going to be playing left field, unless you believe in Gabe Kapler.

Let's take a look at the moves the Brewers have made since their season ended, and what impact it might have on the team.

10-15 Claimed C Eric Munson off waivers from Houston - This just adds depth to a position where depth is all the Crew has. At this time, we still had Estrada, and maybe Miller, so Munson figures to be a Triple A guy. I don't see him in the big leagues at all for 2008.

10-19 Declined the option on 3B Corey Koskie's contract - Had to do it, can't continue to pay a guy that might never play again. But if we're looking at guys like Scott Rolen and Hank Blalock (who I prefer over Rolen), then we maybe we should take another look at Koskie. Other teams are interested in him, and if he's good enough to play, why shouldn't we be the ones to sign him?

10-30 Declined the option on OF Geoff Jenkins' contract - No way we were resigning him, not for 9M as a platoon player. Jenkins signed with the Phillies today, and that's good for him. I was hoping he wouldn't be signed, sign back with the Brewers (I just noticed I was saying "we" in regards to the Brewers) for around 5M. A Mench / Jenkins platoon sure looks a lot better than a Gabe / Gabe one right now. We're also reportedly looking at Kenny Lofton, which I don't hate (I'd add a link to the article that's from, as links do enhance a blog. But I'm on a laptop on a right now, and laptops confuse me, so we'll stick with hearsay).

11-14 Signed RP Randy Choate to a one-year contract - Look at the Brew, big spenders in the free agent market. Borderline candidate to make the club.

11-20 Acquired RP Guillermo Mota from the Mets for C Johnny Estrada - Bascially the Mets just dumped this salary on us, on then signed Wise. So look at this move as a trade for Wise not Estrada, because as it appears right now, nobody wants Estrada. Mota was one of our two Brewers to be on the Mitchell Report, and he served a 50 day suspension last year for violating the league's drug policy. He'll be a good 6th, 7th inning guy, and at the time I thought we could get better value for Estrada. Guess not.

11-28 Signed C Jason Kendall to a one-year contract with a vesting option for 2009 - I'm not too high on Kendall, I don't think he does anything that the Miller / Estrada option couldn't. Best case he plays 130 games, hits .280. Worst case, he plays 40 games and Mike Rivera is our everyday guy.

12-5 Signed RP David Riske to a three-year contract - The funny thing about this Brewers team is we'll be paying 3.5M for a guy like Riske but 400,000 dollars to guys like Fielder, Braun, and Hardy. It's absurd. Riske should be a great 8th inning guy that competes with Turnbow, and could even get a shot at the closer's job by year's end.

12-10 Signed RP Eric Gagne to a one-year contract worth 10M dollars - I do like this move. It's costly, but only a one year risk. Gagne being on the Mitchell report doesn't bother me, I think he'll have a good year, and be excited to get the chance to return to the closer role, similiar to how Cordero responded when he was traded here. The NL Central is scary for closers, with Cordero, Gagne, Valverde, Isringhausen, and perhaps Joe Nathan to the Cubs. Gagne, if he returns to form, should be worth at least 3-4 wins.

12-20 Signed OF Gabe Kapler out of retirement to a one year contract - This is a guy who got cut in Japan ball, and then was managing a Single A team last year. He's basically an older Laynce Nix.

So have we improved? Maybe, but not by much. We still have a glaring hole at LF, and I think the dumbest thing to do would be to sign a CF, move Hall to 3rd, and Braun to left. I think we should keep Braun at third, and get a solid left fielder. The market out there is slim (i.e. Gabe Kapler), so we may need to unload one of our nine starting pitchers. But the Hot Stove season is still young, so we have some time. But if the Brewers don't do much from here, 83 wins might be as good as it's going to get in Milwaukee.

(Feel free to leave your comments. What did you get out of this blog? Was it new info, or just stuff you've read before in a more condensed version? More importantly, are the Brewers good enough to win the NL Central. Don't just skim my blog, leave some comments!)


Chris said...

Since I skimmed your blog, here is my comment.

Anonymous said...

I remember begging people for comments on a blog I may or may not have written at some point in my life. This is making me nostalgiac. PS what the hell google ads?

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