Friday, November 14, 2008

Replacing Sabathia

I can tell the future. The Brewers need more pitching. Torres has retired and unless the Brewers beg for some of that sweet government bailout money that is flowing directly from our pockets as we speak, they don't have the iron to bring him back.

Interestingly, the rest of the NL seems to be making those losses a bit easier on the Brewers.

The Cubs traded in order to downgrade their bullpen. Sweet! The Brewers should go hard after Wood. He's a very good bullpen arm who doesn't walk guys and doesn't put guys on base. Despite pitching in Wrigley as often as he did, Wood only gave up 3 long balls.

If the Brewers were willing to take a $10 million flier on Gagne, there is no reason they shouldn't pony up for Wood.

Secondly, Randy Johnson is a free agent. Johnson made $15 million last year, so I don't really know what his price will be, but assuming there is an ugly old man discount, I'd have no problem with the Brewers giving him 3 at $36 or so. It'll likely be the longest offer he gets (he is 44 for God's sake), but his lack of precipitous decline and his ability to adjust to his changing skill set tell me he has some years left in that old left arm.

When it comes right down to it, I'd rather have an old Randy Johnson than an unreliable Ben Sheets.

There are obviously other options out there, but I would love to see the Brewers strike hard and fast and make an early splash. Sign Johnson to solidify the rotation, sign Wood to bolster the bullpen and then start wheeling and dealing to fill out the roster.

The offseason essentially starts today. The following are my goals for the Brewers:

1. Sign a #3 level (at least) starting pitcher
2. Sign a dominant bullpen arm
3. Improve 3rd base
4. Improve 2nd (Ronnie Belliard is my current desire)

7 comments:

tracker said...

Belliard??? How fat is he these days? Seems I caught all the Nats games on radio this year, not TV. Even if he isn't fat, maybe as a rh bat in a platoon split, but that's a role I'm still willing to give Weeks one more shot at. No thanks.

If you were nearing your mid 40s, you'd understand the foolhardiness of your Johnson suggestion. His precipitous decline is imminent. He is Wile Coyote, already run off the cliff, putting up that little umbrella, just waiting for gravity to kick in.

I do like going after Wood, even if it'll take a long-term deal to get him.

Sheets, on the other hand, might be had for one or two years. I'd do that too.

E.S.K. said...

Look at Belliard's performance, not his girth.

Johnson hasn't had the precipitous decline yet, and he has shown the ability to adjust, and the Brewers will have the money.

tracker said...

Nah. It's easier to make fun of him because he's fat. Well, shit, OK, I'll look.

...

He had a good year, I'll give him that. Awesome against lhp. But in only 103 PAs, and an ops that exceeds his career ops vs lh by close to .200, it's nothing to bank on. Smells fluky, about twice flukier than Bill Hall's 2006 season.

Johnson will decline. I take comfort in knowing it won't happen on our nickel.

E.S.K. said...

Of course he will decline, but he had a very good season last year and even a slight decline makes him the second best starter on the team.

Belliard had 300 at-bats last year, and a 120 OPS+ overall. He is versatile and a massive upgrade over Counsell.

Of course, they'd have to trade for him but the Nationals are supposedly active.

Anonymous said...

Even though Gagne's failure is actually a cautionary example of why NOT to take a flyer on Wood, I agree that they should still make a run at him. Every other idea in this post is ridiculous. If you like Belliard, I hear Ruben Quevedo may be available as well. If you want to give Unit three years, well, maybe Julio Franco is up for a three-year term as well. You really think Johnson will give you more healthy starts over 3 years than Sheets? Really? Offer Johnson one year at $12-14MM, maybe with a team option for a second year, at most.

E.S.K. said...

I like how people assume Belliard is terrible because he is fat:

.287/.372/.473 last year. Yeah, terrible. You know how else is fat? CC Sabathia.

Johnson won't sign with the Brewers unless they blow him away. I'd give him $10 per for 3 years, since his best offer is probably going to be $13 for 1. Yeah, he'll be useless for that third season but small market teams have a small window, and the Brewers are in the middle of it.

Equating Wood with Gagne is silly.

tracker said...

CC's not fat. He's big-boned. Fat people suck.