Tagged: Brewers

Who Would You Rather have, AJ Burnett or Ben Sheets?

First of all I want to say I’m sorry for not being able to post the last couple of days. I didn’t feel well, and couldn’t focus because of my headache. Now it’s time to get back to baseball, though.

All of the free agent talk for starting pitchers seems to be about CC Sabathia, Derek Lowe, and AJ Burnett. What about Ben Sheets? I would definately have Sabathia or Lowe instead, because those players have a track record of being healthy, but Sheets seems like he might be a better bargain than Burnett.

River Ave. Blues wrote a nice article summing up how Sheets has been more durable and a better pitcher than Burnett throughout both players’ careers. Yet, for some reason, Burnett is looking for a 5 year, 80 million dollar deal while Sheets is hopeful to get 3 years. When you look at all of the stats, Sheets is just a better pitcher than Burnett, and he will cost less money. No one realizes that Burnett’s ERA was over 4.00 last year, while Sheets had one in the low 3.00s. That’s what matters most, right? The amount of runs they give up.

Maybe AJ has better stuff, heck, maybe he has the best stuff in the MLB, but Sheets is also up there. Sheets has better control, better results, and a better health record. (not a good one, but better than Burnett’s)

Despite all of this, there aren’t many good fits for Sheets yet many fits for Burnett. The Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Oriols, and Braves all have some serious interest in the free agent hurler. No one has expressed interest in Sheets, yet. I still love the Red Sox fit, because it just makes too much sense for them. They have the rotation depth to afford an injury to Sheets. In that case, they could just hand the ball to Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden, or Justin Masterson.

The Brewers also make sense if Sheets cannot find a team willing to pay a lot for him. The Brew-Crew know him, and could afford him.

Overall, I think he will sign with the Red Sox while the Yankees sign Burnett. Sheets will get 3 years, 42 million; Burnett will get 5 years, 80 million. Both players will have similar production next year, and the Red Sox will look like geniuses while the Yankees look stupid. Kind of like last year.

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Trevor Hoffman Won’t be a Padre in ’09

Believe it or not, Trevor Hoffman will not be returning to the Padres next season. The Padres offered him a low ball 1 year, 4 million dollar contract with a 4 million club option. The guy’s a Hall-Of-Famer, you’ve got to offer more than that, at least for sentimental reasons. I know they don’t want to raise payroll, but with Jake Peavy likely to be dealt, they would be able to afford him. Anyway, now that Hoffman won’t be a Padre, he’ll hit free agency. All teams in need of a closer seem like fair play. The Indians showed interested back when Trevor last hit free agency. They still need a closer now, and I think they make a lot of sense. It’s possible, but I think the Mets would want a younger closer. The Tigers could check in as well. The Cardinals and Brewers are possibilities. If none if these teams suit him, then Hoffman could decide to retire. It seems like he wants to continue playing even though he won’t be a Padre. I just can’t believe he isn’t going back.

Could Brewers Keep JJ Hardy and Prince Fielder?

It seems likely that the Brewers trade one of Prince Fielder or JJ Hardy in the offseason for a starting pitcher. They keep both, however. I know that Alcidies Escobar is knocking in the door, but Hardy could be moved to third with Escobar taking shortstop. Bill Hall would be dealt in this situation. The Brewers would have to throw in some money, but I think a team like the Twins might be willing to take a chance on him. The Giants had previous interest last year. Mat Gamel would still be blocked, so Fielder could still be moved in this scenerio. They might have to trade Fielder or Hardy because it may be the only way to get some pitching. They could always sign a starter, but it doesn’t seem like they want to make a mistake the way they did with Jeff Suppan. Then again the Brew-Crew might decide to just keep the extra hitting and rely on pitchers like Dave Bush and Seth McLung. Either way it’s going to be tough to get back to the playoffs next year no matter what they do.

Player Market: Francisco Rodriguez

Francisco Rodriguez seems destined to sign a record breaking contract. The only question is who will pay it. Let’s look at some possibilities.

Mets (frontrunners)  The loss to Billy Wagner coupled with the awful bullpen leads me to believe that K-Rod will probably be in a Mets uniform next year. I know there have been some reports that the Mets won’t pay his price, but I think he’ll eventually have to settle with a deal in the 5 year, 60 million range. Still a record breaker, just not the insane 15 million per year asking price. I explained why the Mets should pursue him here

Cardinals (frontrunners)  If the Mets get cold feet or decide to go in a different direction, you could see the Cardinals make an agressive offer to K-Rod. They do have 20 million to spend. For only 12 million per year, they could afford K-Rod plus a middle infielder. Look for the Cardinals to be active on the closer front.

Angels (possible)  They could easily afford Rodriguez, but it might not be the best idea to spend so much money on him. It would be much smarter to sign Mark Teixera or CC Sabathia instead. If they miss out on both, don’t be surprised to see the Halos attempt to resign Franky Rodriguez, however. This one is possible.

Tigers (not likely)  This team has got the money to spend since they won’t be cutting payroll. However, this would be the only signing they would be able to make. I know they would be filling a huge hole with a great pitcher, but this wouldn’t allow them to fill their remaining holes: shortstop, starting pitcher, catcher. It might make more sense for them to fill all positions on the cheap.

Indians (not likely)  They have labled closer as their offseason priority. Most expect them to pursue Brian Fuentes instead; he will be cheaper. However, if the Tribe misses out on different starting pitching and infield options, it’s possible they spend big money on K-Rod. 

Brewers (not likely)  The Brewers showed they were not afraid to pay top dollar for a closer last year when they almost signed Francisco Cordero. They could decide to do the same this year and spend a lot of money on K-Rod. However, it might be a smarter idea to use the Rodriguez money to extend some of their young stars such as Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, JJ Hardy, and Yovani Gallardo. If those players would rather go year to year, Franky could become an option. 

Team’s Payroll

I will put the amount of money teams will have to spend this offseason along with their payroll from the previous year, arbitration eligible players, and the salary they have committed. This will make things easier when trying to guess who could afford the top-notch free agents. I was informed greatly from MLB Trade Rumors. This will be a side-bar link.

 

 Teams

 Last year’s payroll

 Salary Committed

 Arbitration Eligible

 Estimated money to spend

Braves

102 million 

48 million 

Casey Kothman, Omar Infante, Kelly Johnson, Matt Diaz, Jeff Francoeur, Mike Gonzalez 

 45 million

Mets

 138 million

104 million 

 Ryan Church, John Maine, Aaron Heilman, Pedro Feliciano, Duaner Sanchez

28 million 

Phillies

103 million

100 million 

Cole Hamels, Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Greg Dobbs, Ryan Howard  

15 million 

Marlins

 21 million

 20 million

Scott Olsen, Jorge Cantu, Ricky Nolasco, Mike Jacobs, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Willingham, Dan Uggla, Cody Ross, Matt Treanor, Alfredo Amezaga, Joe Nelson, Kevin Gregg, Logan Kensing, Eulogio de la Cruz, Doug, Waechter 

0 million

Nationals

55 million 

40 million 

Ryan Zimmerman, Tim Redding, Jesus Colome, Ryan Wagner, Willy Harris

10 million 

Cubs 

118 million

122 million 

Reed Johnson, Ronny Cedeno, Michael Wuertz, Neal Cotts, Chad Gaudin 

20 million 

Brewers 

80 million 

60 million 

Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, JJ Hardy, Corey Hart, Dave Bush, Seth McClung, Todd Coffey, Chris Capuano 

20 million 

Cardinals 

100 million 

78 million 

Aaron Miles, Rick Ankiel, Ryan Ludwick, Todd Wellemyer, Brad Thompson 

20 million 

Reds 

74 million 

54.5 million 

Bill Bray, Edwin Encarnacion, Mike Lincoln 

15 million

Astros 

 86 million

88 million 

Humberto Quintero, Ty Wigginton, David Newhan, Brian Backe, Wandy Rodriguez, Jose Valverde, Geoff Geary, Tim Byrdak 

15 million 

Pirates 

 49 million

31 million 

Ryan Doumit, Adam LaRoche, Nate McLouth, Paul Maholm, Zack Duke, John Grabow, Tyler Yates, Denny Bautista 

8 million 

Dodgers 

59 million 

118  million 

Russell Martin, Andre Eithier, Takashi Saito, Jonathan Broxton, Scott Proctor, Yhency Brazoban

50 million 

Diamond Backs 

 66 million

55 million 

Chris Snyder, Augie Ojeda, Conor Jackson, Chris Burke, Edgar Gonzalez, Chad Qualls

10 million 

Rockies 

68 million 

77.5 million 

Garret Atkins, Willy Tavaras, Jorge de la Rosa, Jason Grilli 

3 million 

Padres 

73 million 

44 million 

Jody Gerut, Scott Hairston, Heath Bell, Clay Hensley 

4 million 

Giants 

76 million 

64 million 

Fred Lewis 

10 million 

Angels 

124 million 

87 million 

Macier Izturis, Rob Quinlan, Chone Figgins, Ervin Santana 

30 million 

A’s 

48 million 

29 million 

Huston Street, Justin Duchscherer Rob Bowen 

10 million + 

Rangers 

67 million 

63 million 

Gerald Laird, Marlon Byrd, Brandon McCarthy, Frank Francisco, CJ Wilson, Kameron Loe 

10 million 

Mariners 

117 million 

88 million 

Felix Hernandez, Erik Bedard, Jeremy Reed 

20 million – 

White Sox 

121 million 

108 million 

Bobby Jenks, DJ Carasco, DeWayne Wise

10 million 

Twins 

57 million 

54 million 

Jason Kubel, Matt Guerrier 

15 million 

Indians 

79 million 

64 million 

Kelly Shoppach 

15 million 

Tigers 

137 million 

115 million 

Marcus Thames, Ramon Santiago, Fernando Rodney, Justin Verlander, Gary Glover, Joel Zumaya, Bobby Seay 

5 million 

14 million

14 millionRoyals 

58 million 

52 million 

John Buck, Esteban German, Mark Teahen, Joey Gathright, Zack Greinke, Brian Bannister, Kyle Davies, Jimmy Gobble, Joel Peralta 

7 million 

Red Sox 

133 million 

92 million 

Kevin Youkilis, Kevin Cash, Javier Lopez, Jonathan Papelban 

33 million 

Rays 

43 million 

49 million 

Edwin Jackson, Dioner Navarro, Jason Bartlett, Gabe Gross, Jonny Gomes, Grant Balfour

5 million 

Yankees 

209 million 

140 million 

Xavier Nady, Wilson Betemit, Chien-Ming Wang, Brian Bruney 

50 million 

Blue Jays 

98 million 

80 million 

Jose Bautista, Jason Frasor, Brian Tallet, Brandon League

15 million 

Orioles 

67 million 

63 million 

Freddie Bynum, Luke Scott, Nick Markakis, Jeremy Guthrie, Daniel Cabrera, George Sherrill, Chris Ray, Fernando Cabrera 

15 million 

 

Prince Fielder made Available

MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that the Brewers are willing to listen on Prince Fielder. The idea of trading him would be for multiple reasons.

  • It would clear salary so they could go get some pitching via free agency.
  • It would open up a spot for top prospect Mat Gamel.
  • It could bring back a quality starting pitcher to replace CC Sabathia with.

These reasons all point toward trading Fielder, but you never want to lose one of the best first baseman in the MLB. Apparently he is available, however. There should be several teams interested. I did a player market for Fielder here. The asking price remains a good, young starting pitcher. It would take a lot to get the Prince out of Milwaukee, but it definatly could happen.

Could/Should the Brewers offer CC Sabathia 4 Years, 100 Million?

The Brewers could offer CC Sabathia 4 years, 100 million. Would he take it? Would it be a smart move on the Brewers part? Those are the questions we’ll look at today. The good part of the deal for the Brewers would be getting CC on a short term of only 4 years. The bad thing is the 25 million per year you are paying him. If he accepted that deal, and you add in arbitration cases, it could put the Brewers at 105 million to start 2009. I don’t know if that is possible for them. Plus, they wouldn’t have a closer. They might have to either backload Sabathia’s deal or make a trade to clear salary. I wrote here. that the Brewers have made Fielder available, but the reasoning was to get a good starter to replace Sabathia. If he’s returning, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to trade him. They could decline Mike Cameron’s option or trade him, bringing salary down to the 95 range. Tony Gwinn Jr. could take over in center field. Or, if they want to trade Cameron, the Yankees could be interested. They went after him last year in the offseason. The Yanks decided not to sign him because of possible salary concerns if they added Cameron and Johan Santana. I think a Cameron for either Melky Cabrera or Brent Gardner would satisfy both teams. Then Gwinn could share time with Gardner or Melky. That would be serviceable. I don’t know if Sabathia would accept the deal, though. Would he really take only four years? You could make the argument that he would make more money by entering free agency again at age 32, where he could get his 6 or 7 year deal. But, you could also say that he might get injured during this contract and not make anything the next time he reaches free agency. I still think he’d prefer the Yanks at 150 million over 6 years, but you never know.