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.

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.



 Last year’s payroll

 Salary Committed

 Arbitration Eligible

 Estimated money to spend


102 million 

48 million 

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

 45 million


 138 million

104 million 

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

28 million 


103 million

100 million 

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

15 million 


 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


55 million 

40 million 

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

10 million 


118 million

122 million 

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

20 million 


80 million 

60 million 

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

20 million 


100 million 

78 million 

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

20 million 


74 million 

54.5 million 

Bill Bray, Edwin Encarnacion, Mike Lincoln 

15 million


 86 million

88 million 

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

15 million 


 49 million

31 million 

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

8 million 


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 


68 million 

77.5 million 

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

3 million 


73 million 

44 million 

Jody Gerut, Scott Hairston, Heath Bell, Clay Hensley 

4 million 


76 million 

64 million 

Fred Lewis 

10 million 


124 million 

87 million 

Macier Izturis, Rob Quinlan, Chone Figgins, Ervin Santana 

30 million 


48 million 

29 million 

Huston Street, Justin Duchscherer Rob Bowen 

10 million + 


67 million 

63 million 

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

10 million 


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 


57 million 

54 million 

Jason Kubel, Matt Guerrier 

15 million 


79 million 

64 million 

Kelly Shoppach 

15 million 


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 


43 million 

49 million 

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

5 million 


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 


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.

Teams may look to Make Trades for Closers

With only four good closer options on the free agent market: Francisco Rodriguez, Brian Fuentes, Kerry Wood, and Trevor Hoffman, and with the latter two likely to resign, some teams might be looking to make trades to fill a closer position rather than free agents. The Indians, Angels, Cardinals, Brewers, Tigers, and Mets are the other teams in search of a closer. The closers available could be BJ Ryan, George Sherrill, Huston Street, and Kevin Gregg. Ryan will not cost many prospects because of his salary, Gregg should be fairly cheap, and Street and Sherrill are signed cheaply but will need good prospects. Teams with large pockets like the Mets and Angels could consider Ryan a better option than Brian Fuentes because Ryan will have a shorter term. The Tigers would probably target Gregg because he’ll come cheap. The Brewers, Indians, and Cardinals will probably look into Sherrill and Street. If the Cards miss out on better middle infield options, then they might trade for Ryan. They’d still have 10 million to spend on cheaper middle infield options. The Oriols will probably target a young shortstop in a Sherrill trade, much like they did at the trade deadline. I don’t see the A’s trading Street unless they get a good left-side-of-the-infield player or just get a great offer. One possible idea is Street to the Cardinals for Bryan Anderson, then the A’s trade Kurt Suzuki to a team in need of a catcher for a shortstop or third baseman. Example: the Marlins with a pitcher for Matt Dominguez. Another idea would be to package Street with Justin Duchscherer to the Brewers to get either Mat Gamel or Alcidies Escobar. There are several possibilities. Who knows, we might even see a different team jump in.  

Player Market: Prince Fielder

It is possible that the Brewers look to trade Prince Fielder in the offseason. Lets see what team they can get a good pitcher from.

Brewers (frontrunners)  I think it’s more likely that they decide to trade JJ Hardy instead. There will be a bigger market for Hardy, they wouldn’t be losing as much offense, and the Brewers could get almost as good a pitcher for Hardy as they could get for Fielder. All in all, Fielder will likely be kept.

Giants (possible)  Could a Matt Cain for Prince Fielder trade work? I don’t know if either team would do it. I think it has a slight edge toward the Brewers because Cain is so cheap and far better than any starter they could get for Hardy. The Giants could make that trade, but might not unless they add Sabathia. It might make more sense for them to keep Cain and then trade a different pitcher for a first baseman like Adam LaRoche or Mike Jacobs.

Royals (possible)  They could offer Zack Greinke for Fielder. I don’t know if the Brewers would accept this one, because Greinke has one less year under contract than Cain. Maybe the Royals could add a player like Ron Mahay or David DeJesus to finish the deal. I think this scenerio is more likely. The Royals would like to add a big bat to their lineup, and could sign a starter like Oliver Perez or Jon Garland to replace Greinke.

Rays (possible)  The Rays need a DH, and want to inject a big power bat into their lineup, but the player has to be under control for more than one year. So Prince Fielder would make more sense than Matt Holliday. The Rays could put together a package of prospects as good as if not better than most teams. If the Brewers demand a proven starter, they could part with Matt Garza. Yes, he has been great for them this year, but then they could keep both Edwin Jackson and Andy Sonnanstine. Plus, if Price steps up they won’t lose much from the rotation. I think this would be a move the Rays have to do. The Brewers would make the trade also, unless Jeremy Guthrie, Matt Cain, or maybe Zack Greinke is offered. If they can get him without surrendering Garza, they could offer Wade Davis, Edwin Jackson, and either Grant Balfour or JP Howell. The Brewers get a solid closer, a good prospect, and a solid back-of-the-rotation starter. Either one of these deals would be good for the Rays in my opinion.

Orioles (not likely)  It’s not likely, but the Oriols could enter the Prince Fielder sweepstakes. They could offer a package centered around Jeremy Guthrie. He by himself could get him. I don’t know if they should offer him, though. The Brewers would jump on the deal. If the O’s don’t give up Guthrie, then they could try an offer of Brian Roberts, George Sherrill, and Melvin Mora plus cash. The Brewers would be filling three holes, yet they lose offensive firepower and don’t fix the rotation.

Angels (not likely)  If they miss out on Mark Teixera, I could definatly see it. They could center a deal around Nick Adenhart, or even Jered Weaver. If they add Brandon Wood to the trade, it might be enough. I think I would do a Jered Weaver plus Brandon Wood for Prince awap. It makes sense for both sides. Sean Rodriguez could also be added to finish off the trade. Chone Figgins could be part of the deal, too, and play center field in Milwaukee.

Yankees (not likely)  They would love to add a young power bat like Prince, but they might not have the pieces to do it. Maybe if they offered Phil Hughes and Austin Jackson something could be  worked out. Like with Jake Peavy, it would be smarter just to spend the extra money and sign Mark Teixera. When you have a 200 million payroll, you can’t be cheap.

A’s (dark horse)  The A’s have all the pitching in the world to spare. They are in need of a first base/DH type, and most of all they need power. How about a package of Huston Street, Brett Anderson or Gio Gonzalez, and Justin Duchscherer. The Brewers add a good starter, a good pitching prospect, and a good closer. I like this deal a lot for both teams, but I’m not sure the A’s would want to trade away a young gun like Anderson or Gio. Plus, they would miss Doosh, especially if they are trying to compete next year which a Fielder trade would suggest. 

Could Giants Pursue CC Sabathia?

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I had a really busy weekend. So lets get back to baseball.

I have been hearing rumors that the Giants could possibly pursue CC Sabathia. At first, I hated this idea, but now I can start to undertsand it. If the Brewers are willing to trade Prince Fielder for Matt Cain straight up, and the Giants don’t want to weaken their rotation, they could sign Sabathia to repalce Cain while adding Fielder. There is a down side to the Giants, however. would they really want to sign two 100+ million dollar contracts to two pitchers? I wouldn’t. The other down side is payroll. Assuming that Sabathia makes 22 million a year, and that Fielder makes 8 million in his first year of arbitration, they would be adding 30 million to increase payroll up to 84 million. They only had a 76 million payroll last year. Even if they can raise it that high, they still haven’t fixed the bullpen and the offense could still use another piece. I don’t know if the Brewers would even do a Fielder for Cain trade, but we’ll talk about that another day. Or if CC Sabathia would give the Giants a discount or just sign with the highest bidder. Even if both things happen, it may be smarter to use the extra money to sign a couple of bats in the group of Joe Crede, Rafael Furcal, Orlando Hudsons, and Jason Giambi. I find this strategy smarter. In fact, I wouldn’t sign anyone if I were the Giants. Continue rebuilding would be my message.