Brewers Sign Doug Davis

The Brewers officially signed lefty Doug Davis to a one-year deal today worth $5.25MM guaranteed. The contract pays $4.25MM in ’10 and has a $6.5MM mutual option for ’11 with a $1MM buyout. Davis can also earn another another $1MM in incentives each season, broken down into payments of $125K each for 180, 185, 190, and 195 innings pitched and 28, 29, 30, and 32 starts.

This marks Davis’ second stint with Milwaukee, his first being the best stretch of his career. He signed with the Brewers as a free agent in July of ’03, and stayed until a November ’06 trade with Arizona. The 34-year-old posted a 4.12 ERA in ’09, but that didn’t match up with his 1.42 K/BB ratio.

Davis joins Randy Wolf as the second addition to the Brewers’ rotation this winter. Yovani Gallardo will lead the group, with Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan/Manny Parra rounding out the back end.’s Adam McCalvy first reported the agreement.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.

89 Responses to Brewers Sign Doug Davis Leave a Reply

  1. Guest 6 years ago

    YES! What a good signing!

    • jbo18 6 years ago

      It really doesn’t matter how fast you throw. As long as you can locate your fastball, and change speeds. Thats all you need. Throwing a curve, slider and a cutter in your arresnal. Thats saying alot if you can throw all those pitches for srikes. Look at Greg Maddoux for example, he barely broke 90 mph. But he had “nasty” stuff which he could get guys out with. I like this pick up by the brew crew. Dougy is a good pitcher and he’s healthy which means he’s a guy who can help you in the post season alot. If he stays healthy this guy could potenially eat up alot of innings.

  2. dodgers_suck 6 years ago

    i think this is a reallly good pick up for the brewers. they got a pretty good pitcher for only 5.25. thats a bargain these days.

  3. redsox4120 6 years ago

    nice signing by the Brew crew.

  4. Guest 6 years ago

    Ive seen him pitch twice at Dodger Stadium, both times his fastball was clocked at 80-82 MPH.. no joke either. I think the Dodgers lost both games.

    • bbxxj 6 years ago

      Yeah, he doesn’t have much heat. His FB average last year was 85 MPH but it doesn’t matter THAT much when you are throwing your curve at 70 and change at 80 with a slider and cutter about 83. Thats still a ton of speed/movement variation which I guess was your point – he was still good throwing a non-gas FB.

      • Guest 6 years ago

        Yeah he has terrible control for someone who throws that slow too, but he makes the most of it.

        • bbxxj 6 years ago

          That 80-82 reading had to be his cut fastball though. He doesn’t have much gas but he can throw his four-seamer fast than that.

          I think its also interesting to note that his went from throwing alot of cutters through his career to all of a sudden throwing a ton of sliders. It went from his least thrown pitch at 3.1% in 2008 to 32.7% in 2009 even more than his fastball which he threw 23.4% in 2009.

          • Guest 6 years ago

            I think TV guns are juiced up. Broxton was throwing 94-96, Kershaw was throwing 91-94 according to the Dodger Stadium gun.

            On TV they throw 98-100 and 93-97 so I have no idea how much the gun is off.

    • frickafracka 6 years ago

      Not looking forward to watching Davis pitch vs. LA this year. Those games start at like 9 pm central time and a game started by Doug Davis will take a minimum of 5 or 6 hours to get through.

  5. elgringo79 6 years ago

    Why would a K:BB ratio matter for a guy like Davis?

    • bbxxj 6 years ago

      Well, his high walk rate kinda negates his decent K rate. I think its pretty pertinant because it keeps him from being a top notch pitcher and not just a good innings eater.

      • elgringo79 6 years ago

        But Davis is distinctly NOT a strikeout pitcher. He’s a finesse lefty. His BB% went up last year, but did not deviate much from his career norm.

        • K/BB matters for everyone, it’s a quick and dirty gauge that (I think) tells you more than ERA does without getting into hardcore numbers.

          • elgringo79 6 years ago

            I have to disagree. Control matters to all pitchers, but Ks only matter to power pitchers. Ground Ball pitchers and Finesse Lefties will not have high K:BB ratios, but it doesn’t mean they are not effective.

          • icedrake523 6 years ago

            K/BB measures control. If you’re not striking out a lot, you also shouldn’t be walking a lot. Davis is a decent pitcher but he has a very little room for error.

          • elgringo79 6 years ago

            BB% measures control. John Lannan has the second lowest qualifying K:BB in the Majors, and only a 2.97 BB%, and hitting the strike zone 3% more than average with his pitches.

          • icedrake523 6 years ago

            His 3.9 K/9 last year is a huge red flag. He needs to get his K/9 to at least 4.5 or else he’s going to be living and dying on his defense.

            K/BB is important. Don’t dismiss it just b/c you like Davis.

          • elgringo79 6 years ago

            Look at the rest of the K:BB list. The evidence is there that you don’t need a high K:BB rate to put up a 4ish ERA, and be a DECENT but admittedly never spectacular pitcher.

          • BaseballFan0707 6 years ago

            Lannan is a poor example to use, as his FIP in the past 2 years has been an avg. of 4.75. As Icedrake says below, he lives and dies by his defense.

          • elgringo79 6 years ago

            In fact sorting qualifying pitchers by K:BB separates pitchers more by style (contact vs no contact) than effectiveness. Although it’s true all the ELITE pitchers are the ones hitters can’t make contact against, the bottom of the list includes exactly what I thought it would: finesse lefties and the likes of Porcello, Lowe, Millwood, Cahill, and Marquis.

          • firealyellon 6 years ago

            no. Buehrle is the quintessential pitch to contact pitcher. his K/BB is still well over 2.

  6. bbxxj 6 years ago

    Davis is a solid pitcher and above average innnings eater as he thew 203 innings in 34 starts with a FIP of 4.84 last year. You could do better but you could certainly do much worse. It does certainly give them a MOR starter to fill out their rotation a bit better.


    Is a ton better that it was last year with about 400 more quality innings in the mix.

    • NoHomer 6 years ago

      Parra is going to be given a spot in the starting rotation to start the year, IMO.
      Suppan and Bush will battle it out for the #5 slot.

      As a Brewers fan, I’m happy with the signing. The rotation is a ton better than the one we trotted out last year (kinda sad that that’s the case, because this one is no better than average). Davis basically takes over Looper’s innings, Wolf takes over for Bush/Suppan, and I expect Gallardo and Parra to both improve.

      • sbmke 6 years ago

        Bush was a college closer. He seems like he could transition back to the pen well because he has always seemed to have stamina issues. Frequently dominant early with a problem with big innings a bit deeper into games.

        Davis is a nice pitcher when he’s changing speeds well. Not a radar gun guy, but he can be tough to time and he comes to the plate with an assortment of breaking stuff. Much better than Looper and Suppan – no one is expecting a star, but he should still be a good upgrade over last year’s models.

  7. TwinsVet 6 years ago

    I’m just relieved this means he’s off the Twins radar. Though I was hoping Washburn would sign with the Crew and keep him far away from Minneapolis…

    • nvance_34 6 years ago

      I agree, now I’m worried they will sign Washburn. Why not sign tejada or hudson and go into the season with liriano/duensing/perkins as the #5 guy?

      • TwinsVet 6 years ago

        I couldn’t agree more.

        But there are those around these parts that insists abstract notions like “stability” and “veteran presence” is more important than crazy numbers like “ERA” and “WHIP”…

        • BaseballFan0707 6 years ago

          Agree as well. The Twins have plenty of pitchers to choose from as a number 5. Heck, Liriano could always rebound, Perkins is already a serviceable number 5 and Duensing had success as a starter last year.

          Plus, Washburn was strictly the benefactor of the superb Mariners defense. He went to a not-so-good defensive team in the Tigers and got bombed.

  8. mochajoe 6 years ago

    I thought he would of ended up with a minor league deal

    • bbxxj 6 years ago

      Whats with the Doug Davis hate? He isn’t an ace, we all know this, but have reliable innings eaters lost all value?

  9. doktorpeace 6 years ago

    After Gallardo, this may be the best collection of mediocre 30-somethings this side of Sex and the City.

    • the812 6 years ago

      is parra in his 30s? uhmmm no.. but other than that u might be right

  10. goose102977 6 years ago

    That is one depressing rotation after Gallardo.

  11. Eazy E 6 years ago

    I love this signing. It is really showing that Melvin wants the ball club to be better this year and hopefully make it into the postseason.

    I don’t understand this. “Davis joins Randy Wolf as the second addition to the Brewers’ rotation this winter. Yovani Gallardo will lead the group, with Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan rounding out the back end.”

    Where is Manny Parra? I would rather see Parra start this whole year than Suppan starting one game against the pirates. Sure, Parra had a weird up&down season last year, but jesus christ the guy is better than suckpan.

    • Sage 6 years ago

      God, I could NOT agree more with what you said about Parra and Suppan. I think our pitching staff needs to look like this:


      Long Relief:

      Middle Relief:


      And hell, who knows, maybe Capuano can make some crazy comeback and be part of the bullpen this year.

    • Eazy E 6 years ago

      That looks real good to me. The only thing is that I don’t think we’ll have two lefties together in the rotation.(Wolf and Davis) that would be weird though having bush as our 3rd starter. holy shit i just noticed we have 3 lefties in the rotation. so strange!

  12. elgringo79 6 years ago

    Can somebody tell me why contracts have “buyouts?” Why not just say he signed a 5.25MM one year contract with a 5.5MM team option? With 1MM deferred, if that matters, but I’m assuming that money would be owed at the time they decline, which would still be in fiscal year 2010.

    • pnedwek 6 years ago

      (a) its a way to defer salary until next year and (b) it can protect a team if a player has a decent year and they might want to renew (Melvin does like Doug Davis)

  13. adamellingson 6 years ago

    Nice, I’ve been banging these pages for weeks about getting either Garland or Davis. I’m happy he’s back, and I hope like hell this puts Jeff Can O’ Soup Suppan out on his ass…. or atleast our long reliever. He’s a bum, and he better play like his families being held hostage, since that’s what he’s done to our payroll for the last three years.

    • lilly18 6 years ago

      “BEERMAKERS, PLAYOFF BOUND!!!” yea how about noooooo!!!!!!

  14. Wolfbane 6 years ago

    Good, this means the Mets can’t sign him.

  15. gunger69 6 years ago

    one less pitcher for the dodgers… hopes it takes them out of the running for sheets.

  16. JoeyT107 6 years ago

    Amen Ellingson…I really hopes this means that Parra is in and Suppan is out in the bullpen…it makes me a little nervous to have all those lefties (assuming Parra is in the rotation), but I love this signing, especially for that kind of money. The main thing is that this is a huge improvement from last year. If the Brewers had just had a mediocre pitching staff last year they might have made the playoffs because their offense is so good.

  17. $1529282 6 years ago

    For the Brewers, this signing actually makes some sense. It’s more than I expected Davis to get, but eh, it’s not a terrible price to pay considering their internal options. I’m trying to figure out what this will do to Bill Smith’s mind and how this signing will affect the Twins, as Davis had been mentioned as a possibility…

    Pro: Davis not in a Twins uniform.
    Con: May pressure our bonehead GM into thinking he has to sign Washburn.
    Pro: $5.25MM means Washburn will likely demand more, as his overall season was superior to Davis, and we topped out at a $5MM offer.
    Con: Our GM is still Bill Smith.

    • firealyellon 6 years ago

      I’m afraid (for you) this makes Washburn about a 3 to 1 favorite to become a Twinky now…

    • R_y_a_n 6 years ago

      LOL. Con: Our GM is Bill Smith.

      Hehe, I like that one.

  18. AaronAngst 6 years ago

    Yeah, I don’t know why they’d want to have Suppan in the mix at all. I believe Melvin himself made comments regarding rate of pay not being a factor in determining one’s role on the Brewers staff… yes, Suppan should be relegated to pitching garbage innings in blowout losses. As for the signing of Davis, this is Braden Looper 2010, monetarily speaking… Davis has better numbers on his side, so in that regard it must feel like a win. On the other hand, I’ve already sat through a few years of Double D. That being the case, I’m not a big fan of this deal.

  19. bravesirrobin 6 years ago

    Bet they still make a run at another SP like Maine or Correria. With the plan of moving Suppan or Bush off their 40 man somehow

  20. invader3k 6 years ago

    People don’t like Davis because he works slow, and doesn’t have amazing “stuff” or a big fireball fastball, but he is effective and makes his starts. He doesn’t give up a lot of home runs either, which was a problem for the Crew last season. The Brewers now have starting pitching DEPTH which they did not have at all last year.

  21. This marks a considerable paycut from his 8.75 million he got in 2009. Davis does eat innings but he does something that will drive fans CRAZYYYY, he walks guys, a lot of guys. Over his entire 11 year career he has averaged over 1 WALKED IN RUN per nine innings. OUCH!

    • So while he may have a 4.12 ERA he also as a 1.1 UERA or unearned run average!!

      • cubfanraysaddictt 6 years ago

        just wondering where did you find a stat like that?

  22. Davis isn’t a bad pick-up for the price but still, the Brewers rotation is shaping up to be fairly underwhelming. Beyond the top two they’re pretty much mediocre or less. Wolf would be a better #3 or #4 than #2 for a playoff bound team. Can’t see them contending seriously unless a couple guys on that staff have career years.

    • crunchy1 6 years ago

      He’s pretty average but he may as well be Johann Santana when he faces the Cubs. He has a 1.16 WHIP, 8.7 K/9, and the Cubs have batted .223 against him in his career. I was happier when he was in the NL West!

    • You know who else has an underwhelming rotation?? THE CUBS!!!!! Lineup too. Talk about making no moves to improve a club. Yikes!

      • crunchy1 6 years ago

        The Cubs aren’t the ones rummaging for average pitchers in the FA pile, though. The Cubs pitching may not be great, but they’re good enough not to have Suppan or Bush in their rotation. And they’re good enough not to need to pay 5M for pitchers like Doug Davis.

        • boom24 6 years ago

          They are also tight with money cause they have bad contracts up and down there lineup. Should just pack it up for about 5 years til you get sorianos contract of the books. 5 years 18 mil per ouch, with no farm system and then pick up average player Byrd. I see 4th place this year for the scrubs.

    • boom24 6 years ago

      Cubs fans should just pack it up for the next 5 years, til you get rid of all your bad contracts. Soriano for 5 more years at 18 mil per, ouch!!! Getting older no farm system, could be rough for awhile. I am looking at cubs in 4th place this year in the division.

  23. rootman1010 6 years ago

    does anybody know if manny parra has options left?

    could he go to AAA if suppan and bush beat him out?

    • klwillis45 6 years ago

      Parra is out of options.

      link to

    • AaronAngst 6 years ago

      No options left on Parra, though they could potentially release Bush, and not be on the hook for his 4+ mil. salary. I really think it has to go:


      I’ll be surprised if they cut Bush lose to free up a rotation spot for Suppan.

      • rootman1010 6 years ago

        they aren’t going to cut bush or suppan. since parra doesn’t have options left their best move would be to put him or bush in the pen.

        1. gallardo
        2. wolf
        3. davis
        4. bush
        5. suppan

        hoffman CL

        • AaronAngst 6 years ago

          I never said anything about them cutting Suppan – even if they did, they’d still have to pay him, so obviously that doesn’t make any sense. With Bush being an arbitration case, they CAN actually cut him, and not have to pay whatever salary they work out before Spring Training starts. I’m just saying that is a possibility if they want to free up some cash. Also: Suppan belongs in the pen. We know what he’s capable of… what we don’t know is what Parra is capable of. At least I hope we haven’t seen the best he has to offer.

          • I disagree, I think Suppan is a decent #5 starter, he just hasn’t lived up to his hype coming out of St. Louis.

          • Brewers28 6 years ago

            Parra has much more to offer than Suppan. Parra is still young as has amazing stuff when he is in the right state of mind. We just have to get him to that point. Suppan should be pushed out of the rotation and into the pen

  24. Chopper13 6 years ago

    They aren’t going for Maine or Correria, Mulder is gonna be signed with a chance to earn a spot in spring training. I think that signing will end up being a great move. Low risk, high reward, the guy did dominate before shoulder problems. Plus we got Rick “Biomechanics” Peterson as our pitching coach who has worked with Mulder both professionally as his coach and privately as a trainer. Mulder can dominate when healthy.

  25. Ricky 6 years ago

    As a Met fan I’m angry and tired. If we don’t get pitching I give up

    • BrewCrewSuperFan 6 years ago

      You just got Sarge for peanuts so there’s something to smile about. I’m surprised you guys let Pineiro go to the Halos though considering he’ll be making Brad Penny/Ben Sheets kind of money.

  26. vivagermany 6 years ago

    If he brings back his crazy mustache, I’m all for it.

    My analysis on the deal:Clay Zavada’s mustache clearly made him feel inferior in Arizona. This is a fresh start for a guy with a cool windup.

  27. Keep in mind, the Brewers were an 80 win team last year despite having the worst statistical rotation in baseball. The offense will still be there and any rotation that can make two marked improvements is likely going to be better. I agree that the Brewers are going to need a lot of guys to have phenomenal years to be competitive but at least this is a step in the right direction.

  28. vivagermany 6 years ago

    Does this make Craig Counsell the second best former Brewer turned former D-Back turned current Brewer in the league?

  29. I would have rather had them sign Garland…

    • brewersfan 6 years ago

      I thought about him as well, but his numbers are kind of ugly. Probably about the same guy.

      • BaseballFan0707 6 years ago

        Yeah, Davis is the better option. Both will give you similar production, but Garland believes he is worth a bit more than 5 million, probably.

  30. Davis’ peripherals look fugly but he has been consistently good at run prevention. Above-average ERA+ every year 6 of the past 7 seasons.

  31. brewersfan 6 years ago

    Even though they are on the hook for the salary, releasing Suppan accomplishes one thing….they can never use him if he is not in uniform.

  32. BaseballFan0707 6 years ago

    Sadly Washburn will think that this dictates his value. He won’t come to his senses about how his ERA was solely thanks to the Mariners defense. While I think that having an innings eater is overrated if he can’t pitch well (unless you have no intent to compete, then by all means), Davis is probably what the Brewers needed, in case anything happens to Gallardo or Wolf. He’s not a bad pitcher, but he’s nothing amazing at the same time.

  33. alanhull1 6 years ago

    Am I wrong or was there talk of the D-Backs wanting to extend Davis last season and even offering a mult-year deal?

    I’m just starting a running tally of all the players and agents who turn down two plus years and wind up with one. Adam LaRoche, Benjie Molina.. Anyone else?

  34. markjsunz 6 years ago

    Great signing by the Brewers now they have two good leftys in the rotation, with there offense they may suprise in there division. It looks like the dodgers are sitting on there hands as these pitchers get signed. I guess Davis was to pricey for the Dodgers.

  35. invader3k 6 years ago

    People keep ragging on Dave Bush, but up until he got hit in the arm by a freak line drive this past season, he was having a pretty good year.

  36. swankwank 6 years ago

    He will get killed in the NL Central, bad signing.

  37. codybadger 6 years ago

    I am very pleased with the Davis and Wolf signings. Wolf was the team ace last year in L.A. and now becomes #2 in the Brewers rotation. Davis is a very solid 3-4 pitcher. Suppan should have a bounce back season considering he’s again in a contract year. Between Bush, Parra & Suppan the back end of the rotation is fine as well. Sure it’s not a super rotation like the big money teams are able to acquire, but it is a HUGE improvement over what was in there last year for the Brewers.
    Also, with Mulder being a very certain signing, and Capuano coming back to form the Brewers will have two mid season call up’s readily available if there does happen to be an injury, not to forget that Narveson is available to spot start when needed too.
    So, 1. Gallardo 2. Wolf 3. Davis 4./5. Bush/Parra/Suppan with Capuano/Mulder/Narveson in the mix as replacements is a very solid rotation.
    The Brewers were nearly a playoff team last year with the worst rotation in baseball… This year they should be a playoff team with these moves by “The Canuck” Doug Melvin.

  38. BrewCrewSuperFan 6 years ago

    Davis is far from dominant but he throws batters off with his slow pace and more importantly his slow delivery. Unlike most southpaws he’s not afraid to pitch inside to righties. He walks a lot of batters not so much because he’s wild but because sometimes he’d rather throw HIS pitch than the one the batter wants & he’s willing to issue the walk if the batter doesn’t bite the bait. That’s another reason why he only gave up 25 HR in 34-ish starts & 200-ish IP last season. A look at his 2009 game log shows that roughly two-thirds of his appearances were quality starts. Oh wow 3 or less ER in 6+ IP you say? Many of those lines were 7+ IP & 2 ER or less. It’s hard to not to like a starter who keeps your team in that many games.

    I give Doug Melvin a lot of credit for acquiring two respectable FA starters & improving the bullpen in an offseason where the team is handcuffed by $24 million in bad contracts (Suppan, Hall, & Riske). Thankfully all of that money will be freed up after the 2010 season. This team was able to win 80 games last season with one of the worst rotations in the MLB. Melvin knew that if we have an average rotation for 2010 to complement our good lineup & BP, we should do alright & he delivered. The moves for next offseason could be even more impressive.

    • Hoosierdaddy92 6 years ago

      didn’t they trade bill hall to seattle last year, and then he got traded to Boston?

      • codybadger 6 years ago

        Yes they did trade Hall to Seattle, but in the deal they agreed to pay the majority of his contract.

      • codybadger 6 years ago

        Yes, however when they traded Hall to Seattle they agreed to pay most of his contract. The Brewers are on the hook for 7.15 million of his 8.4 million deal this season.

  39. BrewCrewSuperFan 6 years ago

    I used to think that they would take a big chunk of that $24M or so in bad contracts coming off the books & make a splash on a top shelf FA pitcher next winter. It would behoove them to use part to lock up Yovani long term & take about $10-12M, add it to Prince’s current salary & dangle it to him as part of an extension. I know a Prince extension sounds crazy, but recently Boras said the following: “Doug has told me that he views Prince as a franchise player,” said Boras. “They know I like Prince in Milwaukee. The question is will they give him a franchise contract?”

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