2012 Contract Issues: Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers are next in our 2012 Contract Issues series.  Here's what the team faces after the 2011 season:

Eligible For Free Agency (6)

  • Prince Fielder may have to share the free agent spotlight with Albert Pujols, C.C. Sabathia, and Jose Reyes.  But Fielder, a 27-year-old Scott Boras client, brings an elite bat to the open market.  Boras has to be targeting Mark Teixeira's eight-year, $180MM deal, if not more.  The Brewers are not expected to be in the mix.
  • LaTroy Hawkins had shoulder surgery in August of last year, but he's been decent so far in a limited sample.  Sergio Mitre has a similar line involving a low ERA, a low strikeout rate, and a good amount of groundballs.    
  • Hamstring and oblique injuries should keep Takashi Saito out until June or so; he's only tossed two innings for the Brewers so far.  42 in February, DL stays are the norm for Saito but he's still good when healthy.
  • Bench players Craig Counsell and Mark Kotsay are eligible for free agency as well.

Contract Options (1)

  • Yuniesky Betancourt: $6MM club option with a $2MM buyout.  Brewers manager Ron Roenicke seems to be a fan of Betancourt's offense and defense, but the Royals won't be picking up $2MM of his $4MM net price in 2012.  I expect GM Doug Melvin to survey free agent alternatives.

Arbitration Eligible (9)

A few of these players will be cut loose by the non-tender deadline.  McGehee is a notable first-time case; he could get $2MM.  Marcum has been stellar, and a raise to the $8-9MM range is plausible.  I can see about $18MM to retain McGehee, Morgan, Loe, Parra, Marcum, and Gomez.

2012 Payroll Obligation

The Brewers' 2012 payroll obligation, according to Cot's, is $58.08MM including Betancourt's buyout.  Retaining arbitration eligibles could bring the total to $76MM or so, leaving $8MM to spend aside from minimum salary players if payroll is maintained.  Melvin could have a few million more to work with if players such as Gomez and Parra are non-tendered or traded.  The 2010 payroll was $90MM; going back to that level or higher would create another $6MM+ to use.  Melvin will have some room to acquire a shortstop, first baseman, and a reliever or two, but it'd be surprising to see him in on any of the big names.

43 Responses to 2012 Contract Issues: Milwaukee Brewers Leave a Reply

  1. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    No surprise that Marcum has been stellar.  
    I thought he would be a bit better with the bat though.

  2. j6takish 4 years ago

    “Brewers manager Ron Roenicke seems to be a fan of Betancourt’s offense and defense”. How does Ron still have a job?

    • daveineg 4 years ago

       I actually watch the games as does Roenicke and I’m a fan of Betancourt’s defense too.  The guy hasn’t made an error in 28 games, has turned numerous double plays, and made some spectacular plays.

      Offensively, he’s got some issues, but he puts the ball in play (leads the league with 5 sac flies) and history says, he’ll get his hits.

      • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

        its easy to not pile up errors when you lack the range to get to balls put in play  

        • jpatlee 4 years ago

          Yeah, he doesn’t have the best range and some have talked about him being the worst SS in baseball.  Well, what they conveniently leave out, is that in that ranking, there were only around 20 SS listed (ie. 20 that played enough to qualify for that ranking).  If you take that into consideration, the Brewers probably have a slightly below average situation at SS.  

          • Guest 4 years ago

            I have no idea what list you’re referring to. But how exactly is being ranked 20th out of 20 supposed to help the case for him?

          • jpatlee 4 years ago

            1.  The list I’m talking about was a list based on WAR over at FanGraphs.  Many Brewers fans talked about how bad Betancourt was using that list.

            2.  How many teams are in baseball?  I’ll give you a hint…it’s more than 20.  Therefore, if Yuni ranks 20, there are ten teams who don’t even have an everyday starter.  I’d say that’s a worse situation than what Yuni provides.  Therefore, he’s not the worst SS in baseball.

            In other words, 20 out of 20 is not good.  I never claimed it was.  But 20 out of 30 looks a WHOLE LOT better.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            not having a qualified SS after 40 games doesn’t mean your SS situation is worse than having a regular who is producing below replacement level

            if you filter for 100 PA, there are 29 qualified SS. betancourt is 27th in front of tejada and brignac. everyone everywhere forever would rather have brignac than betancourt. tejada maybe not, but his track record is still a mile better than betancourt’s, who unlikely tejada can actually be counted on to continue being as bad as he has been

            at -.3 WAR. he is about a half a win below replacement level. this is a feat he has achieved in a full season before – only two years ago. and last year he was worth .6 wins above replacement level

            he’s not just the worst shortstop in the league, he’s one of the worst players in the game

          • Sam_Lee 4 years ago

             That’s only if you have religious faith in something as horrible as WAR. I suppose you can’t watch much baseball either. 

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            somebody gunna get a hurt real bad!

          • Guest 4 years ago

            I never called him “the worst SS in baseball.” All I’m saying is that bringing up a list that ranked him 20th out of 20 does not help his case. If anything, it hurts his case. So why bother bringing it up?

            And now that you’re telling me the list was based on WAR, it makes even LESS sense to mention it. WAR measures a player’s overall value, and the person you replied to was ONLY talking about his defense.

            If you want to make a case for him being a decent SS, you need to come up with something better than “there are ten teams who don’t even have an everyday starter.” Because most teams (and fans) would prefer to have a SS platoon consisting of two average defenders than one everyday SS who is a below-average defender, and also bad on offense.

          • jpatlee 4 years ago

            Alright, I could have been clearer, but I was talking about the talk that has been going on about Betancourt since the Brewers got him in the Greinke trade.  Since then, people were using FanGraphs to show how Betancourt is the worst player in baseball.  I just don’t believe that.  I think he’s below average, but he’s better than most platoon players.  Why?  Because he’s not a platoon player himself.  Why would you want to use two bench spots for one position if you don’t have to?  If those platoon players played as many games as he did, I bet their value would be lower than his.  You can’t just look at WAR and say that’s the end of it because there’s more to the story. 

            Also, I’d like to add that the list that I was talking about in reference to the 20/20 was the list from last year.  I haven’t checked since the Greinke trade, but that’s where I remember him being on that list.

            If you disagree with me, then fine.  But he’s NOT the worst SS in baseball nor the worst player in baseball.  He’s just below average.

          • Guest 4 years ago

            >>>Why would you want to use two bench spots for one position if you don’t have to?<<>>If you disagree with me, then fine. But he’s NOT the worst SS in baseball nor the worst player in baseball.<<<

            I've never said EITHER of those things. Stop putting other people's words in my mouth. My only point is that it's unwise to bring up a list that ranks a player 20th out of 20, if you're trying to defend him. It doesn't help your case. It hurts it.

          • woadude 4 years ago

            It means everybody would take 19 guys over him, not even top 10 or for the sake of argument top 15, Yuni is nobody to brag about or even try to defend.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            “Brewers manager Ron Roenicke seems to be a fan of Betancourt’s offense and defense”

            38 games .245 wOBA -9.7 UZR/150

            other things of which ron roenicke is probably a fan: gory movies, BDSM, jorge posada

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            this reply was not meant for you, but i like your comment so you can keep it

          • woadude 4 years ago

            Hip Hip JORGE!!!!

          • Sam_Lee 4 years ago

             I want to see the obese Cardinals fan that is the “video scout” providing the raw data for UZR. I can see him stuffing doritos in his maw as he watches a little video monitor and rubs his Pujols bobblehead. Never mind that it is so crude that it doesn’t take into account positioning, and the Brewers are the most radical shifting team in baseball, perhaps ever. 

        • We hated him in Seattle and it’s funny when people say hes a good player. Look at his UZR, and others. 

          • woadude 4 years ago

            Exactly, he will always be the reason we have Dustin Ackly and not Stephen Strasburg.

          • Guest 4 years ago

            It also hurt that they didn’t have the first pick that year.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            Betancourt went 5 for 7 during the last series of the year, and the nats lots the last 2 games to the phillies clinching the first overall pick…

            So in a way, yes he kinda did make the mariners lose out on Strasburg, however, I forgot who was coaching then, seriously should have sat him down.

  3. daveineg 4 years ago

    I see no reason to tender Parra.  

  4. Talking about lack of range remember a guy named J.J.


    • PostMoBills 4 years ago

      I’m not sure if you’re srs.  J.J. Hardy has had great range.

      •  Yeah that is one I never understood.  I think it is because Hardy doesn’t look athletic.  He gets good jumps on the ball and he has a strong arm so can get away with playing deeper.  Comparing Betancourt to Hardy defensively is a joke though, Betancourt is one of the worst full time defensive SS in baseball, Hardy is above average.

        • Sam_Lee 4 years ago

           There’s a whole hoard of Brewers fans – especially the stat crowd – who are absolutely certain that Hardy was really bad. Betancourt is better than a couple SSs just in the NL Central. 

  5. I also feel that as soon as they let parra go he will become the next Jorge De Larosa. Just saying… He is a mental miget though. 

  6. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    I still don’t see a market for Fielder being that competitive for someone to get into a 10 year deal range for 180 million..


    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      I’m betting Boras will try to sell Fielder as a discount when compared to Pujols.when compared to Pujols.

      • stl_cards16 4 years ago

        I think he will be a good alternative to Pujols if you can get him for 6/130ish.  I think that’s where he ends up, although you never know if a team gets desperate for a first baseman.  The team most likely to really overpay for Fielder is the Cubs if they miss out on Pujols. 

        • Guest 4 years ago

          I was thinking the exact same thing. Fielder’s a great hitter. But he’s not worth nearly as much as what he’ll probably wind up getting, in my opinion. And I don’t think the Cubs will hesitate much on giving Boras what he’s asking for. I’m not trying to bash the Cubs here. They’re one of my favorite NL teams. But they sure don’t mind accumulating bad contracts.

          • j6takish 4 years ago

             Baltimore and Washington have both been dying for a power hitting 1st baseman. Baltimore was ready to throw a giant pile of money at Teixiera a few years ago, and Washington just likes throwing big piles of money at people in general. I guarantee you SOMEONE will give him 8/180

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            Their is a difference from offering Teix that money and Fielder that money..

            Teix is in great shape, no reason to doubt his fielding abilities after 8 or 9 years
            Fielder on the other hand will be a DH sooner rather than later, would you really pay a DH 23 million a year?

          • j6takish 4 years ago

             Absolutely not. But either Baltimore or Washington will pay him that much, not saying its smart, but he’s going to get paid

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            smarter (less dumb) for baltimore, who can at least keep him off the field without losing his bat. but jesus that will be annoying. baltimore is the one team left in the division we can all count on getting wins against

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago


          • Sam_Lee 4 years ago

             Fielder will probably be playing 1st longer than horse face. He’s the most durable player in baseball. Tex’s fielding isn’t as good as the rep either.

          • Guest 4 years ago

            Did I say someone wouldn’t??? My whole point was that someone WILL give him and Boras what they ask for (or at least very close to it; they’ll probably ask for closer to $200M in the beginning). And I think the Cubs are the team that is most likely to give it to them.

  7. woadude 4 years ago

    Prince Fielder and that wonderful left handed bat will be an amazing player to watch in Safeco field…Just saying, and before people bring up Smoak, Prince can be a DH, he has always looked like a DH, could be a left handed version of Edgar Martinez who was a 3rd baseman before he was a power house DH.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      that would be a nice fit and it would help accelerate Seattles competitiveness.
      However, Boras has publicly said he is aiming for 200 million/10 years for Fielder.

      No team would or should pay a DH that much. IF an AL team wants him to DH now, it will be (presumably) easy for an NL team to outbid them.

    • Guest 4 years ago

      If he does happen to wind up in either West division, it will be in Anaheim (regardless of the Halos strained relationship with Boras).

  8. braun4ever 4 years ago

    who are the brewers going to sign to play first base. i would personally like to see the brewers get carlos pena and jose reyes to replace yuni.

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