Melvin: Brewers “Way Over” Projected Budget

Coming off their first NLCS appearance in 29 years, the Brewers are looking at the first nine-figure payroll in franchise history heading into 2012. Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel spoke to GM Doug Melvin, who confirmed that the team will outspend its projected budget next year.

“We’re way over what we projected our budget to be at this point,” said Melvin. “It’s over $100 million. We hoped to be in the low 90s.”

There's no indication that the Brewers will need to move some players to shed payroll, and Haudricourt notes that the $100MM+ figure includes players who under team control but remain unsigned. That includes the arbitration-eligible Shaun Marcum and Jose Veras, who filed for $8.7MM and $2.375MM earlier this week, respectively. The team countered with $6.75MM and $2MM.

Melvin also said it's unlikely the Brewers would be able to re-sign Prince Fielder even if the slugger was willing to take a one-year deal. Milwaukee agreed to sign Norichika Aoki for two years and $2.25MM yesterday, but their biggest additions came earlier this offseason: Aramis Ramirez (three years, $36MM) and Alex Gonzalez (one-year, $4.25MM).


80 Responses to Melvin: Brewers “Way Over” Projected Budget Leave a Reply

  1. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    K rod accepting arbitration was the biggest issue here. Not sure they have any chance to unload him and the salary.

    • BitLocker 3 years ago

      They can go for a trade and eat some of the salary. I’m sure there’s teams who need a closer.

    • John Driscoll 3 years ago

      K-rod hurts, but not as bad as anticipated. We’re all pretty surprised that he accepted at 8 million. I think that Ryan Madson’s deal helped us out. Take the glass at half full approach and you have an all-star combo 8th/9th inning only costing 8.5 million…

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

        thats one way to look at it..

        the other is paying a guy 8 million to pitch in the 8th inning of a cash strapped team.

        • John Driscoll 3 years ago

          Glad to see you’re a real optimist. I was just saying it’s not the end of the world. And if krod puts up good numbers, it’s not like he’d be a financial burden if a team wants to trade for a closer. Cheaper than most of the established closers in the league.

        • They’re also paying Axford something like 600k this year.

          So it’s like they’re paying $4.3 million to the set up guy and $4.3 million to the closer.  And both are very good.

          • michael hughes 3 years ago

            No it’s not like that at all. By that logic you could just take the entire team’s salary and divide it by the number of players and say it’s like they’re all being paid the same thing.

    • AisoRed 3 years ago

      I’m sure some team will need a closer by the trade deadline.

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

        I don’t doubt that.. I doubt Krod being the most attractive option for those teams, given price and performance

        • 2.64 ERA/2.72 FIP/291 career saves.  Yeah, it’s going to be impossible to get anyone interested in that.

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            Closer market has crashed.

            Madson signed a 1 year deal..

            Not doubting his performance, he has been good, although his velocity is slipping and his slider isn’t as good, he still gets the job done

        • AisoRed 3 years ago

          $4MM isn’t that bad for half a season of a guy who had a 2.64 ERA last year (assuming he stays close to that performance).

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            I guess it will depend what else is available.

    • Ryan Madson at $8.5M was the “steal of the offseason.”  K-Rod at $8M is a huge burden that’s impossible to unload.

      I know Madson is marginally better at this point in their careers, but the logic of the Internet is funny.

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

        This would have made sense had Krod not accepted arbitration.
        Clearly there wasn’t a market out there for him or else he wouldnt have accepted arbitration.

        Madson was mostly seen as a the steal of the offseason because of the reported fact that he turned down 44 million.

        • chadomac 3 years ago

          Madson didn’t turn down 44 mil, the Phillies did.  Madson made it so K-Rod wasn’t as expensive in arbitration this year, which was nice for the Brewers.  8 million for a great reliever doesn’t bother me nearly as much as 14 would.  But then again I find it ridiculous that someone can get paid 10+ mil per year to pitch a lights-out 9th inning but if it’s the 8th inning it’s less than half of that.

  2. JonBoyd 3 years ago

    Nice to see the front office go over budget to keep prince and Braun together. Oh wait..

  3. Greinke on the move since the Brewers are just about out of it?

    • AisoRed 3 years ago

      How are they just about out of it?

      • Fielder is gone, and they’ve lost Braun for a third of the season. The Cardinals are already better with Wainwright coming back, and the Reds have improved greatly.

        • AisoRed 3 years ago

          Wainwright isn’t a sure thing and Braun isn’t lost yet… Also, we’ll have KRod from the start of the year and Greinke for the first month.

          • But as of right now (because Braun will be lost for 50 games), they’re the third best team. MAYBE the second, but they won’t win the Wild Card.

          • AisoRed 3 years ago

            That’s fine that you think that. I’d rather be the underdog in the eyes of Reds and Cards fans.

          • Nobody will know until October anyway. We all saw the two game 162s!

          • CaseyBlakeDeWitt 3 years ago

            Let him root for his team! At this point I can still say I think the Dodgers have a chance at the playoffs. Crazy things happen, you never know how the season’s going to finish.

        • John Driscoll 3 years ago

          Brewers will be a more defensive orientated team this year, which should make our pretty good pitching staff great. Dropping Prince and Yuni’s D out of the infield and potentially getting Hart out of Right and into 1st for some time is gonna help a lot. Not enough to make up for Prince, but it won’t be as hard to watch when we’re in the field.

        • The Cardinals are already better?  Hum, That Pujols guy is replaceable?

          • When you take into account Wainwright, Motte as closer, Furcal instead of Theriot, Beltran to help replace SOME of Albert, probable break outs from Freese and Craig, and a healthy season from Holiday… Then yes. We are better than last year and I expect 95-96 wins.

        • orbrewer 3 years ago

          I’ll take each Brewer pitcher over their Cardinal counterpart.  Greinke/Gallardo over Carpenter/Wainwright
          Marcum over Garcia
          Wolf over Lohse
          Narveson over Westbrook

          • sam_lammert 3 years ago

            greinkecarp
            Marcum=garcia, both highly inconsistant
            not sure about wolf or lohse, don’t know which one is showing up each start,
            narveson>>>>>westbrook

    • The Brewers aren’t nearly out of it. The NL Central has been severely weakened by the loss of Pujols. I don’t see the Cardinals being that great, and the only team who I could see doing well other than the Brewers would be the Reds.

      • The loss of Pujols is offset with a full season of Furcal, the addition of Beltran, and Wainwright coming back.

        • Kinda like how the loss of Fielder is offset by replacing the below-replacement-level production of Betancourt and McGehee with Alex Gonzalez and Aramis Ramirez.

        • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

          Thats just not true though.

        • MetsMagic 3 years ago

          Yeah, Wainwright’s good, Beltran is awesome, but Albert Pujols is…well, he’s Albert Pujols. I understand that the Cards are still good, but it might not be such a seamless integration into the post-Pujols era (even with another future HoF in Berkman taking his place). 

        • bobskube 3 years ago

          Ummm no. Waino is no guarantee whatsoever, and furcal sucks. Beltran is nice, but he’s no pujols.

          Cards,are the favorite but it’s closer than you make it sound.

          • I don’t think it’s a stretch to project 95-96 wins from the Cardinals. True…. Waino is no sure thing, but you’ve got to think he’ll be better than what we had. Westbrook can’t possibly get worse, and I expect a solid season with a 4.10 ERA as the number 5. Furcal and Theriot are worlds apart. Theriot had to cost us at least 3-4 games with his glove. No Rasmus and his .200 batting average. A good closer (Motte) instead of this Ryan Franklin stuff. Garcia should make strides in becoming a top of the rotation starter. Holiday was constantly injured last year… look for a monster season from him. Our BP is better than last years. Freese and Craig are poised for big years.

            Albert leaving definitely hurts, and no doubt would we be better with him. But, we are definitely better than we were last year at the start of the season.

          • I don’t think it’s a stretch to project 95-96 wins from the Cardinals. True…. Waino is no sure thing, but you’ve got to think he’ll be better than what we had. Westbrook can’t possibly get worse, and I expect a solid season with a 4.10 ERA as the number 5. Furcal and Theriot are worlds apart. Theriot had to cost us at least 3-4 games with his glove. No Rasmus and his .200 batting average. A good closer (Motte) instead of this Ryan Franklin stuff. Garcia should make strides in becoming a top of the rotation starter. Holiday was constantly injured last year… look for a monster season from him. Our BP is better than last years. Freese and Craig are poised for big years.

            Albert leaving definitely hurts, and no doubt would we be better with him. But, we are definitely better than we were last year at the start of the season.

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            you’re far too optimistic.

            injuries happen, disapointments happen, down seasons etc.. you lost not only your best player but your most consistent as well.

          • Break outs happen too. Only thing I’m optimistic about is Garcia getting better (which he should), and Freese and Craig having break out years which I find entirely likely. Holiday was constantly hurt or playing through injuries that cost him some production. I easily see him matching his career numbers in 2012.

            Yes, injuries and disappointments happen. Happened to us on several occasions last year. Last year Holiday, Freese, Craig, Waino, and Albert missed significant time, and Franklin, Westbrook, and Theriot disappointed. Holiday, Freese, and Craig’s injuries were all freak injuries (hit by a pitch, weight room, breaking knee running into a wall) so I think it’s not too optimistic to assume they will be healthy, thus they produce. Franklin has been replaced by Motte (we blew WAY too many games), Furcal replaces Theriot (he made WAY too many errors), and Westbrook can’t possibly be worse.

            Injuries are impossible to project, but the two I see as possibly disappointing in 2012 are Berk and Molina. Berk had a great season, but now he’s one year older and will be relied on more heavily for production. Molina had a career year offensively last year and will probably not be able to match it again.

            Still, 95-96 wins should be about right.

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            you’re overlooking how much better the reds got this year.

            they won 90 games last year, lose albert pujols and you expect them to win an addition 5-6 games

            no, you’re not biased or off your rocker one bit.

            in all honesty if the cards win 90 games this year, it would be extremely impressive.. I’m thinking more like 86-89 wins

          • Lose Albert Pujols and add Waino, Furcal for a season, Beltran, Motte as closer, healthy seasons from Holiday, Freese, and Craig, and likely big seasons from those three… Yeah I expect to win more games. I don’t think you realize how many games Theriot’s glove and the bull pen cost us. The Reds got ALOT better. I know. But they won 79 games last year. You think they got 11-12 wins better because they got Madson, Marshall, and Latos? I just don’t see it. They are legit contenders, and a huge threat, but it’s a pretty big jump.

          • Break outs happen too. Only thing I’m optimistic about is Garcia getting better (which he should), and Freese and Craig having break out years which I find entirely likely. Holiday was constantly hurt or playing through injuries that cost him some production. I easily see him matching his career numbers in 2012.

            Yes, injuries and disappointments happen. Happened to us on several occasions last year. Last year Holiday, Freese, Craig, Waino, and Albert missed significant time, and Franklin, Westbrook, and Theriot disappointed. Holiday, Freese, and Craig’s injuries were all freak injuries (hit by a pitch, weight room, breaking knee running into a wall) so I think it’s not too optimistic to assume they will be healthy, thus they produce. Franklin has been replaced by Motte (we blew WAY too many games), Furcal replaces Theriot (he made WAY too many errors), and Westbrook can’t possibly be worse.

            Injuries are impossible to project, but the two I see as possibly disappointing in 2012 are Berk and Molina. Berk had a great season, but now he’s one year older and will be relied on more heavily for production. Molina had a career year offensively last year and will probably not be able to match it again.

            Still, 95-96 wins should be about right.

        • pmollan 3 years ago

          What?  The best player in baseball is replaced by an aging, light hitting SS, an old, washed up ex-CF who was run out of Queens and a 30 year old coming off TJ surgery?  I guess hope does spring eternal. 

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

        love how you mention the loss of Pujols and not the loss of Fielder.. 

        not to mention the 50 game suspension for Braun is going to hurt..

        Rotation still looks good, but the Reds have improved a lot as well too. Its going to take some younger guys to step up to keep the Brewers in it, namely Gamel.

      • sam_lammert 3 years ago

        oh you don’t seem to remember prince isn’t coming back, and you also have your best player most likely out for over a month, i absolutely love latos, been following his career since i got his autograph at the futures game, but i’m not sure if he’ll be successful or not in g.a.b, cardinals get back their best pitcher who is also one of the best in the league, they gain a lot of defense, first at short with theriot not there and furcal, plus not having berkman over in right and beltran is a decent rbi and average bat, you don’t have to deal with franklin at closer anymore and the rest of the bullpen has more experience, dont gotta deal with rasmus in the dugout anymore when he really seemed like he was disliked, yes they lost pujols, but you also gotta look at all they gained

        • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

          I’m willing to bet that Berkman doesn’t have anywhere close to the year he had last year, and the cardinals offense becomes their biggest weakness.

          • sam_lammert 3 years ago

            oh i guarantee he doesn’t have close, but he’ll still put up big numbers, but our offense will still be very good, they have an experienced lead off hitter now, have gained a good bat in beltran, there’s no way holliday will be out as much this year as last, i mean, a moth in his ear? really? got a full year of raffi, and the clutch bat of molina is always great, and i think since he didn’t have a surgery on his ankles this year freese will have a stellar year, he’ll actually be able to prepare for the season and if the cardinals is their biggest weakness then they are going to have a great year without a doubt

          • Brendan Haglund 3 years ago

            “The rest of the division got bad while the Cardinals got amazing.”

            Get real. You sound like a major tool (typical Cards fan). Every team in the division got weaker (except the Reds, but an improvement on their part puts them back on par with St Louis and Milwaukee) so I’d say it’s going to be a real battle next year. 

            Milwaukee didn’t lose much (-Fielder, +Gamel, Aramis = Not much production lost. Plus Greinke figures to have a much better season next year. 

            St Louis losing Pujols is huge. HUGE. Don’t act like it isnt. Wainwright hasn’t pitched in a year. Not many guys come back from Tommy John and pitch like nothing happened. I’m sure he’ll be good but not Cy Young material. Beltran replaces mayyybe 75% of what Albert did. 

            Cincinnati had a weird year but I think with the Latos trade and Chapman possibly in the rotation, they’ll win 85+ games. 

          • sam_lammert 3 years ago

            haha thats not what i said at all, i never said they got weaker, i was just just getting my point across that the brewers and reds aren’t the only teams that can win the division, that the cardinals are still on both of their levels, and losing pujols is obviously huge, i’m not denying that, its kinda impossible to deny, if you’re gonna call me a tool and insult me try understanding the point i’m getting across, there’s no one team in this division that will run away with the division crown, it just can’t happen with the improvements the teams made, i’m not denying that, i never did

          • So Brewers lose Prince and will replace his elite production with ARam and Gamel and their not losing much??? But the Cardinals are losing Albert and replacing him with Beltran/Furcal and we’re losing a HUGE amount? Your only looking at Albert and his “replacement”. Look at every position and most will be better than last year. Motte instead of Franklin, Furcal instead of Theriot, likely healthy seasons from Holiday, Freese, and maybe Craig. We can’t replace Pujols and the Brewers can’t replace Prince.

          • So Brewers lose Prince and will replace his elite production with ARam and Gamel and their not losing much??? But the Cardinals are losing Albert and replacing him with Beltran/Furcal and we’re losing a HUGE amount? Your only looking at Albert and his “replacement”. Look at every position and most will be better than last year. Motte instead of Franklin, Furcal instead of Theriot, likely healthy seasons from Holiday, Freese, and maybe Craig. We can’t replace Pujols and the Brewers can’t replace Prince.

        • SunsetStripper 3 years ago

          I’m not so sure Wainwright is going to be the same pitcher he was before his surgery.  At least not this year anyway. 

          • sam_lammert 3 years ago

            well i replied but apparently it was inappropriate i guess, long story short, he was speculated to be ready for playoffs, hes been throwing for a while, he won’t be fully himself, but he’ll be good

            wainwright at 85%>mcclellan

    • AaronAngst 3 years ago

      Yeah, they’re obviously waving the white flag since they’re almost committing St. Louis-like money to their payroll. They must be in rebuilding mode if they ONLY plan on exceeding last year’s payroll by 20+ mil. Did you think before you typed this?

  4. BeansNRice 3 years ago

    The Brewers and their fans simply want to win more than the NY Mets, for example.  Of course the NY Mets being completely broke is a partial factor.

    • MetsMagic 3 years ago

      That shouldn’t be too hard LOL. The Brewers had some big subtractions, but hopefully Braun can be a rare appeal winner and if Aramis can be half of Fielder, the Brewers are still a VERY good team. Any team with Greinke and Gallardo in the rotation and Hart and Weeks on it is. 

      • Weeks will also get a 50 game “suspension” at some point.  It’s just a matter of whether it’ll be a wrist or leg injury.

      • Cosmo3 3 years ago

        Well…Aramis certainly is HALF of Fielder 

        • Encarnacion's Parrot 3 years ago

          I just gotta say that Cosmo was simply one of the greatest DOS games I’ve ever played. Isn’t your pic from the end of level 7 in Cosmo 1? I just remember falling in a pit that keeps getting narrow until your nom noms for that alien haha.

          Good times.

  5. We’re way over what we projected our budget to be at this point,” said Melvin. “It’s over $100 million. We hoped to be in the low 90s.”

    It must be a real hardship, when you draw over 3 million to your ballpark. How will you ever pay for it Melvin? Here’s a quarter so you can call the “Waaaaambulance” to come and pick you up.

    At least you have an owner to do what it takes to win. I mean when was the last time the Brewers signed someone from the Newark Bears like the Orioles did the other day? 

    • toddcoffeytime 3 years ago

      True, Mark A. is one fantastic owner.  Tripled Payroll, allowed kegs in parking lot for tailgating, etc.

  6. Paul Shailor 3 years ago

    IS there a website where I could see the up to date payroll figures for each team or some estimations? I always see things on here that indicate a teams payroll and flexibility but is there a list somewhere?

  7. Joe Goodin 3 years ago

    It’s kinda their own fault for offering K-Rod arbitration. 

    • toddcoffeytime 3 years ago

      The Brewers could not have expected K-Rod to agree to pitch the 8th inning after openly whining about it all year.  8 Million is actually pretty reasonable, ask Madson.

      • Agreed.  Paying $8.5 million for the combination of K-Rod and Ax-Man is a solid deal.  We got away with that one.  Not the best situation, but it could have been worse.

  8. Joe Goodin 3 years ago

    It’s kinda their own fault for offering K-Rod arbitration. 

  9. AaronAngst 3 years ago

    K-Rod isn’t the main factor here – look at the timeline – they signed Ramirez, Gonzalez, Aoki, etc. after finding out that they’d also be paying Rodriguez a hefty sum. They wouldn’t have offered K-Rod arbitration if they weren’t comfortable with the idea that he might accept it. It didn’t impede their ability to make the other moves they wanted to. There was no way they were going to commit to a 6, 7 or 8 year deal with Fielder when Braun is on the books as long… Milwaukee is the smallest market, and with that does not come long term financial security. They have the ability to have an elevated payroll this season… they’ll have that ability as long as they draw, and they’ll draw as long as they win. Having nearly half of your payroll locked up on two guys for the next eight years was never going to happen, nor should it have happened because those two guys would not be able to win alone.

  10. AaronAngst 3 years ago

    K-Rod isn’t the main factor here – look at the timeline – they signed Ramirez, Gonzalez, Aoki, etc. after finding out that they’d also be paying Rodriguez a hefty sum. They wouldn’t have offered K-Rod arbitration if they weren’t comfortable with the idea that he might accept it. It didn’t impede their ability to make the other moves they wanted to. There was no way they were going to commit to a 6, 7 or 8 year deal with Fielder when Braun is on the books as long… Milwaukee is the smallest market, and with that does not come long term financial security. They have the ability to have an elevated payroll this season… they’ll have that ability as long as they draw, and they’ll draw as long as they win. Having nearly half of your payroll locked up on two guys for the next eight years was never going to happen, nor should it have happened because those two guys would not be able to win alone.

  11. Cards11 3 years ago

    To all you fans who underestimate the cards I PRAY your teams do the same….bc you all saw where we got last year with everyone underestimating us

  12. JackPackage 3 years ago

    The Ramirez, Gonzalez and offering K-Rod arbitration moves were all stupid… they are now reaping the consequences of their stupid behaviour.

    No sympathy now and even less when they lose their pitching next year. They have a healthy budget, Oakland wish they could have a low 90’s payroll. Simply unacceptable, trying to keep up with the Joneses when you don’t have their money.

    • AaronAngst 3 years ago

      Agreed – attempting to put together a competitive roster is the stupidest thing a team can do

  13. josh 3 years ago

    yeah but k rod is a joke

  14. formerdraftpick 3 years ago

    Just put the rest on a credit card.  No big deal.  

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