Dave Bush Rumors
Dave Bush cleared waivers earlier in August and can now be traded to any team, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Bush, 30, hits free agency after the season, but could provide value as an innings eater in September. He has a 4.71 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 147 innings this year.
Bush earns $4.215MM in 2010 plus incentives based on innings pitched, but just $760K of his base salary remains. The right-hander doesn't currently project as a Type A or B free agent, so the Brewers aren't likely to obtain any form of compensation for him after the season.
This is speculation, but the Padres, who have shown interest in pitching this month and want to limit their young starters' innings, could call the Brewers about Bush. Click here for MLBTR's complete list of players to clear waivers and here for Tim Dierkes' list of potentially available starters.
The Brewers still appear to be sellers, but they're going to take a little extra time to determine their plan for this week's trade deadline. The team will not make any decisions - or, presumably, any trades - until they complete their series with the Reds, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
GM Doug Melvin and the rest of the club's front office have many trade chips, but appear ready to wait until the club wraps up its series with Cincinnati tomorrow afternoon. The Brewers are 8.0 games out of a playoff spot, though they have won five straight.
The team's biggest trade chip, Prince Fielder, tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he's prepared for a trade. Prince knows he has little control over the Brewers' decision, but he says he enjoys playing defense and wants to play first base when he signs as a free agent after 2011. The sides are not currently discussing an extension, according to Fielder.
Corey Hart is not in tonight's lineup, but he has caught the attention of several teams and will presumably draw heavy interest if he proves that his right wrist won't be a serious problem. Dave Bush, on the other hand, has drawn little interest, even though he has more quality starts than Ted Lilly or Dan Haren.
The lack of interest in Bush amuses Melvin, who told MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that he gets "a kick out of teams talking about all of these other pitchers" when Bush has been serviceable as well.
The Brewers are listening to offers on Prince Fielder and Corey Hart, tweets ESPN.com's Buster Olney. The tweet echoes a similar report by Jeff Fletcher of AOL FanHouse, though Olney suggests that the Brewers have no interest in moving Rickie Weeks.
Fletcher reported that the Brewers were entertaining offers for Fielder because they don't expect to be able to re-sign him when he hits free agency in 2011. Olney offers similar thoughts in two more tweets, indicating there's a very slim chance Milwaukee could afford to lock up the Scott Boras client to an extension. Boras figures to be looking for a contract larger, in both years and dollars, than Ryan Howard's five-year, $125MM deal. Earlier this season, Fielder and Boras turned down an extension offer similar to Howard's, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link).
Meanwhile, the Giants have been the team most frequently linked to Hart, though the last rumor we heard had the Brewers asking for more than San Francisco was willing to pay. Hart will earn $4.8MM this year, while Fielder is making $10.5MM. Each player will be eligible for arbitration for the last time in 2011 before becoming free agents.
In a final tweet, Olney adds that David Bush could also be an interesting trade chip for the Brew Crew if they go into sell mode. Bush, who will be eligible for free agency this winter, has a 4.23 ERA in 17 outings this year, including a 2.74 mark since his seven-run blow-up in Minnesota on May 21st.
When the Brewers effectively replaced starters Manny Parra and Braden Looper with Randy Wolf and Doug Davis this offseason, the rotation seemed better-positioned to carry the team than it was last year, when Brewers pitching was largely disappointing.
Their starters posted a 5.37 ERA a year ago and their pitching staff as a whole allowed more runs than every NL club except the Nationals. GM Doug Melvin discussed trading for Kevin Correia, Jarrod Washburn, Doug Davis, Brian Bannister and others when the team was in contention last summer. The Brewers even claimed Davis, but they never made a major move.
This year the Brewers are among the worst teams in the National League in runs allowed (14th) and home runs allowed (15th). Their bullpen has been disappointing, but the starters have done better than last year, combining for a 4.70 ERA.
Yovani Gallardo has been fantastic so far, with a 3.07 ERA and 11.0 K/9. Wolf's ERA is below 4.00, but he's walking significantly more batters than he did with the Dodgers last year. Like Wolf, Dave Bush has an ERA around 4.00, but is walking far more batters than usual. Meanwhile, hitters are batting .415 on balls they put in play off of Davis. That figure should drop and drag Davis' 7.56 ERA down along with it. Rounding out the rotation, Chris Narveson pitched well against the D'Backs on Sunday, but he is no sure thing.
The Brewers have some options within the organization should their current starters falter. Carlos Villanueva has experience starting and this year he's throwing harder than ever. Villanueva, the team's pitcher of the month in April, is striking out more than a batter per inning. John Axford, ranked 23rd among Brewers prospects by Baseball America before the season, is pitching well in Triple A and could be called upon to replace Villanueva in the 'pen.
The Brewers have a solid but unremarkable rotation at this point, though they're surely hoping to see Wolf and Bush limit their free passes. We can expect Davis to improve and Villanueva could contribute, so the Brewers don't appear as desperate to acquire arms as they were a year ago. It may all be a moot point. If Milwaukee can't turn things around, they may become sellers and Jeff Suppan, Davis and Bush could be trade bait for other clubs.
Saturday night linkage..
- The Orioles are in search of a lefty reliever, writes The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec. The guy the O's really want is Will Ohman, as they extended him a minor league contract offer in late January. Japanese lefty Hisanori Takahashi and Joe Beimel are also options for the club.
- Joe McDonald and Daniel Barbarisi of The Providence Journal take a look at the big decision Boston will face - whether or not to re-sign Josh Beckett.
If the BoSox choose not to retain the 29-year-old, they'll have to
recognize that his replacement likely won't be found in free agency.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel praises GM Doug Melvin for stocking up on hurlers this offseason. Free agent pickups Randy Wolf and Doug Davis were brought aboard to help support Dave Bush, Jeff Suppan, Manny Parra, and Yovani Gallardo.
- Giants managing general partner Bill Neukom is not sure that the Giants' payroll will reach $100MM as has been originally reported, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco's payroll was $82.6MM to start the 2009 season.
A few dozen arbitration-eligible players have yet to agree on 2010 salaries. As settlements are reached, we'll house them here.
- Brewers pitcher Dave Bush reached an agreement with the club just short of the filing midpoint, tweets MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Bush had filed at $4.45MM, the Brewers at $4.125MM. This is Bush's final arbitration year; he earned $4MM in '09. Corey Hart and Carlos Villanueva are the Brewers' two remaining arbitration-eligible players.
Midnight ET is the non-tender deadline, so we'll keep track of all the players who are offered and/or agreed to contracts today in this post. Keep coming back throughout the day for updates.
- Washington tendered contracts to Josh Willingham, Jesus Flores, Wil Nieves, Jason Bergmann, and Sean Burnett.
- Zach Duke was tendered an offer by the Pirates.
- The Marlins reached an agreement with Ronny Paulino. The deal will be for one-year, $1.1MM.
- The Royals avoided arbitration by reaching one year deals with Brian Bannister ($2.3MM) Roman Colon ($660K), and Kyle Davies ($1.8MM).
- Dioner Navarro will remain with the Rays on a one-year deal worth $2.1MM.
- The White Sox will offer contracts to Bobby Jenks, John Danks, Carlos Quentin, and Tony Pena.
- Milwaukee will tender offers to six players: Dave Bush, Carlos Villanueva, Todd Coffey, Jody Gerut, Corey Hart, and Carlos Gomez.
- Toronto will tender an offer to Jeremy Accardo.
- Kevin Correia will remain with the Padres for one-year, $3.6MM.
- The Rangers have signed Esteban German to a 2010 contract. He'll earn $600K in the majors and $200K in the minors. They offered contracts to their other arbitration-eligible players including Scott Feldman, Chris Ray, Frank Francisco, C.J. Wilson, Dustin Nippert, Brandon McCarthy, and Josh Hamilton.
- Tampa Bay avoided arbitration with Lance Cormier by inking him to a one-year deal. The contract will pay Cormier $1.2MM.
- The Twins will tender contracts to all 30 unsigned players on their 40-man roster. That means Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier, J.J. Hardy, Brendan Harris, Francisco Liriano, Pat Neshek, Delmon Young, and many more figure to be in the Twins' plans in 2010.
- The following eight Cubs will receive offers from the team: Carlos Marmol, Ryan Theriot, Jeff Baker, Angel Guzman, Sean Marshall, Koyie Hill, Tom Gorzelanny, and Mike Fontenot.
- Atlanta tendered offers to relievers Peter Moylan and Boone Logan.
- The Marlins will tender offers to almost all of their arbitration-eligible players - Dan Uggla, Jorge Cantu, Ricky Nolasco, Cody Ross, Josh Johnson, Leo Nunez, and Renyel Pinto.
- The Astros will tender offers to all remaining arbitration-eligible players. This means Michael Bourn, Hunter Pence, Wandy Rodriguez, Matt Lindstrom, Tim Byrdak, Chris Sampson, Jeff Keppinger, and Humberto Quintero are invited back.
- Matt Albers and Cla Meredith have agreed to terms with the Orioles. Albers' deal is worth $.68MM for one-year. Meanwhile, Meredith will recieve $.85MM in 2010.
- Randy Choate agreed to a one year deal. Terms of the deal are one-year, $700K.
Random rumors collected from Twitter...
- The Brewers will meet with Mark Mulder's people today, says SI's Jon Heyman. Ken Rosenthal tweets that a meeting with the Royals already occurred today.
- Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star says the Royals like Felix Pie, but are "finding it tough to meet Baltimore's needs."
- The Brewers are working to re-sign pitcher Claudio Vargas, MLB.com's Adam McCalvy learned. They view him as a reliever. UPDATE: McCalvy says the Brewers think they're close.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that Ben Sheets' agent Casey Close will meet with both New York teams, among others. A throwing audition appears unlikely. MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan says the Rangers would like a medical update on Sheets, who they almost signed before the season.
- Newsday's David Lennon says the Mets met with Yorvit Torrealba's agent this morning. He could be an alternative to Bengie Molina, if the Mets and Torrealba can settle their grievance. Torrealba had a signed term sheet with the Mets two years ago for a three-year, $14.4MM deal, but the Mets pulled out over concerns with the player's shoulder. Lennon's colleague Ken Davidoff says the Giants are still involved on Torrealba.
- The Brewers have a meeting with minor league free agent/knuckleballer Charlie Zink this afternoon, says Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe.
- MLB.com's Brian McTaggart says LaTroy Hawkins will meet with the Astros today in hopes of getting a deal done soon.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick finds the Brewers likely to tender a contract to righty Dave Bush on Saturday. Despite a rough year Bush could get a small raise on this year's $4MM salary.
- WEEI's Alex Speier says five to six teams have checked in on free agent outfielder Brian Giles, the Red Sox not among them.
- Joe Crede doesn't expect to sign until late in the offseason, reports Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press.
After a tremendous run last year that resulted in the club's first playoff berth in a quarter-century, the Brewers sat 13.5 GB of a playoff spot coming into today's action, and sport the National League's worst starting rotation thanks to their 5.22 ERA. As Adam McCalvy of MLB.com writes, the club has a ton of roster decisions to make this offseason, although GM Doug Melvin says "We've got a lot of decisions, and none of them will be discussed until the end of the season."
Some of the issues facing the Brew Crew this offseason are...
- Impending Free Agents: Trevor Hoffman, Claudio Vargas, Mike Cameron, Felipe Lopez, Jason Kendall, Craig Counsell, Frank Catalanotto, and Corey Patterson will all be free agents after the season. The clubs holds a $3.7MM option for David Weathers next year ($400K buyout), and there's a $6.5MM mutual option for Braden Looper ($1MM buyout) that McCalvy says the club "will almost certainly pick up."
- Arbitration Eligibles: Dave Bush, Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks, Seth McClung, J.J. Hardy, Jody Gerut, and Todd Coffey are all eligible for salary arbitration. Coffey, who's been the club's primary setup man, figures to get a nice raise over his current $800K salary.
- Starting Pitching: As I mentioned earlier, Milwaukee sports the NL's worst starting staff. McCalvy reports that "Melvin promised this week that he would be much more aggressive this winter in his search for answers," and that the club might take a "little more chances and risks" than they're accustomed to taking.
The Brewers also have questions about the key up-the-middle positions. They have to sort out the Hardy-Alcides Escobar situation at short, and decide whether to try and retain Lopez or give Weeks another shot at second base duty. Cameron and Kendall have both made it clear they'd like to return, but those decisions will have to wait until the winter.
Milwaukee also must figure out third base, and whether Mat Gamel or Casey McGehee deserves the job. Prince Fielder has the other corner infield spot locked down, and is under contract for $10.5MM next year before being arbitration eligible in 2011, his final year before free agency. McCalvy also mentions that manager Ken Macha faces a lame-duck year next season, and that Melvin is fielding questions about whether another managerial change may be in order.
MLB.com's Adam McCalvy writes that the Brewers will meet this week to discuss a potential acquisition to boost a struggling rotation. Thursday's starter is currently "to be announced."
With Dave Bush's arm fatigue, and the demotion of Manny Parra and his 7.52 ERA to Triple-A Nashville, the Milwaukee rotation is looking hazy, to say the least. Writes McCalvy:
Melvin has been looking hard at potential trades, but it appears unlikely that he will be able to acquire a starter as early as this week."
Macha has also said that he's hesitant to move Seth McClung to the rotation, because he's so pleased with what McClung has done in relief this season.
McCalvy also names Tim Dillard, Lindsay Gulin, and Mike Burns, who made an effective spot start earlier in the season, as possibilities to be recalled from Nashville.
Personal speculation: the obvious name that comes to mind is Brad Penny, with all of the rumors surrounding the Boston right-hander. Who are some other names the Brewers could target?