Doug Davis Rumors

Quick Hits: Davis, Barton, Cole, Slowey

Links from around the majors, as Manny Ramirez takes on one of his former teams and the regular season draws one day closer…


Brewers Considering External Rotation Candidates

Though the Brewers will likely call on one of their current pitchers to fill out their rotation, the team is monitoring arms that could become available on waivers or through trades, according to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy. GM Doug Melvin says he will “probably” fill the rotation from within.

"It's very difficult to make trades at this time of year because other teams are trying to preserve their depth,” Melvin said. “We're making a lot of calls."

Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, Melvin's two primary offseason acquisitions have had setbacks this spring. Greinke will miss at least one start with a cracked rib and Marcum has a stiff shoulder. The Brewers appeared to have depth early in the spring, but Mark Rogers (shoulder) and Manny Parra (back) have dealt with injuries as well.

The Brewers are not interested in Doug Davis, Oliver Perez or Kevin Millwood, according to McCalvy. Milwaukee has a full 40-man roster, which means they would have to remove a player from the roster to create space for a new addition. Internal rotation candidates Wily Peralta, Marco Estrada, Eulogio de la Cruz and Tim Dillard are among those on the roster.


Quick Hits: Astros, Neshek, Castillo, Phillies

Links for Sunday afternoon..



Doug Davis To Audition For Teams Next Week

Free-agent left-hander Doug Davis will work out for teams in Tempe, Arizona, on Thursday, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.

Davis, 35, appeared in just eight games with the Brewers in 2010, suffering from a virus in the lining of his heart and then undergoing surgery to repair a "small tear in his flexor tendon," according to Crasnick (via Twitter). Milwaukee declined to pick up its end of the lefty's $6.5MM option for 2011, granting Davis a $1MM buyout and free agency.

Between his age and recent trouble staying healthy, Davis' prospects of latching on with another team did not look especially great, depending on the terms of a contract he might have been seeking, of course.

However, his agent, Steve Canter, said that Davis has been throwing for two-plus months and that Davis "feels great," tweets Crasnick. And with a few pitchers having already gone down to injury this spring, Davis could seize an opportunity at the right price.

That being said, it's unclear whether Davis would be seeking a Major League or minor league deal. We've already seen the durable Kevin Millwood, who is reportedly seeking one year and $4MM, encounter trouble in securing a big league deal.

In 12 big league seasons, Davis has a 4.38 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9.


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Poll: Best Remaining Free Agent Starting Pitcher

Pitchers and catchers are due to report in about three weeks, and by now all of the high-end free agents have come off the board. Heck, even second tier options have signed by now. That leaves just reclamation-type projects and players with considerable flaws, especially when it comes to pitching.

As MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker shows, starters like Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Bonderman, Freddy Garcia, Doug Davis, Rodrigo Lopez, Todd Wellemeyer and Brian Moehler remain unsigned. Andy Pettitte is clearly the best of the unsigned bunch, but it's the Yankees or retirement for him, and right now it looks like the latter is winning out. Neither Pedro Martinez, Braden Looper, or Jarrod Washburn have appeared in a big league game in over a year. John Maine, Justin Duchscherer and Jamie Moyer are coming off injuries, Tommy John surgery in Moyer's case.

There are still a number of teams looking for rotation help, including the Yankees, Orioles, Nationals, Pirates and Indians. Which of those unsigned starters represents the best option?



Brewers Notes: Bush, Capuano, Counsell, Dillard

The Brewers introduced new manager Ron Roenicke at a press conference on Thursday, and GM Doug Melvin spoke to the media about the upcoming free agent period afterwards. Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel fills us in on the details…

  • Melvin told right-hander Dave Bush that "he should test the market." Bush didn't take it as a sign that the team will not attempt to re-sign him however, he told Haudricourt that Melvin encouraged him to explore the market since it's his first time as a free agent.
  • Melvin indicated that he had calls into the agents for Chris Capuano and Craig Counsell, and that it's possible he'll make them offers before other teams can jump in.
  • There has been no indication that the team will try to bring Trevor Hoffman, Doug Davis, and/or Gregg Zaun back. The Brewers recently declined the club options for all three players.
  • MLB.com's Adam McCalvy reports that Milwaukee has re-signed right-hander Tim Dillard to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. The 27 year old spent the season in Triple-A working on a new sidearm delivery. 

Brewers Decline Options For Zaun, Hoffman, Davis

The Brewers declined their 2011 options for Gregg Zaun, Trevor Hoffman and Doug Davis, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Milwaukee paid a total of $2MM in buyouts. Zaun got $250K instead of a $2.25MM salary; Hoffman got $750K instead of a $7MM salary and Davis got $1MM instead of a $6.5MM salary. All three moves were expected.

Zaun, who tore the labrum in his right shoulder this summer, has said he would like to play in 2011, but it probably won't be in Milwaukee. The Brewers have Jonathan Lucroy, George Kottaras and Mike Rivera behind the plate. Davis made just eight starts in 2010 because of injuries.

Hoffman picked up his 600th career save this year, but struggled early in the season, lost the closer's job to John Axford and pitched to a 5.89 ERA overall. In the highly unlikely event that the Brewers offer arbitration and Hoffman turns it down to sign elsewhere, the team would obtain a compensatory pick in next year's draft for losing a Type B free agent.

 


Brewers Will Not Exercise Davis’ Option

The Brewers will not pick up their end of pitcher Doug Davis' 2011 mutual option, GM Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.  Milwaukee will pay the left-hander a $1MM buyout rather than activate his $6.5MM salary for next season.

Davis, who will turn 35 next week, appeared in just eight games for the Brewers this season, turning in a 7.51 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9.  The lefthander was then sidelined for several months with a virus in the lining of his heart and then missed more time with elbow tendinitis.

In 12 big league seasons, Davis has a 4.38 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9.


Examining Milwaukee’s Rotation

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.


Odds & Ends: Orioles, Beckett, Brewers, Giants

Saturday night linkage..