The Brewers signed reliever Takashi Saito to a one-year deal, the team announced today. The contract guarantees Saito $1.75MM and gives him the chance to earn $1.5MM more through incentives, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Saito has a chance to match last year's $3.2MM salary through appearance and roster bonuses; his physical is already done. Nikkan Sports was first to report the possible deal, which NPB Tracker passed along on Twitter. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the agreement. Saito is represented by CAA.
Saito, 41 in February, posted a 2.83 ERA, 11.5 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 0.7 HR/9, and 43.6% groundball rate in 54 innings for the Braves this year. He dealt with hamstring and shoulder injuries and has had serious elbow issues in the past, so the deal reflects the health uncertainty despite Saito's fantastic numbers.
The Brewers' bullpen ranked 12th in the NL with a 4.48 ERA this year. Saito will join John Axford, Kameron Loe, LaTroy Hawkins, and Sean Green in the 2011 pen. Todd Coffey, Trevor Hoffman, Carlos Villanueva, and others have departed.
I’d say Green isn’t a lock by any means and you left out Zach Braddock (41 K’s, 2.94 ERA in 33 2/3 IP) who is.
Green has solid competition for the last spot from Justin James (1.83 ERA between AA and AAA with Oakland) and Mike McClendon (3.00 ERA and 21 K’s in 21 major league IP).
I like the moves by the Brew this off-season. Low risk, high reward.
highly underrated bullpen last year only improves this year. There ERA was so high from a historically bad start from hoffman/hawkins as well as the starters who always seemed to be out in the fifth inning. Another name to watch is Kintzler from the brewers minors who will be this year’s axford.
Braddock, McLendon and Kintzler probably go to Nashville because they have options. Parra is pretty close to a lock and I’d think that the Rule V guy, Egan, gets a shot.
Braddock will be in Milwaukee barring injury. He has nasty stuff.