The Milwaukee Brewers experienced a roller coaster season in 2012 marked by injuries, blown saves, and being 12 games under .500 on August 20 before embarking on a 24-6 run that boosted them back into the Wild Card race until being eliminated on the final weekend of the season. Club officials say everyone feels better about the state of the franchise heading into the offseason. But, how will that shape the winter for the Brewers? Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel discussed that topic and other issues in a recent online chat with fans. Here are the highlights:
- GM Doug Melvin will be looking to add a veteran to the starting rotation and Haudricourt named Ryan Dempster, Edwin Jackson, and Kyle Lohse as possibilities. A fan suggested Brandon McCarthy and Haudricourt acknowledged the Brewers will perform their due diligence, but any addition will only be made if the pitcher is affordable, the right fit, and wants to come to Milwaukee.
- Haudricourt anticipates the Brewers signing a free agent starting pitcher is a more likely scenario than trading for one because the club has some payroll flexibility and they've already traded away a lot of prospects for pitching in recent years.
- Don't look for the Brewers to deal Corey Hart or Rickie Weeks to create more payroll flexibility. Haudricourt would be surprised if Hart, entering the final year of his contract with a 2013 salary of $10 MM, is traded despite the presence of Southern League MVP Hunter Morris. Weeks, due a guaranteed $21MM over the next two seasons, should also be safe, Haudricourt theorized, because the Brewers have enough money coming off the books to not have to worry about his salary.
- Haudricourt expects the payroll be less in 2013 than the $100 million-plus of this year, a spending level that should put the franchise in the red for 2012.
- Expect Nyjer Morgan to be non-tendered. It was obvious, Haudricourt opined, that Morgan was being phased out and having made $2.3MM and eligible for arbitration again, he probably will be replaced by Logan Schafer, a less expensive option who is considered a better defender. Haudricourt did praise Morgan for conducting himself professionally and never popping off or openly complaining about his decrease in playing time.
- Haudricourt listed some minor league prospects who took a big step this year and that fans should keep an eye on next season, including the aforementioned Morris.
“and wants to come to Milwaukee. ”
So what you’re saying is, Melvin trades for a starter.
Greinke had a no-trade clause that included Milwaukee in it, and look what happened there. Aramis Ramirez had other suitors, and look where he went. You’d be surprised what an owner that is actually willing to put a little money in the team to win would do for a small market franchise’s chances for success and marketability. And we’ve got a roof; no PPD in Milwaukee.
It was a joke man lol No need to get defensive, my team is the Jays , not exactly a hot spot for free agents.
While being pretty set at all positions, this team needs a #3 type starter and the bullpen. . . oh dear lord the bullpen. Krod, Livan and Manny Parra need to be gone, and this team needs to look seriously at Kameron Loe’s role. I don’ think anyone other than Axford and possibly Jose Veras have more or less guaranteed spots. Hopefully the Crew can pull a Diamondback style bullpen renaissance.
They’ve got plenty of potential #3 starters. What they need is a top of the rotation guy to front the rotation along with Gallardo. That’s why unlike Haudricourt, I think a trade is more likely. The formula they used to get Grienke can work again. They’ve got a half dozen young arms that are major league ready or close too it and 2 bats (Morris and Gennett) who are nice prospects but are blocked.
I don’t put a lot of stock in Haudricourt’s musings. He’s seldom right. I think if a deal presented itself for a top of the rotation starter ala James Shields, that the Brewers have enough young arms and a bat in Hunter Morris that Tampa Bay would like. Dempster and Lohse are both risky in that coming off big years, they’ll bring an inflated price even well into their 30’s. Brewers overpaid under similar circumstances for Randy Wolf and with all the young arms, they don’t need an overpriced vet on the downside blocking young pitching.
Are you guys sure you want to go after Lohse? (*cough* Suppan *cough*)