I don't have time to put in the research that this post deserves, so lemme get right to the point:
The main reason I've seen advanced for not making a move for Halladay or Cliff Lee (or Bedard, I guess, though it doesn't seem like the Mariners are much interested in trading him anymore, seeing as it'd be a giant middle finger to their fans -- edit: I should really check the standings before I write stuff, since the M's are 7.5 games out in the West ... and, to put a cherry on top of this uninformed sundae, Bedard's shoulder is barking again and he's back on the DL) is that this Brewers team, as currently constituted, isn't a starting pitcher away from winning the division or making the playoffs. In fact, that's a reason I've advanced m'self. And following the 4-6 start to the post-All Star game schedule, it's hard to dispute that argument.
The alternative, it follows, is to stand pat (or try to dump Hardy or Hart on some unsuspecting team), build around the core of the team, and take aim at the 2010 season.
My question: will the 2010 team be in any better position to make a run than the '09 team?
According to Cot's, we've got about $38 mil committed for next year -- with the bulk of it going to Suppan (a 4.75 ERA and 1.50 WHIP, yours for $12.75 million!), Prince (a relative steal at $11 million), and Bill Fucking Hall's $8.525 million anchor. (An aside: did anybody else read this preposterous piece on Hall in Sunday's Journal-Sentinel? Fucking hell: if Bill Hall could hit a curveball as well as he makes excuses, he never would have lost his starting job.) Braun is signed through '15, and we're stuck with Riske's contract for another year. Plus, Hart, Hardy, Weeks, Rivera, Bushie, Coffey, Villanueva, and McDouche are arbitration eligible. Add in Yo, Parra, Gamel, DiFelice, and Stetter -- who aren't yet arby eligible -- and we've got, in my estimation, the following positions locked down:
First base - second base - shortstop (be it Hardy or Escobar) - third base (and it better be fucking Gamel, unless Hart gets dealt) - left field - right field, plus 4/5 of the rotation and about five arms in the 'pen.
That leaves glaring holes at catcher, center field, and closer, and we'll need at least one additional starting pitcher, too.
Peruse the 2010 free agent list at your leisure, but be forewarned: there ain't a whole lot there, especially at catcher and in center.
So: if you want to stand pat now, who do you think the Crew should make a run at in the off-season? (Or: do you find yourself thinking like me -- that, in terms of making another playoff run, we're probably screwed this year, and next year isn't looking that great, too?)