Monday, July 27, 2009

Does It Get Any Better Next Year?

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?)


EMoney said...

As I have continuously been stating.....stand pat! Aside from Braun and Prince, this team is horrendously inconsistent. Hardy and Hart have already seemed to peak in their short careers(thanks to opposing coaches realizing that Hardy is slow and is only dangerous when thrown a fastball, and Hart can't touch anything low and spite of the fact that he has a gorilla-like reach), and the unfortunate circumstances of Rickie Weeks finally realizing his potential only to get hurt once again. It seems as if these 3 guys have really prevented this team from going to the next level. That being said, even if we added another "ace", our run production is far too inconsistent to justify emptying out our farm system for a 1.5 yr run with Halladay. Even with CC last year, the Crew barely squeaked into the playoffs, which in large part was due to CC's god-like run on the mound. How many games did he win in that stretch in which we scored 3 runs or less? Further, there was that Sunday home game where CC not only threw a CG/SO, but also drove in all of our runs with that blast to right field. I could go on and on about this, but I am 100% confident that we are more than 1 starting pitcher away from being a great team.

And that's my ping-pong ball trick!

EMoney said...

Also Rub's, I tend to disagree with the your decree that the '10 FA's list is lacking. It may not be loaded with superstar players, but it's not like the Brewers would make a run at one of them anyways if they were available.

Would anyone here be willing to throw a truck load at Brandon Webb? The D-backs have an 8.5mil club option, so I'm not sure how that situation would work out, but comparing Suppan's 12+mil to B Webb's 8.5mil club option makes me want to vomit.

As for center field, I wouldn't mind keeping Cameron but I'm not sure what he is going to demand. If we're looking for best bang for the buck, I would go after Ryan Freel. I suspect he's cheap, plays his a$$ off, good glove in the field, can play virually every position, can be our answer to leadoff if Lopez isn't retained, and can swipe a few bases if necessary as well.

Master Reid said...

Has anyone kicked the tires on Carl Pavano this summer? He's 8-8 with a 5.48 ERA this year. That's not great obviously, but you have to do the AL to NL ERA conversion on it. He's thrown up a few clunkers this year as well. But he has gone into the 7th inning or deeper 8 times this year. He gave up only 2 runs in 8 innings on the 11th against Detroit. Now, he did follow that up with by getting smacked around by Toronto. I'm not saying he's a world beater, or that he's even someone I'd necessarily want. But, if he could be had for a middling prospect that no one will really miss, he might be worth a flier.

If he could pitch decently, and at least eat some innings, he might be a nice middle ground between mortgaging the future and totally surrendering on this year.

Sheets' Va Jay Jay said...

Looking at that list I see a few possibilities.

When you look at pitching I can really see them trying to land Doug Davis. This would be much to the chagrin of every Brewers fan and person that likes a quick baseball game. They had a ton of interest in him this year and they know what they will get from him. Plus, we all know they would like another lefty and I don't see one coming from the minors.

Holy crap Jamey Wright is still available?

Center Field: I like trying to keep Cameron just because I hear he has a personal stripper... and he is a hell of defender. I also like Freel. He has the whole, "I'm white so I'm going to try really, really hard so I can be good or at least look like I'm good" thing going on.

What about the talk of Weeks becoming an outfielder? Not saying I am all for it, but the talk was there. We keep Lopez for our second baseman and it could be one hell of a lineup.

Lopez 2B
Weeks CF
Braun LF
Fielder 1B
Hart RF
Hardy/Escobar SS
Gamel 3B

Then the catcher... unless Salome is ready to go (which there is a good chance he won't be) I'm not against getting Kendall for one more year. Rivera is not the answer and I don't see anyone else on that list that I like.

I'm probably off base on most of this, but then I usually am.

Rubie Q said...

I'm still looking at Pavano's stats, but one thing jumped out at me right away: he hasn't been allowed to throw more than 103 pitches in an outing all year. I don't know if that's the kind of hoss you can tie the wagon to and say: "Go win me a pennant."

FPMKE said...

My optimism for this season is officially over. 13 to 5. We suck!

No short-term deals... we need long-term solutions.

BTW, what is the projection for Salome?