Friday, October 31, 2008

Craig Counsell's Option Declined

The Brewers declined the $3.4 million option for infielder Craig Counsell today. The 13 year veteran served as the primary back-up infielder for the Brewers over the last two seasons. In his second stint with the Brewers, the 37 year old hit .223 but had on OBP of .339 over the two years. He emerged as a steady glove used late in games in place of Rickie Weeks in 2007 and found himself in a platoon at third base in 2008.

Craig provided invaluable experience and veteran leadership in a young clubhouse, but in a business of production, his numbers apparently did not make the cut. My hopes are this was merely a move to avoid his $3.4 million salary and an attempt will be made to sign him at a discount. A guy that can play solid defense at three infield positions combined with some of the best plate discipline the Brewers have seen since Jeff Cirillo's heyday makes for a valuable piece of the puzzle.

If not, you will be missed. Good luck Craig!

Brewers' Offseason Notes: CC Sabathia

The hottest topic on talk radio and at water coolers all over Wisconsin is will CC be back in 09? Tom Haudricourt of the Journal-Sentinel is reporting that Doug Melvin is preparing to make an offer to the 2007 Cy Young award winner. Rumblings around the league believe it will be a low years/higher dollar offer to try to entice the big left-hander to stay, to the tune of 4 years/ $100 million.

Side note: For lifelong Brewers fans, did you ever expect to see the day that your club offered $100 million to ONE player? But I digress...

Let me preface my comments by saying this: CC Sabathia is a phenomenal pitcher, tremendous athlete, and an even better human being. He single-handedly carried this club into the playoffs and for that I will be eternally grateful. Now that I got that out of the way, let me tell you why this deal does not make sense for the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Milwaukee Brewers 2009 payroll, while still unannounced, will most likely be in the $80-$100 million dollar range. This would mean that over 25% of the entire payroll would be going into the bank account of one man. Think about that. Looking at the Brewers returning players and factoring in arbitration raises, about $55 million is committed. That does not include the options for Torres, Cameron and Counsell; all three seem likely to be exercised, ballooning the payroll to $72 million. Add CC's $25 million and you've got an opening day payroll of $97 million.

$97 million for a team that does not have an everyday third baseman, an underachieving second baseman, limited starting pitching depth, no true closer and about $3 million to spend... While this signing would be a huge step for the club, creating a huge buzz around the team and putting butts in the seats; we need to look at this deal for what it really is, a detriment to the team's growth. The Brewers have several holes in their everyday lineup and bullpen, with this deal weighing down the payroll, we will be forced to settle for call-ups and rejects to fill roster spots. That does not make you a contender, it makes you a one-man show.

Not to mention the fact that this will severely inhibit Doug's ability to sign the core of this team that got us into this position in the first place. Fielder, Hart, Hardy, Gallardo, Parra and Villanueva will be due big raises in the next four years and we just will not have the financial wiggle room to get deals done, putting us back into rebuilding mode, relying on the next crop of Jack Z.'s boys to pan out.

While CC's one of the top MLB pitchers every year, unless he's willing to take a pay cut to play here, I see his signing as moving this organization in the wrong direction.

What's To Come

I thought I'd give a little more insight into what to expect from me. I will do my best to follow the latest news surrounding the Brewers. From offering links to national and local publications to offering my take on the situation, you can expect updates as soon as the news breaks (or at least as soon as I can get to a computer after the news breaks).

Also, in a weekly posting, I will be profiling the 2009 Brewers roster outlook by position. This is NOT going to be an ass-kissing festival, but an honest and fair assessment of each player's role and skill set. I hope to provide not only the player's stats and my opinion of them, but when available I'd like to present evaluations from outside sources; from people that do not follow the Brewers day-in-and-day-out. This is in an effort to get a fresh look and insight into the organization. Keep an eye out for the first post in the upcoming days. On Deck: Second Base

Welcome To My Blog

This has been a long time coming, and finally it's here. I have been a baseball fan since the day I was old enough to hold a ball and glove. The Brewers became my team the day my dad took me out to County Stadium when I was 9. I did not become a ravenous fan until I was old enough to drive myself out to Miller Park in 2001, but I have followed the team religiously ever since. I've been there through the bad times, and I'm glad to finally experience some of the good times.

This blog will be covering all things Milwaukee Brewers, including (but not limited to) the current roster, our minor league system, trade and free agent rumors, and my ideas/wishes for the team. I'll put the blogs out there and I look forward to your thoughts and comments. Enjoy!