Friday, October 31, 2008

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.

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