Dave Bush avoided arbitration by agreeing to a 1 year, $4 million contract with the Brewers. Bush has been the most reliable starter the Brewers have had over the past three years. He may not be the most talented, or have the greatest stuff, but the guy knows how to take the mound every five days and get the job done. He has pitched 180+ innings in each of his three years as a Brewer, for a guy who's been considered a fifth starter for most of that time, that's pretty good. Bush posted his best full season ERA of his career in 2008, mainly due to a red-hot second half. Bush also posted the only postseason victory for the Brewers against an exceptionally talented Phillies lineup which features 3 MVP candidates (Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard).
While I don't anticipate Bush being an ace by any stretch of the imagination, I am going to set some goals (and Dave should consider using these). 15 wins, less than 10 losses, 200+ innings and an ERA under 4.25. There are some signs that show that Bush can get it done. His WHIP of 1.14 last year was 5th best in the NL. His strikeout to walk ratio in 2006 was the NL best and in 2007 he finished 7th in that category. In his first three seasons in the majors, Bush averaged 2 complete games a season. What this tells me is that Bush is able to limit baserunners (which is key for a pitcher that gives up HRs), he's able to miss bats and strikeout batters when need be, and he's shown the ability to pitch deep into games and eat up innings.
I've got big things in mind for Dave but what I want him to focus on from now until Spring Training, is bringing back the 'stache (pictured above). So even if he sucks it up, at least he looks bad ass.
Sidenote: Based off of my arbitration raise projections, Doug Melvin is up $1.35 million between the Bush and Hardy signings. I predicted both would have salaries of $5 million and Doug has settled both with contracts under that number. Way to go Doug, let's get the rest of these contracts taken care of so you can make a move that'll silence the doubters.