SHEETS IN WBC
As of now, Ben Sheets is on the preliminary roster for the World Baseball Classic, against GM Doug Melvin’s best wishes. While I share the same views as Melvin and do not want Sheets to play, I honestly don’t see it as much of a problem as of right now. The pre-lim roster has 60 players on it, and it must be cut in half to 30 players. It also just happens to be that the U.S. roster is deepest at pitching. With Sheets’ injury rehab causing him to perhaps not be 100% by March, I think it would be foolish to waste a spot on Sheets when another candidate could easily do just as good of a job as Ben. Look at the depth that is out there for starting pitching: Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay, Jake Peavy, Dontrell Willis, Jeremy Bonderman, Andy Pettite, Tim Hudson, Al Leiter, C.C. Sabathia. That doesn’t even include the dominant relief pitchers like Brad Lidge, Chad Cordero, Billy Wagner, and Joe Nathan.
BILL HALL TRADE RUMORS
There have also been many inquiries from teams like Boston that have tried to pry Bill Hall away from the Brewers after they acquired Corey Koskie from the Blue Jays for a bucket of balls and a bag of peanuts. With the acquisition of Koskie, that moves Hall back into the super utility role and platoon partner w/Koskie at third base. While I’m sure Melvin could get a ton for Hall on the open market, let me tell you why he won’t be going anywhere in the foreseeable future. Take a look at the current 40-man roster and tell me who could back up J.J. Hardy if he were to get injured. Would you honestly feel comfortable with Zack Sorenson as an everyday shortstop? Neither would I. Also, who’s to say Rickie Weeks will be able to stick long term at second base defensively? Hall could shift to 2B and Weeks could end up in CF down the road. The Brewers finally have depth throughout the roster, so why would you want to get rid of it now?
WASHBURN OFFER 3YEARS/21M
Despite all the comments from Doug Melvin that he had absolutely no interest in offering Jarrod Washburn a significant contract, it was finally leaked that he extended Washburn a 3-year, $21 Million contract. Let me be the first to say I’m glad Seattle offered a 4-year, $38 Million deal. Signing Washburn would have cost the Brewers their 1st Round pick in the draft as compensation, plus it would have added a huge chuck of change to the team salary. It wouldn’t have been a big problem for 2006, but when 2007 and 2008 role around, there wouldn’t have been as much money to pay others their raises – like Billy Hall – in arbitration. By using the likes of a Dave Bush in the rotation for $300K instead of a Washburn at $7M per year, it leaves the club a ton of financial flexibility in the future years.
J.J. HARDY ARTICLE
A nice article from a neutral perspective about the progress Hardy made in 2005. Hardy article