Saturday, December 08, 2007

Another Canadian, eh?

So, it came as pretty much a shock to anyone to learn Eric Gagne decided to sign w/the Crew today, pending a physical. From what I can tell, Gagne and Scott Boras chose the Brewers more as a process of elimination, instead of having a handfull of teams bidding for his services. Gagne's camp turned down salary arbitration from the Red Sox earlier this week. If he'd accepted, his salary would have been around $5 Million, but he'd have been used as a set-up man. Having Boras as his agent, they both had to feel fairly confident that they could get at least more money for next year, otherwise he'd have accepted the arby as the M.O. of Boras clients is the next closest thing to extorting a team for the most dollars. Which brings up the amount of his 2008 reported salary: $10 Million. I would have thought somewhere in the 8-9 Million range would be enough, so I'm not too concerned about throwing in another million or so. Plus, some of it could be incentive laden, so it could even be less.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Rolen, here we go again....

With yesterday’s talk about the Scott Rolen rumors being dead, I was quite relieved. Then came today, where Tony La Russa decided it was best to basically question Scott’s manhood in the press. Haudricourt said that there is a possibility that the two clubs could revisit trade options down the road.

It’s obvious I don’t want Rolen at the expense of giving up potentially both Capuano AND Bill Hall, plus having the Cards not pick up any of Rolen’s $36M remaining on the 3 yr contract. Would I like to have Rolen next year in a Brewer uniform, absolutely. It’d help the 2008 defense by moving Braun to LF. It’d probably be a swing of 2-3 games w/o looking it up. But what happens if Rolen goes down, who is the backup – Counsell, Dillon? I just don’t think Rolen can be counted on, which is why he’s on the block in the first place.

Looking down the road, what happens with 2007 1st round pick, Matt Laporta who is being groomed as the LF of the future? He wouldn’t have any place to play if he’s ready by the beginning of 2009. He sure isn’t going back to play first base, not w/Prince there right now. I suppose you could look to move Hart to CF and get rid of Hall for useful parts, but that’s a year away and a best case scenario presuming Laporta is able to be ready considering he still hasn’t even sniffed AA-ball yet.

I think the best case option would be to sign either A) Kenny Lofton, or B) Luis Gonzalez for a one year deal w/a team option for 2009. That way Braun gets to stay at a defensive position that is more valuable, and there’s a nice transition to Laporta either in 2009 or 2010 in left field. And if Laporta’s defense doesn’t happen to work out in LF, he could probably look to move back to his natural position, 1B, once the inevitable happens…. Prince is a Scott Boras client after all….

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Winter Meeting rumors swirling....

A lot of rumors have surfaced the past few days at the Winter Meetings in Nashville. There have been reports of Sheets being sent to the Dodgers for OF Matt Kemp & P Chad Billingsley. That wouldn't be a bad haul for one year of Sheets. Also a rumor that the Mariners are interested in him too. I'd think any return package would start with C Jeff Clement. The other two players on the Crew who have been discussed ad naseum are Chris Capuano & Bill Hall. Cappy has been linked to STL for Rolen and the Rox for relief pitcher Brian Fuentes. I think both deals make sense for all involved in some sort of capacity. Hall has been rumored to going just about anywhere for anyone - it's like the Brewers almost seem like they made a mistake signing him last winter to a long contract. Personally I don't feel that way, I just think he had a down year due to his ankle injury. Kevin Mench has also been discussed, and I could care less what happens to him. I think if he's not dealt this week, he'll be non-tendered.

Potential Doug Melvin moves....

My feeling on the whole "LF or 3B" option is this. I think with Milwaukee playing to a smaller market and hence having a lower payroll, you have to look towards the future more and gauge what you have with prospects coming up in the future through the minor league pipeline more than other big spending clubs like Boston & NY would. I know, tell me something I don't know.... But, the whole key is to have players ready to step in during pre-arby years who are basically dirt cheap which will allow the club to spend in other areas of need. This is why I really can't see Melvin acquiring a new, expensive 3B like Rolen. If you force Braun to LF, where does that leave Laporta who should be ready perhaps by spring training 2009? All you really would need is someone deemed a "professional hitter" for a year that can slide into a backup job for a year or so after that once Laporta is ready in case he does faulter early on. I guess my thinking is, if you get someone like Rolen and he's a complete bust or is injured 75% of his time in MIL, then what do you do? It's not as if you have a big time prospect that'll be able to fill in in his absence. I know Gamel is considered to be pretty good w/his stick, but you can't honestly say he's any better than Braun defensively at 3B. I know errors don't necessarily tell the whole story about someone's defense, but when a guy has 50-60 errors in a year, that's gotta say something! To me, it just makes too much sense not to go after a leftfielder for now instead of switching more people around defensively. This isn't a video game where you can just have Braun move to catcher or move to CF or whatever! Hope that rant made some sense!

Long Absence....

It's been quite a while since I've posted anything - basically a 2 year hiatus. But, perhaps I'll have more time now that I've made some big changes - a new job and a new condo all within the same week! It's fun to keep track of some of my thoughts both baseball related and otherwise, so I've said to myself that I'll try harder to keep track of everything a little better from here on out.