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Your 2010 Brewers?


kramnoj

I thought it would be fun to look to 2010 to see what a Brewers team could look like. There are obviously many, many variables here, and this is just one guys opinion based on some facts, some guesses, and a lot of opinions.

First I'll look at guaranteed contracts.

Jeff Suppan: $12.5 million
Bill Hall: $8.4 million
David Riske: $4,5 million

So far we are looking at $25.4 million for a back of the rotation pitcher, a starting 3B, and a relief pitcher. We don't know what the budget will be for 2010, but that figures to be at least 25% of the budget, and probably more. Let's look next at current starters that will still be under control for the next two years. I'm using hardballtimes Win Share value as an estimator, because it's easy, and because I would just be guessing if I did it any other way.

JJ Hardy, 5 years service time: $7 million
David Bush, 5+ years: $8 million
Weeks, 4+ years: $7 million
McClung: 5+ years: $1 million
Fielder: 4+ years: $12 million
Hart: 4+ years: $10 million
Villenueva: 3+ years: $5 million

These are obviously very rough numbers, but that looks to be about $50 million for arb eligible players. So we are talking about $75+ million for 10 players. I don't know what Braun's Super 2 status is, so I'll leave that alone. That leaves us with pre-arb players in the majors.

Braun
Gallardo
Parra
Stetter

We're now at 14 players and over $77 million. With a big assumption that the Brewers money will be spent on retaining current players, I don't think there will be much, if any money available to spend on free agents. I'm going to guess that the rest of the roster will be filled with current minor leaguers in the system, or stopgaps like Cameron and Kendall while monitoring the development of players in the system.

So our rotation could be Yo, Parra, Villanueva, Suppan, Bush.

The bullpen could include Riske, Stetter, McClung, plus young guys in the system, or fringe major leaguers.

The starting 8 could be fairly similar to what we have today, with one of the young Brewers or a stopgap instead of Kendall and someone new in CF. My personal hope is for Hart in CF and LaPorta in RF. The bench could have Gwynn and Escobar, or some combination of major league filler and other young talent.

There's obviously lots of things that could be different. Some team may offer a trade for Suppan that Melvin wants, Bush could be traded or non-tendered, Weeks or Hardy could be traded to make room for Escobar. I obviously also am not including anybody that will be taken in this year's draft. It's possible that some of the talen taken in June could make it to the 2010 roster as significant contributors.

I did this mostly for my own education, as I wanted to understand the tough choices that this team will have to make in the near future. Since I did the little research that I did, I thought I would share it, to see what others thought.

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Quick hits...

I would imagine the payroll with be around $100 million. Inflation alone will cause a 5% increase each year. Plus increased attendance.

I doubt Weeks, Hardy, McClung and Bush will be on the team at those numbers. They aren't good enough to justify those salaries.

Gamel, LaPorta, Escobar, Brantley, Salome and Irribarren will all likely be on the MLB for the league minimum.

Jeffress should be on the MLB team

We have a lot of draft picks this year. They will likely play some role on the 2010 team. (Although maybe not until mid-season call-ups)

We are very well built for 2010.

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Where do you see Gamel playing in 2010? Do you see Hall as an expensive super-sub? I agree that there should be plenty of talent on the offensive side, but I don't see it on the pitching side right now. Of course, the June draft could change that.
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Yovanni should be an established ace by then. Parra has a #2-type ceiling. Jeffress has a 1/2 ceiling. Villanueva would be the 4. With Suppan as a 5, that is not a bad starting rotation.

 

And that is still leaving out Mark Rodgers and Braddock as well as any other minor leaguers and/or 2008 draft picks.

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I would hope that we make some moves to shore up the defense somewhere. Young pitching is hard enough to develop but when you put a below average defense on the field it just makes it that much harder. I have no clue what those moves would be though. Hardy is adequate at SS, Hall could become average at 3B with experience. Fielder and Weeks will probably always be below average. Hart is adequate though his arm is too weak for RF in my opinion. LaPorta isn't supposed to be anything special in the field. Braun I think will turn out to be an above average LF/RF type given time.
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I think it's fair to say TODAY that it's completely wide open. Are we looking at a number of young players who we have over-valued? We could be looking at a complete meltdown where we lose 100 games again in two years because we have a team full of AAA players!

 

Of course, they may all heat up and live up to their potential and we have a world series contender in 2010.

 

The way they're playing right now is reason to postpone any talk of 2010. It's a complete crapshoot.

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The way they're playing right now is reason to postpone any talk of 2010. It's a complete crapshoot.

 

One of the reasons I did this is because I wanted to put myself in Melvin's chair and try to imagine the choices he has to make. He has to be thinking of these things, because he has to decide how this team and the current farm system will affect the June draft. Does he take the best available player, even if that is a corner spot, or will he focus on college pitchers because he wants to get guys that he can fast-track to the majors?

 

This town has shown a great interest in supporting a team that is near contention. Melvin has to balance building towards the future with keeping the current team stocked with enough talent to keep the fans coming into Miller Park.

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I find this thread extremely depressing. This is the kind of thread that filled this place 2-3 years ago. And it's the exact kind of thread we wouldn't see if the current team was winning. No knock on the thread starter or its participants. It's just a reminder of when all we had to be excited about was the future.
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Brewer Fever, I understand what you are saying, but my point isn't to ignore the present. The point is that a team has to manage the present and the future.

 

Also, I should point out that I realize that Melvin doesn't run the draft, but I do wonder if Attanasio will exert some influence to indicate that he would prefer talent that is near major-league ready versus high ceiling 18 year olds that could could take 4-5 years to develop.

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Hart was rated as having the weakest arm of any RF in baseball statistically according to one study I read(which I can't find the link for now, think it was by Dan Fox). I haven't seen him really impress me with any throws personally but I only watch about half the games (listen to the other half) so maybe I just missed it.
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Hart was rated as having the weakest arm of any RF in baseball statistically according to one study I read(which I can't find the link for now, think it was by Dan Fox). I haven't seen him really impress me with any throws personally but I only watch about half the games (listen to the other half) so maybe I just missed it.

I have yet to find any defensive statistic I can actually endorse.

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Just my opinion, but I'd guess one or more of those position players will not be on the roster. Especially Weeks and Hardy if they are paid that much. If we ever pull the plug on Weeks do we even have a solid plan B in the organization? Can we move the Hurricane back to 2b please?
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