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GM Meetings -- New Trade Possibilities

So the GM mtgs. are this week in Naples, Fla. More guys are suddenly 'available', and some of the new names being tossed around are intriguing. IMO, especially the White Sox have a crop to be dissected. Their "5 Aces" pitching staff is seemingly up for grabs, with the possible exceptions of John Garland (age) and Buehrle (just picked up his option, and he's a lefty)


I particularly am interested in Javier Vazquez. He's a durable, veteran righty who will by 30 on Opening Day 2007. He has struggled somewhat over his past 3 seasons, spending each in a new venue. From 2004-06 his ERA is 4.73, and record is 36-37. However, his WHIP for those years is a paltry 1.276. He's a bit pricy ($12.5 mil for 2007 - deferring money would have to be central to the deal), but perhaps worth it?


I don't know what the Crew could offer for him, perhaps Davis is not viable, perhaps he is -- durable lefties are always valuable, no matter how we trash Doug. Another interesting name is Kelvim Escobar. Versatile arm, durable, and re-established himself as a solid starter in 2007. He inexplicably finished 11-14 with a 3.61 ERA and 1.278 WHIP (in the AL!) I have no rumored availability on this one, just a suggestion. His 2007 contract: $8.5 mil ('08 = $9 mil, '09 = $9.5)


The Halos want help at 3B, and we have Koskie (understand he's a ?), and a lefty to move in Davis. They have been reported to be shopping 23-y-o Ervin Santana, so I'm basing that to assume the 30-y-o Escobar could be had. The Angels had no LH Starters in 2006. IMO Escobar is the perfect fit for the Crew's rotation, and economically, not only does he work in 2007, he works through 2009. Thoughts?

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Mench or Jenkins could be part of the deal too. Tim Salmon retired this offseason, leaving a vacancy at the DH spot. The Angels' extra outfielder appears to be Juan Rivera (2006: .310/.362/.525), and if the deal can include both Escobar & Rivera, moving Hall to CF with Rivera at LF really really really fits.


Davis, Koskie, Mench/Jenks






Doesn't quite work, IMO, but that's getting REALLY close to a deal that will solve a LOT of problems for our Crew

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I don't know what the Crew could offer for him, perhaps Davis is not viable, perhaps he is -- durable lefties are always valuable, no matter how we trash Doug. Another interesting name is Kelvim Escobar. Versatile arm, durable, and re-established himself as a solid starter in 2007. He inexplicably finished 11-14 with a 3.61 ERA and 1.278 WHIP (in the AL!) I have no rumored availability on this one, just a suggestion. His 2007 contract: $8.5 mil ('08 = $9 mil, '09 = $9.5)


Escobar is known to have elbow problems and has had to sit out times with it. I do not see him as durable, and he is not worth that kind of money. As much as I hate to say it I would take Doug Davis over him.


I would take Riviera in a heartbeat to shore up the OF, I do not see the Angels dealing him though.

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Javy Vasquez has always intrigued me as well. I thought he always had to live up to be the savior for every franchise he's ever pitched for. In Montreal, he was their ace. In New York, pitchers are ridiculed for what they haven't done lately. In Arizona, he was the guy they got for the Big Unit, who was Arizona's savior. And in Chicago...well, ask the Cubby pitchers if they're ever deified.... In Milwaukee, we have a true ACE!!! I hate the usage, but with a healthy Big Ben, it's an exception. However, the price would be exorbitantly high.
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UWRyan, I totally agree, even with the high-priced sentiment. However, if the Brewers are able to deal Davis, Mench, and Jenkins, -- mainly to unload salary -- the higher price tag for Vazquez is not only possible, it's realistic.


Think of this -- if the Crew does unload all 3 of those contracts, and Capuano, Hall, & Shouse are granted arbitration - Cap & Hall @ $5 mil, and Shouse at $1.5mil (just to err on the side of inflation).


The payroll for 2007 is then at $46.2 mil. Adding Vazquez at $12.5 bumps it to roughly $59 mil. That still leaves room, without exceeding Captain Mark's $60 million estimate by too much, to add someone like Dave Roberts.


p.s. -- Keep in mind, that there is a decent likelihood that the ChiSox would even be willing to defer some of the salary for '06, since it's the final year of his contract (and that final year status is another reason why he's fair game for trade)

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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My only question is what it would cost in trade, as the Sox gave up Chris Young to get the guy. I wouldn't want to tap into our top three (Yo/Braun (who would have no value to them)/Inman) but I don't think Mark Rogers would excite them. Hardy for Vasquez and Thornton? I've been a fan of the big lefty for awhile.
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From the link above:

For the Brewers, the idea behind acquiring Lopez or a similar pitcher would be to stockpile rotation options so they could entertain trade offers for one of their better veterans, most likely left-hander Doug Davis.

It's interesting to hear that we're stockpiling arms, so we can trade Davis...


Maybe we can do a contract for contract trade with Jenkins to get a little more quality insurance in the rotation. Staying with Baltimore, maybe they'd give up Benson (07:$7.5M, 08:$7.5M club option/$0.5M buyout) or maybe we could revisit Boston with Clement (07:$9.5M).


What could we expect in trade for Davis? Getting a young, switch-hitting, prospect like Melky Cabrera from the Yankees could help make up for trading three outfielders (Jenkins, Mench, Clark).


Add the addition of Roberts and this is a potentially interesting off-season for the crew:



------------------ ------------------ ------------------

CF Dave Roberts C Mike Rivera C JD Closser

SS JJ Hardy IF Jeff Cirillo 3B Ryan Braun

2B Rickie Weeks IF Vinny Rottino SS Yohannis Perez

1B Prince Fielder OF Gabe Gross OF Tony Gwynn Jr.

LF Bill Hall OF Melky Cabrera OF Laynce Nix

RF Corey Hart

3B Corey Koskie

C Damian Miller


SP Ben Sheets CL Francisco Cordero SP Carlos Villanueva

SP Chris Capuano RP Derrick Turnbow SP Yovani Gallardo

SP Benson/Clement RP Jose Capellan SP Zach Jackson

SP Dave Bush RP Matt Wise SP Manny Parra

SP Rodrigo Lopez RP Brian Shouse SP Tim Dillard

RP Dennis Sarfate

RP Dana Eveland



Edit: Added Yohannis Perez to the farm. Hopefully he can surprise us in Spring Training and take a utility infielder spot :)

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That lineup really doesn't impress me one bit. I would hope that we are able to acquire another power bat.


I can't say I disagree. However, where do you add the big bat? The only way I see us significantly improving the lineup is by putting Hall at short and signing a big bat for leftfield.


That said, our team is so young, it's hard to predict what we already have. In a few years we may look back and wonder why a lineup that included Fielder, Weeks, Hall, Hart and possibly Braun could be questioned as much as it is.


From what I've read, it looks like the Brewers are willing to take a chance on the youngsters stepping up.

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I would hope that we are able to acquire another power bat.


I've been hearing that a lot, but it really doesn't make a lot of sense to me. The base of the previous lineup is a LOT of young 1st/2nd year guys who are only expected to improve. You would be hard pressed to find a scout that thinks Weeks, Hardy, Fielder, and Hart won't all eventually hit for more power. IMO I see Hardy as a 20 hr guy, then Weeks around 30, Feilder and Hall upper 30's-40's and then Hart around 25-30. I think that's plenty of power. Part of developing from within and going with the youth is being patient and giving them time. Anyone expecting Hardy, Weeks, Fielder, Hart to all come in and be immediate stars were setting themselves up for disappointment. The lineup from last year should naturally get better w/experience.

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I've been lurking here for some time and it's been a while since I've seen anything that I felt needed comment (which no-one else has made in my place), but this one just confuses me - perhaps not an abnormal state of affairs...


How do all of these extra moves actually make the Brewers a better team? I just don't see it. All that's been done other than Roberts for Clark is that the money's been moved around.


I just don't see Benson/Clement as much (if any) of an improvement over Davis. I don't see Lopez as an improvement over giving one of the youngsters (like Villanueva) a try in the #5 spot, and even if you feel Cabrera is an upgrade over TGJr (and I'm not convinced), it's still just the 5th OF spot that you're upgrading here.


Given all of that, assuming you can find a taker for Clark (as has been speculated recently) and bring in Roberts at roughly the same salary, all you've done is move Jenkins, Mench and Davis for the sake of freeing up a few million dollars (at best) which are then unused...


Considering those three contracts, if you don't want to resign any of them after next season, are all up anyway, it just seems like making moves for the sake of making moves and that's never a recipe for success.


I wish I had something more constructive to offer in place of this, but perhaps I'm just missing something that you can explain to me?

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I wasn't necessarily saying the team would be better with those moves. I was just pointing out that this could be an interesting offseason if the reports/rumors on what the Brewers are trying to do are true (i.e. trading for pitching to make Davis expendable; entertaining offers for Jenkins, Mench and Clark; trying to sign Roberts/Pierre; etc.).


That said, I don't think these are moves just to make moves either. We currently have too much of our payroll dedicated to our outfield considering Hall (if that's where he ends up) and Hart are our best players out there and both will be paid less than three inferior players (Jenkins, Mench and Clark).


After last season's debacle trying to find capable replacements for Sheets and Ohka, I have absolutely no problem trying to trade some of our excess outfielders for starting pitching.


I think these moves set us up for a deeper, more well-rounded team. I'd love for the team to make some moves that drastically improve the starting group of guys, but from what we've heard this offseason so far, it looks like Doug will be tinkering the roster in other ways and hoping for the youngsters to develop into impact players.

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Thanks for the clarification.


I can't say I agree entirely but I at least understand (and respect) your point. I guess that I just don't see where moving the money around makes any difference at all. I'm not saying that Mench and Jenks shouldn't be moved, even though the Brewers are selling low on both, but I don't see that it matters where the Brewers are paying the money if they're no better and the money still comes off the books in either event. And to be honest, I like a rotation of:


Sheets, Capuano, Davis, Bush, Villanueva


at least as much as, if not more than:


Sheets, Capuano, Benson/Clement, Bush, Lopez


I just don't like Clement, Benson or Lopez at all. The Hype Machine has built them up to sound like potential #1 or #2 starters and the reality is quite different. Lopez is a 31 year old (in a month) who has had two decent seasons, the last of which was three seasons ago. Benson hasn't had an ERA of under 4.1 since his rookie season (3.85) and has struck out 100+ or pitched 200 innings just once since then. Clement has been better but if you took out the two good years from his career, we wouldn't even be discussing him.


Davis was relatively poor last year, but at least you can say that even then he was still able to be an innings-eater and for the two seasons before that, he was much better than those three. As for Villanueva, 53.2 innings isn't much of a sample but he showed enough to think he will give you at least as much as Lopez and unlike Lopez, his best years are likely still ahead of him.


So I guess that, after all that, what I'm really saying is that I agree that it's not just moving the money around. It's moving the money around and making the rotation worse in the process IMHO.

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To me, guys, the ability for the Crew to offer Davis along with Jenkins (or Mench) is where we have room for improvement. I also recognize it's time for Villanueva to get his opportunity to prove himself as the 5 starter. I don't want to add a Lopez/Clement/Benson, but instead a guy we can get excited about -- or at least optimistic about.


What can a duo of Davis & Jenks fetch, well, I'm not sure. But if Lyle Overbay can yield Dave Bush AND ZachJack, I bet the aforementioned combo will do pretty well. They're both proven durable and productive, whatever you want to argue about them. Guys that show up pretty much all year every year AND produce are a rare commodity.


There's so much wiggling and restructuring to be done by Doug E. Doug this offseason, but that's what he's good at. Moving Jenks & Davis means finding another everyday OF, whether corner or center. But I would worry about that much later than the opportunity to add a proven, veteran, #2 quality starter like Vazquez (not saying the ChiSox want that deal) or Escobar (granted he has had elbow problems -- Cappy had Tommy John surgery, and Sheets had shoulder/upper back problems -- injuries are part of the game)

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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According to this site, the Brewers came in at #24 this past season.


Here's the business end of things...


24 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Milwaukee Brewers $57,568,333

25 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Cleveland Indians $56,031,500

26 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Kansas City Royals $47,294,000

27 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Pittsburgh Pirates $46,717,750

28 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Colorado Rockies $41,233,000

29 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Tampa Bay Devil Rays $35,417,967

30 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Florida Marlins $14,998,500


Minnesota were 19 and Oakland 21.

&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp

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Anybody notice on CBS sportsline that the Brewers are only one of three teams that are not mentioned in the "rumor mill" section? Although Clark is mentioned under the Rockies rumors and Mench is mentioned under the Orioles rumors.


Oh...they did have Doug Melvin on MLB radio (on XM) this morning. He did not say anything earth shattering other than they would like to give Hall a look in the OF and they are making efforts to sign Grafi. Of course Mark Patrick reffered to Melvin as the Brewer skipper before cutting to the interview. Typical east coast type reporting.

User in-game thread post in 1st inning of 3rd game of the 2022 season: "This team stinks"

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