With the signing of Prince Fielder, Tom H. seriously harshed my mellow: the Brewers' payroll is between $80-85 million, precluding the signing of a big-name pitcher like Sheets or even Looper:
Owner Mark Attanasio just said the Brewers already are in the $80 million to $85 million area in terms of projected payroll for 2009, taking into account future deals to be struck with arbitration players and others.
That's already higher than the Brewers' Opening Day payroll of last year, which was right around $80 million.
In other words, don't expect the Brewers to sign a starting pitcher who costs a lot of money between now and spring training.
First off: "way the up side"? Seriously, Tom?
Second: how much is Suppan's contract an anchor now? He's getting $12.5 million for each of the next two years, for putting up 5th-starter stats. That was a risky signing at the time, and is it coming back to haunt us. That may turn out to be Melvin's Jeffrey Hammonds.
Third: it really looks like that the Mikey/Melky deal, from strictly a financial standpoint, is one of the few options we have to bring in a free agent pitcher. It begs the question: which would you rather have: Cameron or Melky + Sheets/Looper/FA pitcher of your choice? Be sure to take the poll.
Fourth: do you remember when we had Jeff Weaver on our team, for a brief period of time? Barring a trade, I'm guessing that's going to be our strategy for our rotation and AAA depth. Call it the Best of 2003 Oldies Tour.
Fifth: I have to admit, my faith in Doug is shaken a little bit. We lost CC and don't have much hope in re-signing Sheets. More to the point, not only haven't we replaced them with comparable talent, we haven't replaced them at all. (Gallardo isn't the new Sheets --- he's the new Sabathia.) Here's a gratuitous picture of Gallardo, only because it's a new SB option I want to try out.
Not only is the talent of our pitching staff worse, our depth is practically non-existent. Short of a Fielder or Cameron trade...I dunno. I think our pitching staff is in big trouble here.