Admittedly, I'm a fan of offering our Type A free agents arbitration. If they don't accept, you get the draft picks; if they do accept...well, you're getting a Type A free agent, so someone who's presumably pretty good. Yes, you have to pay him, but there are worse things than paying for a proven good player. (After all, a lot of good players rule out playing in Milwaukee out of hand, probably because of the placement of the goofy orange art structure in front of Betty Brinn.)
With that in mind...you know, I think offering arby to departing infielder Felipe Lopez might not be a bad idea.The biggest reason why I think offering arby to FeLo might be prudent is because our infield will have a lot of question marks next season, and far fewer options if something goes wrong. JJ Hardy will likely be traded this offseason, as (probably) will one of Mat Gamel/Casey McGehee. That would mean that, accompanying Prince Fielder in the infield, we have Rickie Weeks (who hasn't yet played in 130 games in a season), rookie Alcides Escobar at short, and something of a question mark at third in McGamee (either a player with big numbers in the minors but limited success in the majors, or a player who hit well last season despite mediocre minor league numbers). Given that we'll be starting these three all at the same time, it would be
Moreover, we're pretty thin at infield depth as well. Our top backup, Craig Counsell, turns 40 in August, is coming off his best season in nearly a decade, and is a free agent to boot. Brett Lawrie is still 2+ years away, and is still learning second base, not to mention other infield spots. Our top AAA infielders, Hernan Iribarren and Roguejim favorite Adam Heether, aren't thought of as top prospects, and I don't think we can stash them in AAA anymore.
In other words, 2010 looks to be sporting a great amount of risk in our infield, and not much help if something goes wrong. Like Counsell, Lopez has played a lot of games at second, third, and short over the years, and is coming off a pretty nice season. Moreover, I don't think he'll be THAT expensive next season, maybe $5 million-ish. Given the risk involved (and low expense) in Weeks/Escobar/McGamee, offering arbitration to Lopez seems to be like a good idea --- even if he accepts, we'd likely have use for him.
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