Updated 2010 Brewers Roster/Salary Predictions

With the question-mark surrounding who the Brewers would get in return for JJ Hardy already settled, and with it looking as though your probable starting centerfielder for 2010 will be Carlos Gomez (love it or hate it - I happen to be a fan), I figured it's time for another look at the 2010 roster.  Feel free of correct my arbitration estimates (or other errors) - and I know there are a lot of these projected rosters out there, but it's the offseason; how else am I suppose to occupy my allocated baseball-time?

Aside from arbitration figures, I'm making a few assumptions:

1) Looper's option will not be exercised.  Aside from the fact that Looper kind of sucks, I'm also going off Melvin's earlier claim that he's looking to add two starters.  Gallardo/Suppan/Bush/Parra will all already be on the team next year, so I'm not sure how/why Looper would be brought back too.

2) I'm making the teary-eyed assumption that McClung will be off the team in 2010.  That's largely conjectural, but if I'm wrong it shouldn't have a huge effect on the total salary (I imagine he'd make $2,250,000 or so in arbitration)

3) Based on an interview with Doug Melvin earlier today (linked in a fanshot) I got the impression that Lucroy might be given a chance to make the team out of spring training.  I've extremely optimistically listed the two catchers on the 25-man as Rivera/Lucroy, but more realistically the Brewers probably need to add a starting catcher this offseason as well (NOT KENDALL, Doug).

(I've put ages at the start of spring training in parentheses)

C - Mike Rivera (33) [ARB: $750,000]
C - Jonathan Lucroy (23) [$400,000]
1B - Prince Fielder (25) [$11,000,000]
2B - Rickie Weeks (27) [ARB: $2,750,000]
SS - Alcides Escobar (23) [$400,000]
3B - Casey McGehee (27) [$400,000]
IF - Mat Gamel (24) [$400,000]
IF - ???
LF - Ryan Braun (26) [$1,300,000, rounded up]
CF - Carlos Gomez (24) [ARB: $1,000,000]
RF - Corey Hart (27) [ARB: $4,000,000]*
OF - Jody Gerut (32) [ARB: $2,000,000]

SP - Yovani Gallardo (23) [$400,000]
SP - Dave Bush (30) [ARB: $4,250,000]
SP - Manny Parra (27) [$400,000]
SP - ???
SP - ???
CL - Trevor Hoffman (42) [$7,500,000]
RHP - Jeff Suppan (35) [$12,750,000]
RHP - David Riske (33) [$4,500,000]
RHP - Todd Coffey (29) [ARB: $2,250,000]
RHP - Carlos Villanueva (26) [ARB: $2,000,000]
RHP - Mark DiFelice (33) [$400,000]
LHP - Mitch Stetter (29) [$400,000]
LHP - Chris Narveson (28) [$400,000]

X - David Weathers [$400,000]
X - Braden Looper [$1,000,000]*
X - Bill Hall [$7,150,000]

Projected Total Payroll: $68,200,000
(Rounded '09 Payroll): $80,200,000
Potential Free Agent $: $12,000,000

(* - Fixed based on comments)

That’s obviously a very rough estimate, but given the $12 million figure, the fact that the Brewers payroll has been steadily increasing the past few years (hopefully, even more so in a supposedly “win-now” year like 2010) and the fact that I was pretty generous with arbitration, I’d say it gives them between $12 and $17 million to spend on two starting pitchers, an infielder, probably a catcher, and maybe some relief help.

One thing that jumps out; that is an incredibly young team (especially if Lucroy somehow manages to win the starting job) with a heck of a lot of upside.  There are still a few major question marks, but I'm certainly excited already for the first pitch of 2010.

What do you all think?  Is that enough payroll flexibility to fill out the roster and field a division-winning team next year?  Do one of Gamel/McGehee need to start packing their bags?  Who should Melvin specifically target? 

I'd like to see him bring Sheets back, resign Counsell for the utility spot, bring in some high-upside reclamation projects (Mulder and Baek come to mind, I'm also partial to an under-the-radar return from Capuano), and look for a cheap veteran catcher to compete with the internal options (Chris Coste, maybe?)

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