Last night's game reminded us that Tomo Ohka is not a savior; look back through old threads at this or any other Brewers site and you see plenty of frustration with our #4 starter. That issue is going to come up again this offseason when Doug Melvin decides whether to re-sign Ohka, and for how much.
As we're discussing here, there are plenty of candidates for next year's rotation: Ben Sheets, Chris Capuano, Dave Bush, Dana Eveland, Zach Jackson, and Carlos Villanueva, to begin with. Dennis Sarfate will probably also compete for a spot. There should also be mid-season candidates at Triple-A (just as there [gulp] were this year) in Tim Dillard, Steve Hammond, and Yovani Gallardo. However, after this year's disaster, in which Ned couldn't find a suitable replacement starter when Sheets and Ohka went down, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Melvin tries to sign a veteran starter to go along with Sheets, Cappy, and Bush.
Of course, there will be a few other pitchers on the market this offseason aside from Ohka and Doug Davis (like, ahem, Barry Zito), but let's stick to our two potential returnees. If you had asked around before the season, people in baseball would've told you to expect Davis to sign a pretty big deal before the '07 season, maybe $24m/3 years. He won't do that after his up-and-down performance this year; he might end up getting something closer to Cory Lidle money ($6.3m/2).
Ohka, on the other hand, will probably be more expensive. He is probably a better bet going forward, as well. He's also been inconsistent, but his overall numbers should look stronger to potential suitors. He may end up getting something like $20m/3 years, if only because there are never a whole lot of free-agent pitching options.
So, what do you think? Sign Ohka? Sign Davis for cheaper and give him a chance to bounce back? Sign no one and hope we get two starters out of Villanueva/Eveland/Jackson/Sarfate?