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Posts Tagged ‘Carlos Villanueva’

Crunching the Numbers on Arby Offers

January 19, 2010 Leave a comment

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=corey+hart&iid=5007345″ src=”0/2/f/5/Milwaukee_Brewers_at_fd5a.JPG?adImageId=9308851&imageId=5007345″ width=”234″ height=”337″ /]Here is what we know right now: Jody Gerut, Rickie Weeks, and Carlos Gomez have all avoided arbitration thanks to one-year deals totaling $5.85 million. As far as the four remaining arbitration-eligible players are concerned, Todd Coffey seems to be the furthest away from striking a deal, while Carlos Villanueva appears to be the closest.

Thanks to Tom Haudricourt, we know that Coffey is asking for $2.45 million, while the team offered him $1.7 million. The midpoint between these two figures is $2.075 million. A one-year, $2 million deal seems reasonable for a guy who was probably the second most valuable arm out of the bullpen behind Trevor Hoffman.

Corey Hart asked for $4.8 million while the club submitted a figure of $4.15 million. The midpoint there would be $4.475 million. To me, this seems to be the toughest case — Hart wants a raise of $1.55 million. In other words, he wants to be paid like his numbers didn’t decrease for a second consecutive season.

Dave Bush is asking for $4.45 million, while the club offered $4.125 million. The midpoint with Bush would be $4.2875 million, which seems like a reasonable enough number. While Bush fell out of favor with a lot of people last year, I still think he can be a very productive #4 pitcher — even a passable #3 — if he can stay healthy for a full season. While he struggled after being hit with a line drive last season, let’s not forget how dominating he can be when everything is clicking.

Finally, Villanueva wants to be labeled a millionaire for the first time, submitting a figure of $1.075 million. Given his struggles last year, the club is offering $800,000, placing the midpoint at $937,500. When all is said and done, I think Villa makes less than a million in 2010, but then again I couldn’t imagine Carlos Gomez’s salary making such a spike.

When you factor in what the Brewers have already committed to the three players who’ve signed, if the Brewers were to go to arbitration with each of the remaining four and lose, they’d pay a combined $18.625 million to the seven arby-eligibles. If they went to arbitration and won every case, they’d only be on the hook for $16.625 million. Considering Doug Melvin has said he’s anticipating arby cases to cost between $17 and $18 million, that could mean some extra money that could be spent luring Jarrod Washburn or Doug Davis to Milwaukee.

If the Brewers can agree to contracts with the remaining four at the midpoint amounts, they would pay a total of $17.625 million — pretty much right in the middle of Melvin’s estimation, which would mean he had a pretty good idea what each player would be asking for. Given Melvin’s history of avoiding arbitration hearings, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about more signings in the next few days. It seems like only a matter of time before Villanueva and possibly Bush sign, but it could take longer to lock up Hart and Coffey, considering the large gaps between the figures presented.

It’s also important to remember that these contracts are not completely guaranteed — the Brewers could release any of these players in Spring Training and only be on the hook for a fraction of the salary — you may remember this happening to Claudio Vargas a couple springs ago, when it was clear that he wasn’t going to make the rotation out of camp and was due to make a starter’s salary. Why do I bring this up? Because something similar may happen to Bush if the Brewers find enough money in their budget to add another free agent pitcher, as the rumors seem to indicate they will. In that scenario, another option might be to option Manny Parra to Triple A, but the Brewers would free up a good amount of money by just letting Bush walk and keeping the much cheaper Parra in the majors.

Guessing the Brewers’ Arby Outcomes

January 16, 2010 2 comments

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=dave+bush+brewers&iid=6300132″ src=”6/3/1/d/Milwaukee_Brewers_vs_ea17.JPG?adImageId=9098488&imageId=6300132″ width=”234″ height=”288″ /]The Brewers’ seven arbitration-eligible players filed with the player’s union Friday — Adam McCalvy has the story at brewers.com. The players that will be looking for raises are Dave Bush, Todd Coffey, Carlos Villanueva, Rickie Weeks, Jody Gerut, Corey Hart, and Carlos Gomez. As McCalvy notes, this is the first year of arby eligibility for Villanueva and Gomez (Gomez qualifies for arby due to his Super Two status). The players will swap figures on Tuesday, according to McCalvy, and from there will have until the date of the hearing to iron out a contract.

Doug Melvin has never had to go to an arbitration meeting in his tenure as General Manager, and hopefully that trend continues this year. He won’t have to worry about working out a deal with Scott Boras for Prince Fielder this offseason, thanks to the two-year deal he got Fielder to sign last winter that locked in his 2010 salary. He will, however, have to deal with a couple of players that underachieved last season but will still be looking for raises anyway — here’s looking at you, Dave Bush and Corey Hart. Below is a table listing this year’s arby-eligible players and what they made last season, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.
Read more…

Brewers Season Grades: Bottom of the Class

October 5, 2009 3 comments

There were a lot of disappointments during the 2009 season, but the following players were especially mediocre and/or disappointing.  Despite the large amount of unfulfilled expectations, only two players earned F’s for the year, and it’s probably not too hard to figure out who they are.  As always, feel free to chime in with your comments below.

D’s
Mike Burns (D-): Had a couple good starts filling in when he had to, but he was also far from spectacular.  If I had to bet, the journeyman will have to journey to another organization next season.  Nothing against him, but guys like him are a dime a dozen, and the Brewers already have candidates for spot starts next year in their system.
Dave Bush (D): Injuries made Bush’s 2009 season maddingly inconsistent.  At times, he looked like the guy who shut down the Phillies in the playoffs last year.  At other times, everything he was throwing was getting hit hard.  I don’t think he’ll get non-tendered in the offseason, but it’s no longer out of the question that he could be replaced in the offseason — not because he’s the one that needs to be replaced, but because he’d be much easier to get rid of than Jeff Suppan or Braden Looper.
Braden Looper (D+): Loop set a new club record for home runs allowed, and for whatever reason, never showed the velocity he had in St. Louis the past couple years.  If he did, perhaps he could’ve at least been a serviceable bottom-of-the-rotation guy, but good outings were few and far between, despite the high number of wins.  Here’s to hoping he opts out and some other GM will be suckered in by the W-L record, instead of looking at all the other stats.
Manny Parra (D+): Disappointing year overall for Manny.  When most were expecting him to take another step forward, he instead took one or two steps backward, struggling with mechanics and injuries for most of the season.  There was a stretch of a few weeks where he was showing a lot of the promise we all know he has, but those starts were far too infrequent.
Carlos Villanueva (D): After a surprisingly strong season as a reliever last year, Villanueva struggled to get much of anything going this year, at times seeming incapable of putting up a scoreless inning.  Gets bonus points for putting together an outing good enough to keep the Cardinals from getting homefield advantage in the playoffs.
Mike Rivera (D+): We’d all probably be more upset about Jason Kendall getting so many starts at catcher if Rivera had done much at the plate this year. In twice as many games played as last year, he’s hit nearly 80 points lower and barely edged out Kendall in OPS.
J.J. Hardy (D-): How bad was Hardy this year?  The only thing separating him from Jason Kendall is the fact that Hardy was still above average defensively.  At the plate he looked completely lost all year, and didn’t seem too interested in finding a way out of his slump.  Here’s to hoping that the Brewers can find a taker for him in the offseason now that Alcides Escobar has shown he can hold his own.
F’s
Jeff Suppan – Rejoice, Brewers fans…there’s only one more year left on that horrible contract, and with any luck, another team might be willing to take him off the Brewers’ hands if Milwaukee picks up the tab on most of the salary.  I don’t know if anyone saw Suppan’s time in Milwaukee playing out any differently, though.  It was a bad deal from the start, and it’s tied the hands of the club financially.
Jason Kendall – Last year, Kendall was at least good enough defensively to put up with his pathetic .651 OPS.  This year, he wasn’t nearly as lucky when it came to throwing out runners and hit even worse, OPSing .636.  If it wasn’t for Willy Taveras, Kendall would be the worst offensive player in the game.  There’s really no other grade to give him, and he’s the last player many fans would want to see back next season.

Pitching News, But No Trade

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, it’ll be Carlos Villanueva making the start for the Brewers on Tuesday night against Washington, not Tim Dillard or a pitcher from outside the organization.

I’m having trouble finding the proper adjectives to describe this decision.  “Surprising” doesn’t do it justice.  “Perplexing” might be a good one, or perhaps even “bat-crap crazy.”  Yes, Villanueva has had experience in the starting rotation, but everyone can agree that it was a borderline disaster.  Villanueva is a guy with a decent change-up and a barely-average breaking ball, but his fastball is barely passable.  He’s struggled whenever he’s had to face the same batters more than once a game.  And he’s not even stretched out…the odds are that Macha will have to piggyback Villanueva with Dillard, anyway, which begs the question — WHY THE HECK ISN’T DILLARD STARTING, ANYWAY??

Trade talks with the Mariners for Jarrod Washburn have reportedly fallen apart, and rightfully so — reports have come out that the M’s were looking to get Alcides Escobar in the deal, which would be insane in any deal to Seattle that doesn’t include Felix Hernandez (not because Escobar will be that good of a player, but because the Brewers absolutely need a potential replacement for J.J. Hardy in the wings, and Escobar’s the only guy for that job at the moment).
The Brewers also shuffled their pitching staff by sending Mike Burns back to AAA Nashville, bringing up lefty specialist R.J. Swindle.  Swindle has had only limited experience in the majors, but dominated batters in AAA this year with an extremely slow curve and the occasional eephus pitch.  Swindle was a AAA All-Star for the Sounds this year, pitching a scoreless inning in Portland.
Swindle’s return should help against a lefty-heavy Washington lineup, freeing up Mitch Stetter to possibly work more high-leverage innings in the long run.  The Brewers have had some trouble finding that 7th inning guy since Villanueva started struggling, so a fresh bullpen arm certainly can’t hurt.