Pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2010: Jon Garland
One of the most important attributes in building a pitching rotation is the durability of the pitchers. When a team can rely on a starter to go out every fifth day to make his start, they have the foundation for a very good rotation.
When Brewers' GM Doug Melvin looks over a list of available starting pitchers this winter he'll find few pitchers that are more reliable and durable than Jon Garland. The Dodgers have declined their option on Garland, making him one of the more attractive options on the open market.
Since becoming a full-time starter in 2002, Garland has averaged 32 starts a season and over 200 innings pitched while winning an average of 13 games.
While his career 4.42 ERA may not be spectacular, he doesn't walk many batters. He also doesn't strike out very many batters either. He pitches to contact, so he needs to have a good defense behind him to achieve success.
He made $6.25 million last year when the market was slow. Many pitchers, Garland included, signed a one-year deal hoping the market would be stronger this winter and teams would be more willing to sign them to long-term deals.
Garland will only be 30 years old when the 2010 season starts, making him one of the younger pitchers available for a team. He will likely seek out a four- or five-year deal but could settle for much less if the market falters like it did last season.
Given his durability and success, Garland could easily demand eight million a season. Even with salaries dropping a bit, he is a better pitcher than some of those making several million more per year.
Like most of the pitchers on the market this year, Garland would fit well into the Brewers' rotation. He would give the team a dependable arm behind Yovani Gallardo. If the Brewers are willing to give Garland the contract he's looking for, he could prove very beneficial to the rotation and bullpen.
The problem with Garland will come with the current defense the Brewers have assembled. Carlos Gomez and Alcides Escobar are both above average defenders, but the rest of the positions are filled by average defenders at best. This could greatly have an impact on his effectiveness and result in career-low results.
While Garland is a quality pitcher and will help whichever team he joins, he wouldn't be a good match for the Brewers. The Brewers won't be able to pay the market rate that another team will likely offer him. Couple that with an inferior defense and he becomes an unattractive choice for Milwaukee.
The Brewers will find one or more pitchers to put in their rotation for 2010, but it's very unlikely that one of those pitchers will be Jon Garland.
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