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Risk/Reward of the Doug Davis Signing

PHOENIX - AUGUST 10:  Starting pitcher Doug Davis #49 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the New York Mets during the major league baseball game at Chase Field on August 10, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Mets 7-4.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Josh LevittSenior Analyst IJanuary 21, 2010

  1 year/$5.25 million (with a mutual option for 2011):

Free agent starter Doug Davis has reached preliminary agreement with the Milwaukee Brewers on a one-year, guaranteed $5.25 million contract, a baseball source told

The deal is contingent on Davis passing a physical exam.

Davis joins Randy Wolf as the second lefty free agent to sign with Milwaukee this offseason. He pitched previously for the Brewers from 2004 through 2006, posting records of 12-12, 11-11 and 11-11 in his three seasons with Milwaukee.

Davis will make a base salary of $4.25 million in 2010. The contract includes a $1 million buyout and an additional $1 million in incentives based on starts and innings pitched.


The Brewers entered the offseason with the goal of improving their starting pitching and this deal helps them achieve that goal at a minimal risk:

Risk:Is the Brewers rotation too left handed?

  • walks too many hitters
  • not great against left handed hitters


  • Adds depth and consistency to the Brewers rotation
  • Only a one year commitment
  • Innings eater

Conclusion: This deal is yet another signal that the Brewers are going for it in 2010 and 2011. And I, for one, love that attitude. With Prince Fielder under team control for only another two years, this is the Brewers best chance to win a championship and GM Doug Melvin is working within his resources to give the Brewers the best chance to win.

Sure Doug Davis is not a big name or a sexy signing, but Davis can bring a lot to the table for the Brewers. For a reasonable price, Davis should give the Brewers around 180-200 IP this season and produce an ERA somewhere in the 4s. Given how unstable and unreliable the Brewers starting pitchers were last season, Davis's consistency is exactly what the Brewers need.

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