Dec. 24, 2006: Suppan signs a four-year, $42 million contract with an option for 2011. Did Santa come early in 2006? No, but Scrooge sure did.
Fresh off of a NL Championship series MVP award, Suppan jumped at the chance to sign a big contract with the Brewers. GM Doug Melvin explains the signing stating, "He gives us a big-game pitcher. He's shown that last year."
That quote was far-fetched considering Suppan's line from 2006: 12-7 with a 4.12 ERA.
Suppan's contract came after ONE good performance in the '06 playoffs. GM Doug Melvin took a calculated risk, and that risk turned out to be a costly one.
Suppan has had only two seasons with an ERA under four in his 15-year career (2003 and 2005).
Here in 2010, his stat line has not changed from his career numbers. Since signing with the Brewers in 2006, Suppan has gone 29-34 with a 4.96 ERA.
Even before signing his contract with the Brewers, "Soup" had a career earned run average of 4.94. Definitely not worth the $42 million thrown at him.
Many people (if not all) wanted Suppan traded or released before this 2010 campaign. Instead, he gets the nod for the fifth rotation spot with two more deserving players stat-wise getting ousted. Chris Narveson and Manny Parra both had good 2010 spring campaigns while Suppan struggled yet again.
Suppan was put on the 15-day DL to start the 2010 campaign and he still gets to pitch every fifth day when he returns, while young lefties Chris Narveson and Manny Parra are stashed in the bullpen.
Since they are both out of options, RHP Carlos Villanueva is the most likely candidate to be sent down when Suppan returns. Suppan earned the spot because of his inflated salary alone, despite recent comments by manager Ken Macha.
After this season, Suppan has a club option that will certainly be declined and Brewer fans will breathe a sign of relief. In '06, Melvin took a big risk by signing a career plus-four ERA pitcher and he got exactly that.
After his contract comes off the Brewers books, this will go down as one of the worst contracts in Brewers history.