Who Should the Milwaukee Brewers Be Going After?
After being a "realistic" possibility to resign CC Sabathia, the Milwaukee Brewers, along with other teams, fell to the much more powerful New York Yankees, as they were unable to match the $161 million offer.
The Brewers need pitching in 2009, starters and a closer, but they have other holes to fill if owner Mark Attanasio and Co. want to improve off the team's success last year.
The Brewers have to make a move in free agency, and soon. They already had minor signings in reliever Jorge Julio and outfielder Trot Nixon, who at 34, is most likely on the downslope of his career.
GM Doug Melvin doesn't have to drain Attanasio's bank account, but showing some interest somewhere would delight Brew Crew fans.
Here is a list of some names that are still unsigned across the board, and who would look good in a Brewers uniform.
Tom Glavine (Starting Pitcher)
Sure, Glavine is a member of the 40-year old club, but he's also a member of the 300 club. Glavine can still pitch at this level, and as a lefty, the Brewers should be keeping a close eye on him.
He has a 3.54 ERA is in 22-year career, not bad for this 40-something.
Oliver Perez (Starting Pitcher)
Let's stick with this "lefty" thing.
Outside of one good year in Pittsburgh, Perez was just a normal face in the rotation, but a move to New York made him a star.
His walks may be on the high side, but perhaps his stardom could continue in Brew Town.
Livan Hernandez (Starting Pitcher)
Hernadez may not have the best numbers, but this guy is an innings eater. The one thing that the Brewers need is more guys who can take the pressure off that bullpen.
Averages 11 wins a year, and his strikeouts nearly double his walks allowed; I wouldn't mind having him in the rotation.
Derek Lowe (Starting Pitcher)
Like Hernandez, Lowe can also rack up the innings, but with better results. He has won at least 12 games every year since 2002, with a career-high 21 wins that year.
A career 3.75 ERA, and it would definitely be a better signing for the Brewers than Jeff Suppan was.
Randy Johnson (Starting Pitcher)
This 6'10" tower on the mound surpassed Roger Clemens for the No. 2 spot on the career strikeout list at Miller Park in June.
Now the Big Unit wants to pitch one more year to notch the 300 plateau, and what better way to do it than on the same mound, but this time as a member of the Brewers.
John Smoltz (Starting Pitcher)
At 41, Smoltz can still bring it, even though he is coming off an injury form 2008.
Has been in Atlanta his entire 20-year career which began in 1988, and did many good things. A change of uniform can be just as good too.
A great leader on the mound, but a better leader in the clubhouse and dugout.
Ben Sheets (Starting Pitcher)
It wouldn't be the worst thing to have Sheets return to Milwaukee, because he truly would be the ace of any staff.
Sheets is one of the best when healthy, but there is the problem. For the past three years, he has been unable to stay off the DL (at times with head-scratching injuries).
It would be a shame if the Brewers can't get (keep) a guy with a 3.72 ERA and a nearly 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio.
Jason Isringhausen (Closer)
"Izzy" had an off year in 2008 in which he took himself out of St. Louis' closer role.
Change is often the best medicine when it appears you've hit the wall. Plus, it's no secret that the Brewers need a closer as well.
Trevor Hoffman (Closer)
As I've written in a previous article, the Milwaukee Brewers and Trevor Hoffman might be the perfect match.
Hoffman is the career saves leader and can still bring it for the all-important ninth inning close out.
Orlando Hudson (Second Baseman)
If you're like me, then you're tired of waiting for Rickie Weeks to become the player he was supposed to be when the Brewers drafted him.
So why not work out a trade for Weeks, and bring in the "O-Dog" who is a proven complete player. Plus Hudson is a switch-hitter, so no platoon necessary.
Mark Grudzielanek (Second Baseman)
Not known for his offense, but "Grudzy" knows how to get on base. His defense is what you sign him for.
Born and raised in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, it's time for the Brewers to bring Mark home. He can also give the Brewers something they haven't had a whole lot of...a .300 hitter.
Joe Crede (Third Baseman)
I'm not sold on the whole "Hall-Lamb" platoon at third for 2009. Keep Lamb as a left-handed bat, but dump Hall and bring in a guy who can hit as well as defend.
Unless Miulwaukee can guarantee that Matt Gamel is the 2009 starter at third, that position needs to be solidified.
Eric Hinske (Outfield/Utility)
I don't know what Hinske is known better for; making the last out of the 2008 World Series by striking out, or the guy in the hoody high-fiving everybody throughout the playoffs for Tampa.
The Brewers should bring this guy home too, as the Menasha-native Hinske can play outfield and the corner infield spots.
Scott Podsednik (Outfield)
A name that Brewer fans would love to cheer for again. "Scotty Po" still has speed which could help the Crew in 2009.
The problem lies in finding room on the roster for Podsednik, as Milwaukee already has Tony Gwynn Jr. looking for playing time, and the newly acquired Trot Nixon making the depth chart.
(Jeopardy Theme Playing)
With the new year approaching, and free agents soon to sign with new clubs, the Milwaukee Brewers need to think about setting their roster for the possible 2009 postseason run.
Doug Melvin has to find some news faces to help this team make the next level, and the clock is ticking.