The Horse Died Long Ago, Yet I Keep Kickin'

>> Saturday

If you haven't heard, former Brewers closer Francisco Cordero signed today with the Cincinnati Reds for 4 years/$46 million. Seriously, 11.5 mill/year for a reliever.

I said it at the beginning of the hot stove league, and I'll say it again - I'm really, really glad the Brewers didn't spend this kind of money on Cordero. Yes, it's really nice to have a reliable pitcher at the back end of your bullpen, but - as we've said many, many times - no relief pitcher is worth superstar money for pitching three (often meaningless) outs every few days.

Kudos to Doug Melvin for avoiding the pressure from the Milwaukee talk radio crowd to get Cordero back with the team, regardless of the cost. I'm confident, regardless of what the radio callers say, that the Brewers will find a 'closer' in either spring training or the first few weeks of the season. It's not like they haven't done it before. My dark horse pick - Seth McClung. Dude throws lighting and is going to be working with Mike Maddux to solidify his breaking ball throughout spring training. Remember his name, he just seems to me like the ideal candidate for the next Doug Melvin/Mike Maddux reclamation project.

One other note tangentally related to this topic - interesting talks of a deal floating around: rumors of a possible Ben Sheets and Bill Hall trade to Atlanta for Kelly Johnson, Rafael Soriano and Jeff Francouer (plus probably a prospect on both sides, a higher-level one from Milwaukee). I don't like the idea just because I'm staunchly opposed to trading Ben Sheets during the off-season and I honestly don't think Francouer is a significant upgrade from the Jenkins/Mench platoon from last year. Higher average, yes, but same generally lousy on-base percentage.

Also, I don't think it will happen because it doesn't make a ton of sense - the Brewers just signed Jason Kendall (with Kendall apparently under the assumption that he'll start) and Atlanta traded Jarrod Saltalamacchia and committed to Johnson duing this year's trade deadline. It doesn't make sense that they'd go from a really, really rare amount of depth at a premium position to next to none in the span of half a season, but that's just my thought. Their rumored abundant interest in Sheets might outweigh any catching complications (and Bobby Cox has always been really interested in Billy Hall), but I just don't think this trade makes much logistical sense.


Nathan 11:42 AM  

The trade is going to happen for one reason: to drive us crazy. This entire off-season is going to be filled with good decisions (dumping Estrada, not overpaying CoCo), followed by horrible ones (getting guys like Kendall or Francouer).

Fun stat of the day: Kendall and Francouer are the definition of average players, both with a career 100 OPS+. (Bill Hall and Kevin Mench both have 101s and Jenks is 116, so hurry for downgrades!)

Nathan 11:48 AM  

Bonus stat: Estrada's OPS+ is a scorching Kendall is actually a significant upgrade. Not to mention the decreased heart pressure for Bechtel's old man, who probably hated Estrada with the passion that most people hate AIDS.

Vinnie 1:12 PM  

That may be the worst contract I've ever seen. No joke. Score one for the Brewers showing him the door.

As for the trade rumor, I've actually come around a lot on Francouer after last season. I'm not ready to write him off as an impatient hacker quite yet, especially with the raw hitting talent (as demonstrated by his ability to hit horrendous pitches) and defensive ability. He may never be Vlad Guerrero, but who's to say he won't improve on his pitch selection like Reyes has done, especially being so young. And Soriano is awesome.

And wait, isn't Kelly Johnson an infielder? Or did you mean to say Brian McCann?

Matt 3:13 PM  

Son of a bitch, you're right. I confused Johnson and McCann. Actually, I think Kelly Johnson is a reserve outfielder, not an infielder (unless he plays like first and third). His numbers are decent, but that still doesn't make a ton of sense because the Brewers have a glut of decent-but-not-quite-good backup outfielders.

Vinnie 12:49 PM  

Between the two of us, we probably should've done this two comments ago, but I just checked his BR page. He played most of last year at 2B and most of the year before in LF. So I guess he's an all-around utility guy.

I don't know how his arm is, but perhaps he could be the guy to play 3B to get Braun in left? Even if he'd just be a utility man, at least he's one that can sorta hit.

But yeah, I still like this deal mainly because of Soriano.

Zuch 12:31 AM  

As the now working stiff (which would excellently describe my extremities right now) chimes in, this deal blows away the ridiculous one (4 years, 19 mill.) the Sox just gave Scott Linebrink. Thank God that crazy Arte Moreno opened up the checkbook for Torii Hunter and saved the Sox the payroll anchor of his 5 year, megabucks contract.

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