Milwaukee Brewers Are Laying Low……..For Now
They have not done much of anything this offseason. No big trades, no big free agent signings.
They were content to let some teams gorge on overpriced free agents and others sign veterans to improve their organizational depth.
Before Spring Training or during the season, you can bet they will make a major move for their playoff push.
Operating in the league’s smallest market, General Manager Doug Melvin has done an excellent job since being named to the position in late 2002. His teams have made the playoffs twice, winning the organization’s second-ever playoff series in 2011. Starting with the 2007 season, four of the last six Brewers teams ended the regular season with winning records, no small feat considering they never broke the .500 mark in the 14 years preceeding 2007.
Fresh off their National League Central title, the Brew Crew never got in sync until it was almost too late. They got hot late and made a furious charge in September for the second Wild Card spot, finishing five games behind the St. Louis Cardinals. Milwaukee went 36-23 starting August 1st giving hope that momentum will cary over into 2013. The Brewers boast a potent lineup headed by outfielder Ryan Braun, the 2011 National League MVP and complimented nicely by players such as first baseman Corey Hart and third baseman Aramis Ramirez. They led the NL in runs scored with 776. The rotation starts with Yovani Gallardo who has won 60 games over the past four seasons. The rest of the starters were decent but the real issue last season was the bullpen. The team blew 29 saves, the most in baseball, ultimately dooming their chances to make a return trip to the playoffs. John Axford needs to get his act together if Milwuakee is to contend. There is significant depth in the farm system with Tyler Thornburg and Wily Peralta ready to make significant contributions.
The relief pitching will be addressed. I bet Melvin is waiting for the market to come down a bit so he can get a quality guy such as J.P. Howell or Mike Gonzalez. Don’t rule out a big trade either as it was the small-market Brew Crew that snagged CC Sabathia during the 2008 season and Zack Greinke before the 2011 season. They even offered Sabathia a $100 million dollar contract to stay only to be outbid by the Yankees by $61 million dollars. Keep an eye on this sneaky organization. Just because they haven’t done anything yet doesn’t mean they will be silent. Count on Bernie Brewer making many trips down that slide in 2013.
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