Drama Jocks’ Commentary: The Fates of Seventeen Men

In the last few seasons, once the Brewers year is over, I took a look at their entire 40-man roster and offered my opinion of how those guys would make up the team the next season.  I’m not going to do that today.  I do have some thoughts on the guys who the Brew Crew will be making decisions about this winter…

SIX FREE AGENTS
  1. Prince Fielder – gone
  2. LaTroy Hawkins – maybe stays, at the right price and right years (i.e., no more than 2), if he wants to stick around
  3. Takashi Saito – see #2, with odds being better that he hangs ’em up or moves on
  4. Craig Counsell – retirement
  5. Mark Kotsay – gone, but too bad, since he’s a solid clubhouse guy
  6. Jerry Hairston – probably gone (if he wants a raise from the 2 million he made this year as a utility guy, that’s too much)
TWO OPTION GUYS
  1. Francisco Rodriguez (mutual option) – Brewers will buy out his option and let him become a free agent
  2. Yuni Betancourt (club option) – his best chance to stick with the Crew is the simple fact that we have no one to replace him, and the free agent market looks expensive.  6 million bucks for this guy is an awful tough pill to swallow.
ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE (for the lay-people reading this, ‘3rd time’ means final arbitration year: Crew gets exclusive rights to negotiate on the player’s 2012 contract, or they can simply opt to release him.  ‘2nd time’ means exclusively under MKE control for 2012 and potentially 2013, ‘1st time’ means team could control player for up to three more years, through 2014).
  1. Shaun Marcum (3rd time) – would have been in line to negotiate a long-term deal until his implosion in the playoffs.  Now I think they give a one-year deal, take their chances on free agency after next season
  2. Carlos Gomez (3rd time) – they’ll bring him back for one more go (ha!), but a long-term deal is going to be out of the question, unless he suddenly figures out how to hit .275 or so.
  3. Kameron Loe (3rd time) – since he’s probably more affordable in arbitration than trying to find relievers on the free agent market, he’ll be back.
  4. Manny Parra (2nd time) – he’ll be back.  Probably done as a starter, and probably doesn’t have any trade value left, unfortunately.
  5. Josh Wilson (2nd time) – released
  6. Casey McGehee (1st time) – they won’t want to release him, but they should.  Totally not worth what he would make in arbitration (multi-millions).  Wouldn’t mind seeing him back as a bench guy on a minor league deal.
  7. Nyjer Morgan (1st time) – Feel-Good Brewer of the Year, he’ll be back
  8. George Kottaras (1st time) – backup catchers are like herpes; everyone’s got ’em.  Gone.
  9. Mitch Stetter (1st time) – lefty specialist.  Didn’t need one this year, but might next.  He’ll be back.
THE TWENTY-FIVE WHO WILL MAKE THE APRIL 6 ROSTER
Starting Pitchers (5)
  1. Yovanni Gallardo
  2. Zach Grienke
  3. Shaun Marcum
  4. Randy Wolf
  5. Michael Fiers
Relief Pitchers (7)
  1. John Axford
  2. Marco Estrada
  3. Chris Narveson
  4. Kameron Loe
  5. Brandon Kintzler
  6. Mitch Stetter
  7. Matt Capps
Catchers (2)
  1. Jonathan Lucroy
  2. Martin Maldonado
Infielders (7)
  1. Taylor Green
  2. Yuniesky Betancourt
  3. Rickie Weeks
  4. Mat Gamel
  5. Casey McGehee
  6. Jerry Hairston
  7. Eric Farris
Oufielders (4)
  1. Ryan Braun
  2. Nyjer Morgan
  3. Corey Hart
  4. Carlos Gomez