Brewers offer arbitration Wednesday; Should they stay or should they go now?

  • 3rd year eligibles:
    • Brian Shouse…$975,000 in ’07
  • 2nd year eligibles:
    • Chris Capuano…$3.25 mil. in ’07
    • Claudio Vargas…$2.50 mil. in ’07
    • Matt Wise…$1.00 mil. in 07
  • 1st year eligibles:
    • Greg Aquino…$399,000 in ’07
    • Dave Bush…$450,000 in ’07
    • J.J. Hardy…$400,000 in ’07
    • Seth McClung…$750,000 in ’07
    • Eric Munson…not listed for ’07

Of the 9 eligible, 7 are pitchers. Hardy will be offered arbitration, as will Munson (unless he was some sort of insurance in case they couldn’t find anyone to replace Estrada). The Brewers already have 10 of the 12 pitchers’ slots filled with Sheets, Suppan, Gallardo, Villanueva, Parra, Gagne, Riske, Mota, Torres, and Turnbow; additionally, they also have Choate, Jackson, and Peña under contract. Here, then, are my guesses for what happens by Wednesday night:

  • Shouse–the lone lefty in the bullpen for most of last year and will get less than $2.0 million; he’ll be offered arbitration to become the 11th pitcher.
  • Capuano–would cost over $3.5 million; unproven as a reliever, and too expensive to see if he might be effective out of the pen; Melvin’s tried to deal him, with no luck…Cappy will not be offered arbitration.
  • Vargas–would cost at least $3.0 million; a career 4.95 ERA, and turns 30 in ’08; he won’t be offered arbitration either.
  • Wise–Melvin should be able to get something for him, and will either trade Wise, or let him go.
  • Aquino–turns 30 in January; has some value, but not much…will probably not be offered arbitration, but may be pursued as a free agent or with a minor-league deal.
  • Bush–unless Melvin can deal him for a prospect, I think Bush will return as the #6 starter or long reliever.
  • McClung–will be offered arbitration if Bush gets dealt; otherwise, Melvin will pursue with a minor-league contract and/or invite to Maryvale.

That’s it, then.  I am predicting an end to the Chris Capuano and Matt Wise eras in Milwaukee.  Am I crazy to think Doug Melvin will release this many pitchers onto the market at once?

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