Doug Melvin: Arms Dealer

“Psst…hey, buddy? We’re looking for an old, reliable weapon that can decimate our enemy in 2-3 minutes. Yeah, yeah, I know, I know, we already have lots of weapons…but we can trade them to others. Yeah, we still have that flamethrower that we bring in just before the end of the game that can sometimes hit the target. We also have another lobber that is effective…albeit every other day. But we want a weapon that can hit the target day in and day out…even if it has some whiskers and cobwebs on it.”
Sigh. The Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt made mention of the numerous free agent middle relievers that Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin is negotiating with:

Among those on general manager Doug Melvin’s list of “eight or nine” relievers are Matt Herges, LaTroy Hawkins and Ron Mahay.

Herges and Hawkins pitched for the NL champion Colorado Rockies. Herges was particularly effective, going 5-1 with a 2.96 ERA in 35 relief appearances, and also was a stalwart in the post-season. Hawkins also had a solid year, posting a 3.42 ERA in 62 outings.

Mahay, a left-hander, began the year in Texas and finished it in Atlanta, as part of the Mark Teixeira trade. He was very impressive, going 3-0 with a 2.55 ERA in 58 appearances.

As I’ve been posting, the Brew Crew already has 20+ middle relievers in the fold, including 3 prospects in AAA and AA that deserve a shot. But this obsession with bringing in three or four bullpens worth to Maryvale–so each only get a few innings to prove themselves–seems to be counter productive.
Now, don’t get me wrong–if Melvin can add a bonafide stud middle reliever that can get four to six outs every game on a consistent basis, I’m all for it. This new arm can replace Matt Wise, who seems to have peaked in 2006, or even Derrick Turnbow, if we have a bonafide great deal for him on the table. I’m just worried that Melvin is trying to stock the bullpen with aging veterans that can help us in 2008…but will lead to losing lots of young relievers to Rule 5 that could help us for years.

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