Brewers now need a new closer

First Francisco Cordero left the Brewers in 2008; then Eric Gagne was signed, but laid a big egg as the closer.  Finally, after almost losing him to retirement last season right after trading for him, the Brewers made Salomon Torres their closer.

Now Torres is retiring…again.

Torres had 28 saves in 35 opportunities last year, finishing with a 7-5, 3.49 mark; but Torres’ age showed after the All-Star break–he went 3-3, 4.70 with 13 saves after starting 4-2, 2.74 with 15 saves prior to the break.  Torres will turn 37 in March.

Odds are that new manager Ken Macha will give tryouts to both David Riske and 1-2 others, possibly even Seth McClung, if GM Doug Melvin doesn’t sign anyone to his liking.  The Brewers may still exercise their option on Torres in case he’s trying to pull a “Favre” move and unretire once the itch gets to him.

In other news, Macha has almost finished his coaching staff–Ed Sedar will remain as the first base coach, while Dale Sveum moves from the bench coach to the hitting coach; replacing Sveum will be Willie Randolph, the former Mets’ skipper that interviewed for the managerial opening just a few weeks earlier.  McFarland’s Brad Fisher takes over as the third base coach, while Bill Castro gets promoted from the bullpen coaching spot to takeover the pitching coach job vacated by Mike Maddux.  Only a bullpen coaching spot remains.  My take: Sveum’s return will be a boost to the returning players, while Randolph’s presence will almost certainly help with the infielders’ defense and morale.  Things are looking a bit brighter than a week or so ago…and Mike Cameron’s option was exercised and he’ll return for ’09.  Now we just have to wait and see if Melvin’s offer to C.C. Sabathia is in the ballpark or not.

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