The Brewers reached an agreement on a one-year deal for $2.55 million with pitcher Dave Bush, once again avoiding an arbitration hearing, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt in his jsonline.com blog.
Bush, then, becomes the most affordable option of the three expendable starting pitchers, joining Chris Capuano and Claudio Vargas, both of whom re-signed with the Brewers during the offseason for at least $3.5 million.
So…can the Brewers deal Bush now that his 2008 salary is known?
Adam McCalvy commented on the trade possibilities during his weekly mailbag on mlb.com:
…it appears that the level of interest the Brewers expected (for Bush, Capuano, or Vargas) just was not there. I don’t see how the Brewers — barring injuries — could get to Opening Day without trading away some of those excess arms, probably for some prospects to restock the Minor Leagues.
…show me a long list of National League teams for which Bush, Capuano or Vargas could not compete for a rotation spot.
I’m not sure if a long list of suitors is available–it seems that the Reds, Orioles, Rangers, and Royals always need starting pitchers–but, bear in mind, the market consists of both supply and demand…and while some teams still are in demand for another starter, there are some experienced, albeit aging, free agents out there still:
- Bartolo Colon–he turns 35 in May, but Colon won 21 games with the Angels just three seasons ago; injuries have bothered Colon over the past two seasons, leading to a 6-8, 6.34 ERA in ’07. Colon turned down an incentive laden deal with the White Sox earlier this year.
- Jeff Weaver–another Angel castoff when his baby brother replaced him, the 31 year-old went 7-13, 6.20, last year for the Mariners.
- Kris Benson–the Wisconsin native sat out ’07 due to an injury, and at 33, it’s still questionable if he has anything left…and he is just 68-73, 4.34, over his entire career.
There are others as well–Eric Milton, Tomo Okha, etc…, none of which were overly impressive last year. Still, GM’s that discover that their 5th and 6th starters in Spring Training are not as effective as initially imagined could opt to gamble on one of these former veterans for the same money as what they would pay David Bush…plus they wouldn’t have to give up any prospects to do so.