Doug Davis Signing a Steal

Diamondbacks vs. Mariners in Seattle.

Adam McCalvy broke the news via Twitter: Doug Davis is returning to Milwaukee. McCalvy notes that Double D will earn a base salary of $4.25 million in 2010, with a mutual option for 2011 worth $6.5 million (or a $1 million buyout). Looks like the rumors about the Brewers being close to signing another starter turned out to be true.

There will be a lot of groans from casual fans when they hear the knews, but to me, there’s really no argument — this is a great, great deal. Does Davis have poor peripheral stats? Sure, but he always has. I poked fun at Doug Melvin’s comments a few days ago about his “new thing” being pitchers who throw a lot of quality innings. Say what you want about Doug Davis, but he fits that mold better than Jeff Suppan or Braden Looper.

Is he going to drive us nuts with a ton of walks? Sure. I can almost guarantee you that I’ll gripe about it in a post at some point during the 2010 season. But he’s also going to put up a lot of good innings, and he’s going to be doing it at an obscenely cheap salary compared to what he’s been making.

Davis made $8.75 million with the Diamondbacks last year. Not only will the $4.25 million he’ll be making this year be less than he’s earned every year since leaving Milwaukee, but it’s actually less money than what the Brewers paid Looper last year in a very similar deal. Even if this signing doesn’t work out, I’d be hard pressed to call it a bad signing. Like Looper’s deal, at worst it’s a one-year commitment, and the Brewers will be free to explore better options next offseason if they so choose.

Maybe it’s just a case of classic Offseason Optimism, but I really like the way the rotation looks heading into next season. Gallardo-Wolf-Davis-Bush-Suppan/Parra, while unspectacular, is still a pretty big improvement over last year’s staff. At the very least, the week won’t pass at a snail’s pace while we wait for Yo’s next start.

Considering what the pitching market looked like at the start of the season, getting Davis on this kind of deal should be considered a win for Doug Melvin & Co. — at least for the time being. At the very least, we know what we’re going to get. No more signing Cardinals castoffs and hoping there’s still some Dave Duncan pixie dust left (here’s looking at you, Joel Piniero). No more looking at injury risks, hoping they’re ready to throw off a mound by May. Signing Davis at least gives the Brewers a better idea of what the rotation will look like heading into camp in less than a month, and perhaps even puts some pressure on Dave Bush to avoid arbitration.

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