The Brewers are still mulling the Suppan.
The idea of Wins is key here. Jeff Sackmann (#1 Brewer Blogger!) marks Suppan as a two-win player. This means that if the Brewers plan to give 30 or more starts to replacement level pitchers in 2007 without Suppan, the addition of Suppan would add two wins to their record. So, in order to figure whether a Suppan signing would be worth it, we have to figure how many games the team might win without him.
Can we really say that we expect the team to win 86-88 games in 2007? I’d like to think it’s possible, and if it is, and Suppan bumps us up to 88-90 and a division title in the still weak NL Central, I don’t think there’s a Brewer fan alive that would say we shouldn’t give him the $11 per year. A division title and a playoff berth would drive the city mad.
However, even in the case that we don’t expect to win 86+ games in 2007, we might ask if it would still be worth it to invest in Suppan now, banking that his “2 wins” will put us over the top in 2008 or 2009 (assuming he’s still a two-win player by then). But then we must also ask if there won’t be better and/or cheaper options to get those two (or more) wins in the 2007-2008 off-season. If nothing else, I don’t think we’re winning it all in 2007, in which case I think it’s better to hold off and see what two wins might do for us in 2008, and to see if we can get those two wins for less commitment, or for cheaper than what Suppan will charge for them.
Thanks to MLB4U, here’s a list of some free agent SP after the 2007 season:
There are a number of guys on this list that I’d take over Suppan, and if the free agent class is actually this deep (i.e. if half these guys don’t sign extensions/contracts midseason), then we’re looking at a good thing for the Brewers. I’d put in for Buehrle, Westbrook, Zambrano, or Garcia without thinking about it: these are guys that are legit #3 starters at least (think of Sheets, Zambrano, Gallardo, Capuano, Bush for 2008!), and a handful of other guys might be just as useful and cheaper than Suppan. If we get really close in 2007 — like 86-87 wins — hell, we can even think about Schilling if he hasn’t fallen apart.
Really, I’d wait if I was Doug Melvin. Don’t do something just to do it. Let the Pirates do that.
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