Yesterday began with a call from the Milwaukee Brewers.
“Hello, Tyler. As a ticket holder in previous seasons, we thought you may be interested in a holiday 4-pack,” the woman said.
Shaken from sleep, I struggled to answer, “Maybe… maybe later,” I managed. “Maybe later.”
And judging by how Milwaukee handled Tuesday’s deadline to offer arbitration to the team’s five Type B free agents, I’m sure many fans share my groggy sentiment.
As the Dec. 1 deadline came and went, Mike Cameron, Jason Kendall, Dave Weathers, Braden Looper and Felipe Lopez were not offered arbitration. Now, most of these declined arbitration cases aren’t exactly surprising, AND just because these players weren’t offered arbi doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be back. But it probably does.
But where I – and probably many other fans – get lost in all this, is the uncertain reason this penny-pinching is taking place. Is the salary dumping, and arbitration acceptance diversion a means to re-allocating money to a big free agent signing (cough, STARTING PITCHER!)? Or are these front office moves of a team pessimistic of its 2010 chances, knowing the free agent pitching class is far from astounding?
The Brewers need a catcher, a starting pitcher and some bullpen help. I’ll detail my preferences for players to fill these holes in a future post. But the way those gaps are filled over the next few weeks will speak volumes to which of these differing motivations Milwaukee is operating under. Both modes of action could bring poor results – be it financially and/or on the field.
Just because the Brewers didn’t offer anything to their Elias-rated free agents, doesn’t mean free agency won’t still be a total B for Milwaukee this winter.