The Brewers have been connected to a few Braden Looper/Randy Wolf rumors here and there, but it’s looking increasingly unlikely that they’ll add anyone else before the season starts.
During his recent trip to Milwaukee, principal owner Mark Attanasio said the team already has already committed about $82-83 million, depending on the outcomes of talks with arbitration-eligible outfielder Corey Hart and second baseman Rickie Weeks. That’s about the same level at which the team entered 2008.
Fans doing their own math at home came up with something in the neighborhood of $79 million. But Attanasio said that figure didn’t yet include Craig Counsell’s $1 million deal, finalized Jan. 26, or the approximately $2-$2.5 million that is spent throughout the season on Minor League callups, who replace injured players.
When you’re correcting your fans about the cost of minor league callups, you know money’s a little tight.
More after the jump.
“When I first bought the team, it was like, ‘Are you ever going to get to 40 [million dollars]?’” said Attanasio, who purchased the team following the 2004 season, when the Brewers spent just shy of $28 million on players. “Now, we’re arguing between 82 and 79.”
He does concede that it is a somewhat significant point. At $82 million, the Brewers are less likely to spend on one of the remaining free-agent starters. Instead, club officials have discussed beginning the season with a relatively thin starting rotation and looking to add early in the year. MLB.com.
The free agent market has become such a bargain bin that it’s still possible the Brewers will add a pitcher, but even if they do pick up a Wolf or Looper, their rotation is still appreciably worse than it was last year. Of course, there is still a very small chance that they resume talks with Ben Sheets, who is drawing painfully (get it?) little interest elsewhere.