What are the Brewers going to do this offseason? Who knows? Doug Melvin has seemed non-committal whenever he's asked about anything and nobody else is talking. Prince Fielder is yet to be traded. Rickie Weeks is yet to be re-signed. What does it all mean? Did the top stop spinning at the end?
I don't claim to know what they are going to do or even what they could do, but I can idly speculate. That's why we're bringing you the first in a series: What are they gonna do?
Going for it is the plan that pretty much all Brewers fans want to see. Screw the future, we want to win. You would put up with four 90 loss seasons if it resulted in one World Series win (I doubt this), you wouldn't even complain about it (I highly doubt this). After getting a taste of the playoffs and winning baseball a couple of years ago (three years, really?) we have been starving for more ever since, kind of like your sister after that one time. We want to win. The Cubs sucks. The Astros suck. The Cardinals aren't unbeatable. Let's do it. Let's go for it all. Now.
What would the Brewers have to do to make this sort of thing a reality? Well, I would imagine it would look like this:
- Keep Prince Fielder
- Don't trade anyone from the current roster unless that person is Carlos Gomez
- Trade Jeremy Jeffress, Brett Lawrie, Mat Gamel and every single player it would take for Zack Greinke
- Offer Cliff Lee twenty five million per season
- Offer Brandon Webb a 1-year contract loaded with incentives that could see him make $15 million, possibly with a player option for 2012
- Settle on overpaying Carl Pavano
- Sign Rafael Soriano or Grant Balfour to three year $30 million contract
This would give the Brewers a great rotation, solidify the bullpen even more while maintaining the core of the offense. They would be, undoubtedly, the favorites to win the National League Central and probably at least an 8-1 bet to make the World Series. This would be the very definition of "going for it". So what's the problem?
For starters, the trade for Zack Greinke would empty the system of any prospects we could be expected to count on in the future and we'd have to start from scratch. (This is to say that the Royals would even accept such a trade and that someone wouldn't simply trump our offer. A likely chance considering the Yankees could simply include their Double-A shortstop Truckload of Money McMoneyson.) I don't think I need to explain the importance of young, cheap players that the Brewers draft for them to be successful in the future, but let's just say it's as important as vodka is to your dad.
Also having not only Randy Wolf, but also Carl Pavano (or Brandon Webb or someone else Carl Pavano-like) locked up to big dollar contracts could end in a bad way. Remember Jeff Suppan? I'm not saying they would both do that, but they both could do it. Possibly at the same time and that would be awful. Seeing your mom naked awful. (What is with the family jokes today?)
I won't even get into the Brewers recent history with free agent relievers.
Spending all this money on free agents kind of goes against the Brewers business model and would likely result in a player like Rickie Weeks not getting re-signed. Which would be fine if we didn't just trade our best chance to replace him in Brett Lawrie. Which would mean that after he left they'd have to spend to much money on an average player to fill the role like (gasp!) Ryan Theriot. No thank you.
Let's also not forget that this is a business. A World Series win would be great and we'd gladly trade it for years of losing, but just because we would trade it doesn't mean that the team could still sell tickets during the losing and that's not a trade off ownership would be willing to make. Eighty wins, forever!
Finally, the main reason the Brewers shouldn't do this plan is: what if it didn't work? What if someone got hurt? What if Prince Fielder got hurt and we didn't get the arbitration picks? What if it wasn't enough? Then what? What if we trade for Zack Greinke and sign a free agent only to see them fall off a cliff? These things happen all the time. What would the Brewers do then?
Besides the fact that this is clearly a fantasy that would never happen outside of the JSOnline message boards, this plan just isn't a great idea. It'd be kind of stupid to do all of these things and I think they know that. That doesn't mean I wouldn't like to see them do a couple of them, but I just don't see anything happening as major as a Greinke trade or Pavano signing. Doug is too cautious for that and he's probably smart for it too. Whether you like it or not.