Wins or ERA?: Braden Looper Paid Off
The Brewers have bought out the contract of Braden Looper despite him having the best won-loss record of any Brewers starter.
They paid him $1 million to walk away from the Brewers instead of paying him $6.5 million for the 2010 baseball season.
Looper led all Brewers starters with a 14-7 record but had a 5.22 ERA. He also gave up 226 hits in 194 innings for a plus 32 hits more than innings pitched. He allowed the seventh most hits in the majors and gave up 39 home runs which is four more than any major league pitcher.
The Brewers are saying by their letting Looper walk that he was more lucky than good last season and will use that $6.5 million they would have paid him to a pitcher that will post better numbers.
They are risking signing a pitcher who may have better ERA but who wins fewer games.
Since they are obligated to pay Jeff Suppan $12.5 million the Brewers seem to be robbing Looper to pay Suppan and maybe possibly sign a dependable starter during the offseason. Suppan’s contract ends after the 2011 season unless they buy out his contract for $2 million and decline his $12.75 club option after the 2010 season.
Dumping Looper To Pay Suppan
The Brewers in effect are dumping a 14-7 pitcher in Looper to be able to pay a 7-12 pitcher in Suppan $12.5 million in 2010.
The main objective of the Brewers for the 2010 season is to improve the pitching for the Brewers in 2010. They were 27th in the majors in ERA in 2009 with a 4.83 mark. The only teams with worse ERA’s were the Nationals, Indians and Orioles all of whom finished last in their divisions while the Brewers finished third in the six team NL Central.
They allowed 207 home runs which was second most allowed in the majors with the Orioles giving up the most home runs with 218.
Rest of Bullpen Blew 18 Saves
Trevor Hoffman converted 37 of 41 save opportunites in 2009 but the rest of the bullpen did not fare so well as they had only seven saves in 25 opportunities.
The Brewers and Dodgers tied for last in complete games in the majors with one complete game each.
Gave Up Third Most Walks In Majors
Brewers gave up the third most walks in 2009 with 607 while their hitters drew the sixth most walks with 610.
Their hitters were in the top half of the teams in the majors in most categories but they had little speed with the Brewers being 28th in stolen bases with 68 stolen bases with only the Braves and Cubs below them with 58 and 56 respectively.
Fielder Earning $9.5 Million More Than Braun In 2009
The Brewers will pay Prince Fielder $10.5 million in 2010 while Ryan Braun will only earn $1 million in 2010. The club was smart to sign Braun to a eight year contract for $45 million since he won’t make as much as Fielder till the 2014 season when he earns $10 million.
Fielder’s contract expires after the 2010 season with no option year included so the Brewers will have an important decision to make next offseason. They will have to decide whether to offer Fielder a longterm contract or offer him a shorter contract because he may be better fitted to being a DH three or four years from now.