In all honesty, I don't understand being "comfortable" with Mat Gamel. I realize he's never gotten consistent major league playing time, but he's utterly flopped in the chances he's gotten, is 27 and is coming off of major knee surgery. In all honesty, in spite of his .886 OPS at Nashville, chances are high that he'll be stuck as a Quadruple-A player forever. With Corey Hart out until at least May, the lack of a respectable everyday first baseman in Milwaukee is only going to help dig a significant hole the club hill have to climb out of if it's going to compete for the NL Central title.
Look, I know the Reds look daunting, thanks to their acquisition of Shin Soo-Choo, but they've also significantly downgraded their defense by placing him in center, are taking a major risk by incorporating Aroldys Chapman into the starting rotation, and are also facing regression from Ryan Ludwick. The Reds played like a 91-win team in 2012, and there's a good chance they're not much better than that this year. As for the Cardinals, while their player development system keeps pounding out prospects like Shelby Miller, Oscar Tavares, and Trevor Rosenthal, rookies often struggle when exposed for the first time, their lineup has all aged and their biggest offseason acquisition has been Randy Choate.
Because of all this, the Brewers have as much of a chance as they did last year, when they ponied up the money to sign Aramis Ramirez. Further, it certainly sounds as if Doug Melvin has the go ahead to add a small amount of payroll if it becomes necessary that he's willing to blow a draft pick on Kyle Lohse if his price drops low enough. While this is, frankly, a potentially tremendous idea, giving the Brewers a solid number-two starter and a potentially strong rotation of Yovani Gallardo, Lohse, Mike Fiers, Marco Estrada, and Wily Peralta, it likely won't do enough to offset Hart's absence and recovery and the regression coming for Carlos Gomez. If the Brewers are going to free up enough money to sign Lohse, they may as well try to sell Michael Bourn on a similar pillow contract, designed to tide him over for a year.
The Brewers Should Just Sign Everybody
Brew Crew Ball | Jan 31