Wednesday, March 30, 2011

2011 Milwaukee Brewers - Most Overpaid and Most Underpaid

On the eve of the 2011 season I thought I would take a look at the five most overpaid and five most underpaid Brewers in 2011.

Honorable Mention: Manny Parra (LHP, $1.2 million), Carlos Gomez (CF, $1.5 million), and Takashi Saito (RHP, $1.75 million)

#5) Zack Greinke (RHP, $13.5 Million): If Greinke started his Brewer career healthy, there is no chance he makes the overpaid list. Unfortunately as I discussed in a recent chat with Gordon Edes of ESPN, the Brewers still have to pay Zack Greinke despite the fact that he is going to miss at least a month of the season, which translate into missing five or six starts. Greinke started 32, 33, and 33 games from 2008 to 2010. That means if Greinke misses 6 starts he will only make 27 starts at best in 2011. As a result Greinke will miss roughly 20% of his starts so that bumps him into the overpaid group.

#4) Corey Hart (RF, $6.833 Million): Much like Greinke, Hart is starting the 2011 season on the disabled list so that made him a prime candidate for the overpaid list as well. Even if Hart started the season healthy, he is still the 4th highest paid Brewer behind only Fielder, Greinke, and Wolf. The Brewers are already hiding Braun’s defensive deficiencies in left field. Hart does not have those same deficiencies so why not utilize his speed better in center or his length better at first base. In 2012 the Brewers need to move Hart to center field or first base if they want to get the proper bang for their buck.

#3) Randy Wolf (LHP, $9.5 million): Wolf had a horrendous start to 2010 after signing a three-year, $29.75 million contract. Fortunately Wolf buckled down towards the end of the season to help quiet the boo-birds. Unfortunately paying a middle of the rotation starter $9.5 million a year is way too much money, especially for a small market team like the Milwaukee Brewers.

#2) Yuniesky Betancourt (SS, $4.375 million): It is never a good thing when $1 million of your contract is being paid by a team that you played for (Seattle Mariners) before the team that traded you (Kansas City Royals) to the Brewers.

#1) LaTroy Hawkins (RHP, $4.25 Million): You know you are overpaid when your oft-injured reliever is making more than your left relief specialist (Stetter), primary set-up guy (Loe), and closer (Axford) combined. Hawkins was signed to stabilize the bullpen before the 2010 but Hawkins has spent more time on disabled list than pitching.

Honorable Mention: Chris Narveson (LHP, $441,500), Mark Kotsay (1B/OF, $800,000), and Craig Counsell (INF, $1,400,000).

#5) Jonathan Lucroy (C, $424,000): Despite starting the season on the disable list, Lucroy is still a starting catcher that is making the league minimum at one of the hardest positions to field besides starting pitching. Lucroy looks like a franchise catcher in the making that is not even arbitration eligible till 2013 or a free agent till 2017. That salary flexibility at such a hard position to fill allows the Brewers to overpay at other positions (you're welcome overpaid list).

#4) John Axford (RHP, $442,500): Much like Lucroy, Axford plays a hard position to fill (closer) at the league minimum that is not arbitration eligible till 2013 or a free agent till 2017. Plus, Axford has the classiest stache in major league baseball so how could he possibly be overpaid?

#3) Casey McGehee (3B) - $468,000): With how great Ryan Braun has been offensively, Braun’s atrocious defense at 3rd base forced the Brewers to move Braun to left field. Luckily McGehee has flourished where Mat Gamel and a host of other “up and coming” prospects were supposed to play. With how well McGehee has played, the Brewers need to consider reaching a long-term deal with McGehee before the end of 2011 because in 2012 McGehee is salary arbitration eligible for the first time in his career meaning he will get a huge raise.

#2) Yovani Gallardo (RHP, $3.50 Million): Gallardo would be the #1 starter on most teams. With Greinke in the fold, albeit on the disabled list, Gallardo is one of the most dangerous #2 starting pitchers outside Philadelphia and San Francisco. Enjoy the low price while you can though because Gallardo is schedule to make $5.75 million in 2012, $8 million in 2013, and $11.5 million in 2014.

#1) Ryan Braun (LF, $4.287 million): As I pointed out in one of my first Sunday Funday Posts, Braun signed the most club friendly contract in major league history besides Evan Longoria. The only knock against Braun is that he plays arguably the easiest position in baseball to fill. That said, if Braun stayed at 3rd base he would have priced himself out of Milwaukee. With Braun signed through 2015 he is the face of the franchise. Furthermore, if Braun continues to perform well offensively though 2015 he has a chance to knock Paul Molitor off the Milwaukee Brewers Mount Rushmore.

Check back Sunday for my initial rankings of the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers.

No comments:

Post a Comment