Thursday, December 3, 2009

Should the Brewers Sign Randy Wolf?

Are the Brewers and Randy Wolf a possible match? It looks like GM Doug Melvin has his sights set on the Dodgers left hander:
"It's probably not likely that the Dodgers would be active in the bidding for Wolf after not offering him arbitration but you never know. Not surprisingly, Wolf says he thinks he has earned a multi-year deal after a nice season with the Dodgers (11-7, 3.23 ERA).

Wolf also says he is being courted by several teams, including a couple that have been "aggressive." Though Brewers GM Doug Melvin has kept his plans secret in his search for pitching, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if Milwaukee is one of those aggressive teams. It's my understanding that Wolf is high on the list of pitchers the Brewers are showing interest in."
While it would be a big splash for the Brewers to bring in Wolf, you have to ask yourself just how much better the Brewers would be with Randy Wolf in the fold. Sure Wolf had a fantastic 2009 season with the Dodgers, but his career ERA is 4.13 and historically he is much more of a middle of the rotation starter than a front line starter. Before 2009, the last time Randy Wolf's ERA was below 4 was 2002.

It's not that Wolf would not help the Brewers starting rotation in 2010. The Brewers starting staff was one of the worst in the National League and this team needs as many quality starting pitchers as they can possibly get. Wolf would certainly be an upgrade over a majority of the starting pitchers they have right now.

But the problem for the Brewers is that in order to bring Wolf on board, the Brewers would have to pay Wolf like a top of the line starting pitcher ($10 million or so annually). What are the odds that Randy Wolf will be able to duplicate his 2009 performance? Given his past history, I'd say that the odds are higher that Wolf's ERA will be much closer to 4 than 3.23. In addition, Wolf's BABIP last season was an amazing .257, which suggests that when the ball was put in play, Wolf was extremely lucky in getting batters out. Chances are that Wolf will not be able to repeat this performance in 2010.

With the Brewers payroll hovering around $80 million in 2010, I can't justify the Brewers spending 1/8th of that on Randy Wolf when there are better options with less risk on the free agent market. Also, because the Dodgers did not offer Randy Wolf arbitration, I would expect the market for Wolf to heat up and bigger market clubs will be less hesitant to offer Wolf the big bucks. I can't help but think that if the Brewers commit three or four years to Randy Wolf, that this deal could turn into Jeff Suppan 2.0.

The way I see it there is far too much risk involved here for the Brewers to get seriously involved in the Wolf bidding unless somehow Wolf's price tag comes down to the $7-$9 million dollar range, which probably won't happen.

******Does it make sense for the Brewers to go after Randy Wolf?*********

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