Tuesday, December 1, 2009


The Brewers are not offering salary arbitration to Mike Cameron, Jason Kendall, Felipe Lopez, Braden Looper, and David Weathers.  There are a lot of angry comments around the blog world - especially about Lopez who many think could have played a key role.  You know what I think?  So what...?

I'm always amazed at this time of year (and other times, but this time especially) how people pay so much attention to what are marginal, replaceable players.  This group of players wasn't going to make a difference of more than 1 or 2 games at most next year - and maybe not even in the positive direction.

The players who are going to determine the success or failure of the Brewers in 2010 are Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Alcides Escobar, Rickie Weeks, Yovanni Gallardo, Manny Parra, Trevor Hoffman, and the top free agent starting pitcher they sign.  The rest are mainly interchangeable parts.  I hate to be so blunt, but it's true.  No team ever won a championship because of their utility infielder.


Kyle Lobner said...

With all due respect, I think you're missing the point.

For one, I'm not upset over the decision to not offer arbitration to all five players: Not offering it to Looper, Kendall and Weathers was the right move.

Furthermore, I don't think most of the angry commenters (at BCB, at least), expected Cameron or Lopez to accept arbitration or become key contributors to the 2010 Brewers. Both likely have more value than they would have received and neither had a full time role available. We expected both to decline.

By denying them the opportunity to decline, Doug Melvin has cost himself two picks in the top 60 in the 2010 draft. The decision not to make an offer to Cameron and Lopez won't impact the 2010 team, but it does remove two potential prospects from the farm system, and for a team that's supposed to be building from within, those are assets that didn't need to be thrown away.

Scott Segrin said...

I completely understand your point KL. Mine is that if Cameron and Lopez accept arbitration - an extremely real possibility in the current economic environment - you are stuck with two overpaid and marginally useful players and don't get the draft picks anyway. The risk is far worse than the reward is beneficial. With the money saved by not signing Cameron and Lopez, the Brewers can obtain two players who are better than the expected future value of the two supplemental picks.

Scott Segrin said...

...one other thought.

For years, most fans failed to see the value of draft picks. Some of Bill James's studies in the late 80's started to open many people's eyes to their value. The whole Moneyball thing further accelerated it.

But now, I think the pendulum is swinging too far the other way. The reality is that the median expected value you are going to get from any draft pick is zero. That is, fewer than half will ever play a game in the Majors.

I think it's far more important who you draft than how many you draft. I'll take five picks from a scouting team that knows what they're doing over fifteen from one that has no clue.

David said...

I'd take fewer picks from a good scouting dept than many from a bad one, but regardless of how I felt about the scouting dept I'd want as many picks as possible. Besides, the overvalued arg works for Cameron, but whats the real downside to having Felipe Lopez on the team for $5 million next year? Especially considering the risk: he was coming off a career year and needs to get his multiyear deal done now. And hes a Scott Boras client! They never accept arby

Scott Segrin said...

Felipe Lopez has played for five different teams in the last four years. When I see that, I think that there may be something about him that you wouldn't want him around - even for $5 mil.

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