The Milwaukee Brewers have seven guaranteed contracts purchased for the 2013 MLB season plus the few players who are arbitration eligible that the team will bring back next year. With all of the extra money the Brewers will have, it would certainly be wise for the team to spend it on pitching.
The following are the seven guaranteed contracts:
Ryan Braun: $135.5 million through 2020; $11.2 million in 2013
Aramis Ramirez: $30 million through 2014; $10 million in 2013
Rickie Weeks: $23 million through 2014; $11 million in 2013
Yovani Gallardo: $19.5 million through 2014; $8 million in 2013
Jonathan Lucroy: $10.5 million through 2016; $850,000 in 2013
Corey Hart: $10.3 million through 2013
Norichika Aoki: $1.5 million through 2013
As you can see, the Brewers have $52.85 million in guaranteed expenses. That may seem like a lot for seven players, but the money also covers every position, including Milwaukee’s ace, except for shortstop and center field. Not to mention, the Brewers had the No. 1 ranked offense in the National League last season and this money covers the top offensive producers on the team.
The following are the four arbitration eligible players Milwaukee will sign (all salaries are estimated):
Carlos Gomez: $3.4 million
John Axford: $5.1 million
Marco Estrada: $1.6 million
Chris Narveson: $800,000
With the estimated contracts added to the guaranteed money, the Brewers will spend approximately $63.75 million. Shortstop Jean Segura is the only position player that needs to sign and that will be for a minimum contract considering 2012 was his first action in the majors. The Brewers will also have three starting pitchers taken care of or two starting pitchers and a reliever depending on how the team uses Estrada.
Milwaukee had the 10th highest total payroll in all of baseball in 2012 with a $97,653,944 salary. General Manager Doug Melvin and owner Mark Attanasio have already stated they would like to see that number come down in 2013. However, if the Brewers are able to land a top free agent such as Zack Greinke or Josh Hamilton I am sure both men would make an exception.
Regardless, the team has roughly $30 million to spend on starting pitching and relievers. Milwaukee would like nothing more than to build within the system, as Melvin believes the organization has very talented pitchers in the minors. It would make sense for Milwaukee to give minimum contracts to young pitchers to fill their rotation and bullpen needs, while spending big money on a proven free agent pitcher.
The good news is the Brewers are in a great financial position for 2013 with plenty of money to make the necessary arrangements to improve the team’s Achilles heel this past year. If the offense can put up similar numbers and the pitching can find a way to improve drastically, then Milwaukee will certainly be a top contender next season.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.