MLB Rumors looks at Milwaukee's 2011 rotation:
- The Brewers made the 2008 playoffs thanks, in large part, to a rotation led by C.C. Sabathia and Ben Sheets. Yovani Gallardo has since established himself as a frontline starter, but the Brewers have struggled to surround him with equally capable arms. Barring injuries, the Cardinals and Reds will have strong rotations next year. Here’s how Milwaukee’s starting five will compare ...
If the Brewers entertain offers for Prince Fielder, as expected, they’ll presumably ask for big league-ready starters in return. Even if they trade Prince, they could have interest in re-signing a pitcher like Bush (he has turned in a solid season). Milwaukee has many question marks behind Yovani Gallardo and Wolf, so it would be a surprise if starting pitching is not at or near the top of Melvin’s offseason wish list once again.
The Brewers have more than enough starters they can use, including veterans Chris Capuano and Chris Narveson, and prospects Amaury Rivas and Mark Rogers. But it's hard to see them competing with the Cardinals and Reds absent some outside help.
Of course it was that kind of thinking that led to Randy Wolf's three-year, $30 million contract. And before that, Jeff Suppan's four-year, $42 million deal. If the Brewers can't afford one of the big boys, they probably shouldn't bother.
Which leaves the trade market. I do believe the Brewers should trade Prince Fielder, and I believe they should try to get a couple of hot young pitchers in return. But even if you get them, you can't count on them pitching well immediately. It seems to me that however management plays this thing, the target for 90 wins is probably 2012 or '13 rather than '11.
Update: This post is riddled with errors. I was in a hurry, and didn't check any number of "facts" that were, it turns out, not. Most egregiously, I named Josh Beckett and Tim Hudson as potential free agents, due to their appearance on an old list. But neither are free agents, as both signed long-term extensions since last season.
Thanks to everyone who pointed out my errors.