Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Brewers Paying Players Twins Didn't Want

We're a week from Opening Day.

Actually, it's less than that.

So I'm going to throw a few baseball thoughts out there.

First off, over the course of spring training, the Brewers have now guaranteed $61 million to two former Twins. Carlos Gomez signed a three-year extension worth $24 million on top of a $4 million deal he already got for this season. Go-Go struggled to hit consistently in Minnesota. Well, he also did in Milwaukee, but he seemed to pick things up last season, hitting .260 and showing flashes of 30/30 type ability. But $28 million for four years?

Before I felt I had that deal totally figured out, here comes Kyle Lohse. The former Twins starter got $33 million over three years on Monday.

That's how bad the Brewers rotation looks. They signed their No. 2 or No. 3 -- depending on how you feel about Marco Estrada -- with a week left in spring training. And guaranteed him $11 million per season.

Oh, and the Brewers also surrendered their first-round pick in the June draft to sign Lohse.

As a Brewer fan, I really hope this works out. But the Twins haven't exactly been known for dumping loads of good players in the past. Gomez and Lohse are both guys the Twins decided they didn't need around anymore.

Gomez is a lot of fun to watch, especially in center field. He doesn't always take the best angles on the ball, but he's so fast that his recovery can be as entertaining as anyone else.

Lohse had a bad clubhouse rep in Minnesota. Never heard "boo" about him in St. Louis, but that is a different culture there. It'll be interesting to see if that "surrender No. 1 pick" issue is the biggest reason Lohse couldn't get a gig all winter, or if there is more to it than just that and money. If Lohse is on, as evidenced by his 16 wins and sub-3.00 ERA last season, he is certainly a very effective arm at the top of a rotation.

Of course, the last time the Brewers plucked a pitcher straight out of the Cardinals' rotation, it was Braden Looper. He gave up 39 home runs for the Brewers in 2009, and the team wasn't very good because he and Jeff Suppan drug the whole pitching staff down.

(In fact, Looper and Suppan, BOTH FORMER CARDINALS, combined to throw around 355 innings in 2009 for Milwaukee. 426 hits, 138 walks, and 64 home runs later, the Brewers had sufficiently wasted amazing seasons from both Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun. 80-82. Thanks, management.)

Anyway, that's $61 million the Twins didn't want to spend. Given Minnesota's issues at positions not occupied by Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Josh Willingham, it's up to you whether the Twins got the better end of losing Gomez and Lohse.

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