New catcher?

Posted by Steve

The good news is that it appears Johnny Estrada is on his way out of town. The bad news is they didn’t really improve at catcher, at least not very much. TH reports that the Brewers are on the verge of signing Jason Kendall to be the starting catcher. Kendall had an awful year offensively and was only better than our own Johnny Estrada at throwing out base-stealers.

On the other hand, Estrada may be my least-favorite Brewer ever, and Kendall is pretty much his opposite. Estrada never saw a pitch he didn’t want to lunge at; Kendall takes a lot of pitches. Estrada is lazy; Kendall hustles (not that I care too much about this… Craig Counsell hustles too and he’s bad). Estrada’s game-calling has been questioned; Kendall has a reputation as a good pitch-caller. Estrada’s attitude is questionable; Kendall is supposed to be a good clubhouse guy.

At the same time, I’m not going to pretend like I didn’t make fun of the Cubs for trading for him last season (although that was mainly because of his contract; he made 12 mil last season). I’ll be pretty grossed out if he makes much more than $4 mil a year. This really says that the Brewers want to get rid of Johnny Estrada and they don’t care who replaces him, and that’s something I can get on board with, but I would have liked to see a bigger upgrade for the money they’ll likely be paying Kendall.

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Other things of note:

  • Jimmy Rollins wins the MVP. Not a terrible choice, but other players were more deserving. Namely Hanley Ramirez (.948 OPS at SS!), Chipper Jones, Chase Utley (probably front-runner if he wasn’t injured) and Miguel Cabrera. At least Matt Holliday and his .860 road OPS didn’t win). Prince took third, which is kind of cool too.
  • The latest hot rumor at brewerfan has Ben Sheets going to Atlanta. According to a poster there, his source (take that at face value) says the Braves offered Jeff Francoeur and Rafael Soriano and that Melvin declined. The source then said that the deal was expanded to Sheets, Hall, prospect for Francoeur, Soriano, Kelly Johnson, Blaine Boyer, prospect and that the teams will further discuss this deal at the Winter Meetings. Now Ben Sheets is my favorite player, but if that deal is on the table the Brewers probably need to take it. Their offense would be the best in the NL. I’m actually skeptical that the Braves would give up a great reliever and two good young hitters in that deal, so who knows.
  • Speaking of the Winter Meetings, for those who don’t know, I’m going down to Nashville to attend the job fair. I’m not really sure what I’ll see/hear, but I’ll bring my laptop to give any cool updates.
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2 responses to “New catcher?

  1. hanley had a great year, but the marlins were terrible. i agree that the award should go a player on a team that was at the very least on a late late season contender or playoff team.

    as far as the kendell signing, who else was out there? i don’t know every free agent catcher out there but i can only assume that there weren’t many good ones.

  2. Yorvit Torrealba is a free agent, but he’ll command more money/years than Kendall and really isn’t that good either. Lo Duca is also available but wants a lot of money. Considering they didn’t have to give up any players to get him (a trade, in other words) they probably did alright for themselves.

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