Posted by Steve
The Brewers moved quickly to sign their first free agent, catcher Gregg Zaun. He was signed for $2.15 million with a club option for 2011. Zaun’s signing means the end of Jason Kendall’s run in Milwaukee. Zaun should be more than a minor offensive upgrade from Kendall. Over the last three years, Zaun has had an OPS above .750 in part time work. Nothing Earth-shattering, but he’s got a pretty nice eye at the plate and has more pop than Kendall. Reports on his defense are that he’s well short of elite, but then again, Kendall was last year as well. No word on exactly how much grit the Brewers lose in going from Kendall to Zaun.
This is somewhat of a strange signing, though for $2 million it’s not anything too risky. He’ll be better than Kendall, but so would a couple other players they already had. I just figured the Brewers had enough catching depth between Jonathan Lucroy, George Kottaras, Mike Rivera and even Angel Salome. I imagine this is a good indication that the Brewers will not start the season with Lucroy on the MLB team, as Doug Melvin was recently considering. I’m also guessing this means the end of Mike Rivera. Rivera did a nice job in a very small role in 2008, but the shine wore off his bat in 2009. He’s arbitration eligible for the first time, and I’m guessing with this signing the Brewers won’t want to pay it. My guess is that they start the year with Zaun and Kottaras as the backup, with Lucroy getting called up a few months into the season.
And in case any of you fans wanted to get to know the Brewers’ new starting catcher, here’s the link to Gregg Zaun’s official web site. I’m begging you, please do not skip the intro. Maybe you even want to join Zaunbie Nation. If his walk-up is Z-tunes Track Number One, I’m on board with this signing.