With the trade of Zack Greinke the guys over at Broken Bat Single brought up an interesting topic on their latest podcast this week. Which organization would you rather own or be a fan of currently, the Brewers or Royals? Talk about completely different ways to try to succeed.
The Players- The Brewers are loaded with young and talented major league talent. On youth and talent alone the Brewers are probably unrivaled positionally in the majors but with youth and talent comes longterm contract issues and they appear to have a small window of opportunity that they are looking through currently.
Ryan Braun - 4.3 WAR Outfielder who is 27 years old and signed thru 2015 for $45M contract Braun appears to be the face of the franchise. Braun has averaged 31 HRs and a .897 OPS for 3 years and definitely doesn't appear to be slowing down.
Yovani Gallardo - 24 year old who is looking up and has gotten better each of his last 3 full seasons in the majors, Yovani is signed thru 2014 for 30.1M w/option for 2015 . For everything that the Brewers hope Greinke will be Gallardo might also be headed in that same direction if he can stay healthy for a full season. If you don't have Gallardo already in your fantasy league you might want to grab him up as he put up a 4.6 WAR with a career high BABIP against of .340.
Corey Hart - Signed thru 2013 Hart has been an up and down player posting a 4.3 WAR in 2007 followed by a 1.8 combined WAR in the '08-09 campaigns. Hart's defense appears to be on the downswing but he refound his powerstroke in 2010 posting a similar ISO rate as his best seaso in 2007 leading to his 2010 All Star campaign.
Randy Wolf - Wolf is signed thru 2013 which is either good or bad for the franchise after his white buffalo 2010 type season of 200+ IP and a 0.7 WAR season. Wolf's performance previous to 2010 had been rebounding season after season eventually reaching 3.1 in 2009. Randy is a inning eating lefthander owed 19M over the next two seasons with a club option for 10M in 2013 who if nothing more can be counted on to go out every 5th day and throw 200 innings like he has in 5 previous seasons.
On the Way out
Prince Fielder - Mashing lefthanded first baseman and potentially the biggest offseason position target in the next Free Agent class Fielder is a Boras client and doesn't appear eager to sign a contract extension. Fielder has averaged 37 Hrs per season the last 3 years and is definitely a key cog to their one year run at a title. If things go badly this season Fielder could be traded at the deadline to reload the farm system.
Rickie Weeks - Another piece to the 2011 puzzle Weeks like Fielder doesn't appear to be wanting a longterm contract with the BrewCrew after putting up a career year in 2010. Weeks also like Fielder could be moved if he puts up similar numbers to '10 at the deadline for prospects if they are out of the race.
Possible Longterm Candidates
If things go well in 2011 the Brewers have a few building pieces that they could look to extend in Greinke, Shawn Marcum, John Axford and Casey McGehee to remain relevent longterm.
In the words of the late great Lesley Nielsen Nothing to see here. After the trade with the Royals the Brewers appear to have the worst ranked farm system in the majors and their top prospect according to Baseball Prospectus is Mark Rogers and even he is only rated as a 3 Star prospect. The farm system could be replenished as early as this season if they fall out of the race by dealing any of Fielder, Weeks, Greinke or Marcum.
Doug Melvin GM- Prior to the Marcum and Greinke trades I didn't consider Melvin much of a GM but I doubt one could consider him any worse or better than GMDM.
The Brewers team and organization is definitely built for a run at the championship in 2011. If it doesn't workout lots of trade deadline deals and familiar faces should be traded to try and reload an otherwise barren farm system or replace talent that is going to leave via Free Agency. Braun and Gallardo are definitely great building blocks to start from but with the Cardinals and a young, talented Reds team in their division they are more than likely not enough to reach the playoffs.
The players - Again nothing to see here the Royals have little to watch in 2011 and are built only for 2012 and beyond. Technically they only owe a few buyouts and Aaron Crow money in 2012 and could do a whole roster overhaul next year.
Joakim Soria- That's it that's the list and his seasons remaining after 2011 are option season so if he happens to blowout his arm he can be tossed as well.
On the Way Out
Jason Kendall- Heading towards retirement.
Possible Longterm Candidates
Billy Butler- The only player really in this possible field of players and as a 1b/DH under team control for the next 3 seasons following 2011 it's a coin toss whether something would or could get done.
Possibly the best Farm system ever compiled.
Dayton Moore- Below grade performance level prior to the 2010 season unless his evaluations and strategy change in 2010 and beyond he could be the one true achilles heel to The Process.
This organization is built as Dayton always says for waves of talent for 2013 and beyond. With prospects comes risk though and if the prospects are failures KC could continue their years of terrible play or perhaps just never reach their peak.
Which organization would you rather have?