Posts Tagged ‘Brian Shouse’

RFB Offseason Roundtable - Free Agents?

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

This Week’s Topic: What non blue-chip free agents should the Brewers go after?

Tyler -

Free agency is a magical time where destinies are revised, teams once declared non-threats now lead the pack, and shirt jersey sales for a franchise’s newest member are comparable only to that of personalized No. 69 “Big Sexy” apparel. As a Brewer fan, one becomes accustomed to zooming past the flashy new products in store and, instead, sifting through the thrift store bargain bin for a misplaced Talking Heads record that is an affordable yet useful and even entertaining free agent tool.
To keep my picks shorter than my epic introduction, I’ll list a pitcher and a position player along with some benefits to Milwaukee acquiring their services.
Starting Pitchers:
Jon Garland – This 29-year-old would be a prime candidate to sign should Milwaukee want a long-term resolution to a lack of top of rotation-type hurlers on staff.
- He averages just below 32 starts a year… about 35 games/year.
- He’s coming off a not-so-hot 2008 so might be more of a bargain than initially expected.
- Career 4.47 E.R.A. (all in the American League).
Reserve:
Eric Hinske – I know I sound like a broken record with my odd adoration for Menasha’s (other) wunderkind. But with Craig Counsell’s (awesome) exit at least for the time being, a player like Hinske would be a versatile and effective piece for Milwaukee. The only hole in the starting lineup is third base which – if not addressed internally by moving Hardy or by a trade – won’t be given the relatively barren market at the position. Might as well fill in the bench.
- Left-handed bat with some pop (20 homers, 60 RBI in part time play last year).
- Not great numbers, but all obtained as a member of competitive AL East teams; I’d assume a slight j ump in numbers with a move to the NL.
- Can play decently (no worse than Hall or Fielder respectively) at either corner infield spot and legitimately well in the outfield.
- Flashes of speed for a guy his size… or plain good base running, call what got him 10 swipes in limited time last season what you will.
- Cheap. And with a possible return to the motherland, maybe even more affordable. He’s not a flashy choice, or even the best choice. But try to find better for the money along with the knowledge of exactly the production you’ll get.

What’d you want me to say, A.J. Burnett and Joe Crede? Unless by way of trade (which I see as likely), I don’t see Milwaukee making any splashes in free agency. Hunker down for a quiet winter in Brewland.

Jared -

As the Brewers look to fill holes this offseason, they’ll likely look at starting pitching, relief pitching, third base and the bench.


Third Base - The options at third base in free agency do not appear to be great and the team may end up handing the job to prospect Mat Gamel if they can’t find a third baseman via the trade market.

Starting Pitching - The starting pitching field is deeper in free agency, but expensive. The Brewers are likely to lose Ben Sheets and C.C. Sabathia. Getting a full season of Yovani Gallardo would help, but they could still use another arm. If they don’t work a trade, I think Jon Garland would be fairly inexpensive (compared to the top free agents) and could be a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter. A rotation of Gallardo, Parra, Garland, Bush and Suppan would not blow anyone away, but it would be relatively solid. I think they should also look to sign Chris Capuano to a minor-league deal so he can rehab and be an option a month or two into the season.

Relief Pitching - While there are a glut of closers available via trade or free agency, I don’t think the Brewers want to spend much in a swap or in a contract on a 9th-inning man so they may look for a closer internally. If they go with that approach, it would be smart to bring in some reliable bullpen arms. Brandon Lyon might be someone they look towards. He has been a fairly reliable bullpen option and even has some closing experience. They should also look to resign Brian Shouse as their lefty specialist.

The Bench - The Brewers need a utility infielder and may bring Craig Counsell back, but I think they should make a run at Mark Loretta first. Loretta might get an offer for a starting job and then he’s probably not coming to Milwaukee. Loretta is a valuable player off the bench because he can play first, second, third and shortstop and he puts up decent hitting numbers. He could probably count on hitting the field a lot in Milwaukee too since there are some question marks at second and third and he’d be the top option if Weeks, Hardy or whoever is playing third go down.
So, recapping, I’d say Garland, Lyon, Shouse and Loretta would be a good group of less costly vets to target to round out the team. They might not be flashy choices, but they’d help fill out depth on a young team.
Bryan -
With the Cubs making a push for Peavy and the Cardinals waving both Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick as trade pieces, the Brewers can’t afford to be completely dormant this offseason. Third base is a concern, but the free agent crop is very thin at third this offseason. I’d be alright with the Brewers giving Hall another shot while having Gamel in the background getting ready. I actually would like to see Nick Punto playing the role Craig Counsell has the past two years if the Brewers could get him. Hopefully Ray Durham can re-sign with the Brewers as well, providing veteran leadership and an insurance policy for Rickie Weeks.
I actually liked the scheme the Brewers took to their bullpen last season, which was aquiring veteran arms to one year deals. I thought Gagne was risky (not Riske), but when I saw that he was backed up by Mota, Riske, Shouse, and Torres, I felt much better. We now have Riske, Villa, and Stetter in the pen (with the possibility of McClung and others), but we need someone to close. This is why the Brewers need to get an offer out to Brandon Lyon. He’s young and has been a closer, but lost his job halfway through the year (much like Cordero). Hopefully the Brewers can re-sign Shouse to a deal, because he has been a great professional in Milwaukee and it’s always nice to have two lefties in the pen. Braden Looper is also an interesting option. He was a starter last year, but has relief and post season experience.
The Brewers also need one starting pitcher. I hope, like most of you, that Sabathia will take the Brewers offer, but that would be pure gravy and is not very likely. If they don’t land one of the biggest free agents in baseball this offseason, they shouldn’t feel helpless. Jon Garland would be a great addition. He’s a hard working pitcher that you can count on. However, I don’t think he’s coming. I actually would take Carl Pavano. I think New York had too much media and too many high standards that the Brewers could sign him to a one or two year deal. I know he may be considered blue chip, but it’s worth noting that there has been an eerie silence on the Ben Sheets front as well, which makes me think that they could possibly bring him back as a starter or closer, but that’s still about as likely as landing Sabathia albeit slightly more likely in my opinion. No matter what happens in free agency, the Brewers shouldn’t feel the need to bring in a long term contract which effectively makes any free agent acquisition less of a risk.
For those of you keeping track at home, that’s 3 for 3 for Jon Garland, a mention of former Brewer Mark Loretta, but no mention of former Brewer Glendon Rusch. Anyone else wanna throw some mac and cheese on the hot stove?

Brian “Pat Neshek Sr.” Shouse Avoids Arbitration!

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

Brian Shouse


The Brewers have avoided arbitration with left handed reliever Brian Shouse. Shouse is to make 2 million dollars with a chance to add an extra $200,000 in bonuses. That’s some good money for the old man and he completely deserves it. The Brewers only have four arbitration eligible players left to sign: Hardy, Capuano, Vargas, and Bush.

Brian Shouse: Hero?

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Terminator Shouse


A mixture of Brewers obsession and having way too much time lead me the Web site for The Brian Shouse Fan Club, a light-hearted tribute to everyone’s favorite situational lefty. The site, too, seems to be founded on the principles of, well, Brewers obsession and having way too much time. It’s basically just funny Shouse-related photoshops. Take a look.


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