Just read that the Brewers DFA'd Bill Hall (w/$17.65 mm left on his contract after this year), demoted J. J. Hardy to AAA, and fired their pitching coach, Bill Castro. They also have Prince Fielder, who they won't be able to afford for very much longer, cry baby Ryan Braun, and not much pitching.
Brings to mind a good question. If you are not going to make the playoffs this year, whose team would you rather have? Try ranking them...
- The Cubs have a huge payroll w/too many large liabilties: Soriano, Zambrano, Dempster, Bradley, D. Lee, Fukedome, A Ramirez
- Reds are a mess! Can you believe they traded 2 young arms and EE for Scott Rolen?
- Astros? No minor league prospects plus an aging, overpaid payroll.
- Brewers as above plus no pitching beyond Gallardo
In these economic times, teams aren't going to be able to buy themselves out of their problems as they have in the past. I just don't see the Cubs or Astros recovering quickly. Even if the Cubs rally and win the division, they're getting old and have too many bad contracts to allow them to recover. The Astros have no chance to get over the stupid trades and FA contracts in the short term. The Reds are the Reds and will continue to be the Reds as we know them as long as Dusty is around.
I've got to believe that the Pirates are patterned well to be in the top half of the division as early as next year, and that they will contend an/or win the division in 2011. Young talent and payroll flexibility is the goal every front office hopes to reach, and the Bucs are getting close. Continual improvement from here on. And it will be nice if we reach the point that we do not hold a player back because of super two or free agent concerns, but bring them up when they are ready.
I think it's kind of ironic that we are called "the laughing stock" of baseball in some corners when it seems obvious that other teams in our division are much worse off than we are...