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Brewers to Kendall: Take a Pay Cut or Take a Hike

Short of the Brewers somehow landing an ace pitcher this offseason, this may be the best news we get for awhile.

Just a few hours ago, Tom Haudricourt tweeted that the Brewers have been talking to Jason Kendall’s agent, Arn Tellem, and recently told him the obvious — the team can’t afford to bring Kendall back at the $5 million salary he’s apparently looking for.

Kendall hit .241/.331/.305 in 2009, and saw a significant decline in his defensive effectiveness…his caught stealing percentage dropped from 43% in 2008 to a pitiful 20% this past season. I don’t have much faith in the idea of “catcher ERA,” but for a guy who supposedly calls a good game behind the plate, his pitching staff sure didn’t fare well — Kendall ended up with a catcher ERA of 4.94 this year, over one run higher than last year’s mark of 3.83. Manny Parra seemed to have an issue with Kendall’s pitch selection, and Dave Bush was routinely paired with Mike Rivera in the past.

With Jonathan Lucroy tearing up the Arizona Fall League and Doug Melvin throwing hints out there that he might be willing to see what the youngster can do at the big league level next season, it’s entirely possible that we’ve seen the last of Jason Kendall. Even if Lucroy struggles to adjust to major league pitching, could he really be any worse offensively than Kendall was the past couple seasons?