The Sports Daily > The Brewers Bar
Bring on the Minor-League Deals


(Bobby Crosby is invited.  Who else needs something to do in February and March?)

Who says the fans of teams signing major-league free agents have all the fun?  Some free-agent starting pitchers have agreed to minor-league deals this offseason (Erik Bedard, Jeremy Bonderman, Rich Harden, Armando Galarraga, Aaron Cook, Scott Kazmir and others) and hopefully the Brewers can dumpster-dive for whatever scraps are left available as January turns into February.  If the Brewers are truly as cash-strapped as Tom Haudricourt says, they should look in the bargain bin while there are a few players who could be interesting additions.  For the Brewers, it may not even be the bargain bin in the back of the room but still on the main floor.  They may have to accept the bargain basement, where you have to climb down some rickety wooden stairs into the hidden area where items are scratched and dented.  The team signed bench candidate Bobby Crosby, 33, to a minors deal Tuesday, and should continue to keep their eyes open for no-risk, low-to-medium-reward deals with invites to spring training.  Veteran infielder Crosby may do nothing more than help out in a WBC-afflicted spring-training camp, but his signing certainly falls into the ‘Why Not?!’ category.  Here is the surprisingly meaty list of available free-agent starting pitchers on January 22, courtesy of MLBTR:

Dallas Braden (29)
Freddy Garcia (37)
Jair Jurrjens (27)
Kyle Lohse (34) – declined qualifying offer
Derek Lowe (40)
Shaun Marcum (31)
Daisuke Matsuzaka (32)
Kevin Millwood (38)
Dustin Moseley (31)
Jamie Moyer (50)
Roy Oswalt (35)
Carl Pavano (37)
Jonathan Sanchez (30)
Joe Saunders (32)
Tim Stauffer (31)
Chien-Ming Wang (33)
Kip Wells (36)
Randy Wolf (36)
Chris Young (34)
Carlos Zambrano (32)

Certainly, some of these pitchers aren’t candidates for the Brewers (Lohse, Marcum, Moyer, Oswalt, Wolf) for obvious reasons.  But still, even as the best options for a starting pitcher on a minors deal have probably already evaporated, the Brewers could possibly grab one of these guys as an extra option in camp who just might impress enough to get a major-league-minimum contract and provide some middle-of-the-rotation innings consumption for the Crew.  Plus, minors deals are even cheaper than signing a guy for, say, $1-2MM.  So that should be right in line with how the Brewers are doing business these days.  Why buy new when very used will do?