The Brewers didn’t waste much time replacing Johnny Estrada because as expected, they signed Jason Kendall to a one year for an unspecified amount. Kendall is a career .297 hitter but his time with Oakland last year was pretty rough (he hit just .226). He picked things up just a bit when he was traded to the Cubs but it was his fourth straight season in which he hit three homers or fewer so you’re not going to get a lot of punch.
Kendall is a nice contact hitter though. He has just 538 career strikeouts in 6,225 at bats and that’s compared to 588 walks. I’d put more stock in his career .375 OBP but he hasn’t touched that mark since 2004 when he was with the Pirates. Still, this is a nice, low risk acquisition that should give the Brewers an upgrade behind the plate.
The Brewers hopefully shored up their bullpen with the acquisition of Guillermo Mota from the Mets. In exchange, the Brewers gave up journeyman catcher Johnny Estrada. It’s unclear how much the dugout incident back in August had to do with the deal but Estrada had a good but not great year. His defense was lacking and he had a tough time throwing out runners but he hit .278 with ten homers. In 2006, he hit an impressive .302 and he drove in 71 runs but it looks like the Brewers are looking to sign Jason Kendall, who’s had a rough couple of years. Still, Kendall brings a patient bat to the lineup and I think he’d work out fine, at the right price of course.
Mota went from hero to goat in one season with the Mets. After picking him up in 2006, Mota pitched very well but he fell apart last season and was one of the guys blamed for the Mets late season collapse. Still, he has nine years under his belt and he’s struck out more then twice as many guys as he’s walked so his upside would be a solid set up man in the event the Brewers re-sign Francisco Cordero.
This was a lot closer then it should have been but Ryan Braun edged Troy Tulowitzki by just two points in the closest NL ROY race ever. One guy actually voted Braun third which is a big of a travesty. Anyway Braun blasted 34 homeruns and he didn’t even play the entire season. Man, having Braun and Prince Fielder in the same lineup is going to be huge and it wouldn’t surprise me if both guys hit 50 homers in the same season.
Of course it’s the defense that’s holding Braun back. He made 26 errors last year but if he belts 50 homers, I can live with it.
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