Doug Melvin has made it known that he'd like to add another solid set-up man to join Manny Parra, Carlos Villanueva, Chris Spurling, Brian Shouse, Grant Balfour and Matt Wise...or, more likely, to substitute for one (never mind that Elmer Dessens is starting his rehab stint in Nashville). Teams purportedly want two "major league ready" players for someone...do the Brewers have any that they can spare?
Yes...a few come to mind:
1. SP Chris Oxspring: 7-5. 3.56, 9.94 K/9, 1.39 WHIP...let's face it, the Brewers have 8 SP's ahead of him for next season and, at 30 years of age, he probably is reaching his peak.
2. RP Greg Aquino: 2-1, 3.47, 11.19 K/9, 1.20 WHIP, 29 years old. While it is always nice to have a reliever, Aquino is already the odd man out and, while a likely September call up, he doesn't seem to fit in the Brewers' long-term plans.
3. Starters Zach Jackson and Tim Dillard, plus starter-turned reliever Dennis Sarfate, are not likely to crack the Brewers' 2008 roster, either. Jackson is a lefty, and may be useful as a reliever if Joe Thatcher doesn't progress and if Brian Shouse signs elsewhere; Dillard and Sarfate are expendable.
Now some guys come to mind that might be worth a look at:
- The Nationals' Jon Rauch--although he turns 29 in September, his 1.04 WHIP and 7.46 K/9 this year in the majors are dominating...and he might have 1-2 years left of arbitration left, too. If eligible for arbitration in '08, he'd be in line to get at least $2.0 million, something that the Nationals' owners may prefer to spend elsewhere.
- Just about anyone in the Royals' bullpen. My favorite is Joakim Soria. He's a rookie, only 22, and has 51 K's to 15 BB's in 42.33 IP. He's likely off the board, so what about Joel Peralta? He's 31 years-old, 1-2, 3.75, with 51 K's to 13 BB's in 60.0 IP. There is also David Riske, lefty Jimmy Gobble, and Brandon Duckworth. If the Yankees don't make a play for 1-2 of these guys after seeing them this week, we can.
Sending Oxspring and Balfour to the Nationals for Rauch (okay, maybe another prospect, too), and then Tim Dillard and Dennis Sarfate for Joakim Soria, would give us two more viable options out of the pen. True, it would deplete all pitching talent at Nashville save Jackson, Thatcher, and Aquino, so maybe one deal or the other. Plus, if Oxspring could deal some losses to NL East opponents, that might help us come playoff time, either in reaching the wildcard or in seeding. Of course, if the Nationals deal Chad Cordero, or if the Royals trade Octavio Dotel, Rauch and Soria, respectively, are in line to be their team's respective closers. Doug needs to act fast.