Let me start this post out saying this. Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, hey, hey, hey gooodbyyye! So long to Jason Kendall and his wet paper towel of a bat. No more of our catcher having a .305 SLG%. I will give it to Kendall, he was dynamite on defense in 2008 which really helped in our push to our first postseason appearance in 26 years. But in 2009, his bat like it has been for sometime now was anemic and his defense took a MAJOR step back. I wonder how hard Doug Melvin laughed in his face when Kendall's agent said he wanted to make $5 mill again in 2010? Probably as hard as Jerry Seinfeld laughed at Marty Funkhouser's joke in episode #9 of "Curb" this season.
Now that I got my Kendall bashing out of the way let me say I love the move to sign Gregg Zaun to be the starting catcher for the Brewers in 2010, how can you not? The guy has his own website www.greggzaun.com that plays Rush's "Limelight" before you enter the homepage. 1 year deal worth $1.9 mill with a second year club option. Zaun is a solid vet who has in my opinion been a pretty underrated catcher for quite a few years. While Zaun is certainly no Joe Mauer or Brian McCann, he is a switch hitting catcher who does a good job of getting on base (.345 OBP in 09') and can actually hit for a little power (8 HR/.416 SLG in 09'). He also does a decent job throwing runners out and is one of the best at blocking balls in the dirt. Kendall struggled MIGHTILY in both those categories in 2009. While I would have been okay with the Brewers letting prospect Jonathan Lucroy take over as the starting catcher in 2010, this is probably better for the club. Now you can give Lucroy a whole season at AAA to further develop his game before becoming the starting catcher in 2011.
The Brewers also still have Angel Salome down in AAA, recently signed off waivers George Kottares and arbitration eligible Mike Rivera. My guess is that Salome is traded in some package for pitching, Kottares wins the backup job and Rivera is non-tendered. Nice to see Doug make a good signing for a need of the team early in free agency this season to get the ball rolling. Hopefully during the winter meetings next week he can start getting the pitching help we need to really contend in 2010.