Pretty good day if you are a member of the Brewers organization or one of their fans. Today at the Winter Meetings in Indy, Doug Melvin worked out two deals to help bolster the Brewers pitching. A 3 year $29.75 mill deal with SP Randy Wolf and a 2 year $7.5 mill deal with RP LaTroy Hawkins. The Wolf deal had been speculated for a few days now and was clearly Melvin's number one target this offseason. The Hawkins rumors started today and before you knew it a deal was done. Both pitchers are coming off fantastic 2009 seasons. For the Dodgers Wolf was 11-7 with a 3.23 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and struck out 160 in 214 IP. Hawkins while pitching for the Astros was 1-4, 11 saves with a 2.13 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and struck out 45 in 63 IP.
Both players are a little older Wolf being 33 and Hawkins 36. So that might be a little worrisome. But overall I like both signings. In my opinion and many others Wolf was probably the second best SP on the market behind John Lackey (you could make a case for Harden, Sheets or Bedard but there are health issues there), he is coming off back-to-back seasons where he was stellar and made 30+ starts. While he is somewhat of a finesse pitcher who gets a lot of fly balls, he can strike guys out which is something Brewers pitcher other then Gallardo didn't do much of in 2009. While he is not quite the #2 we wanted behind Gallardo, he is a damn good #3, better then anyone else we had in 2009 other then Gallardo. Some people want to say this was a "Suppan Deal", I don't look at it that way. Wolf is a far better pitcher then Suppan and we signed him for less years and money (there is a 4th year club option). In this day and age you have to somewhat overpay for pitching because there just is not that much good pitching out there. And with as bad as the Brewers rotation was in 2009, Doug Melvin had to do something and is probably not done as far as starting pitching is concerned.
As for Hawkins, he should fit in perfectly as a setup man for Trevor Hoffman and during the course of the year and can serve as a closer if Hoffman needs a rest or God forbid Hoffman spends anytime on the DL. Right now as it stand with Hoffman as our closer I like how the pen shapes up in front of him with Hawkins, Vargas (deal is close as reported today by McCalvy and Haudricourt), Coffey and Stetter. OF course a few spots will be up for grabs between Villanueva, Smith, Narveson, etc. All in all a successful start to the offseason in my eyes with the trade of Hardy for Gomez and now the signings of Zaun, Wolf and Hawkins. Now lets go get another starter and lock up Counsell to be our utility infielder. Do it Doug!