Jean Segura and Determining the 2013 Plan | Disciples of Uecker

Disciples of Uecker

We'd like to go to the Playoffs, that would be cool.

Consider, for a moment, the list of shortstops who will become free agents after the season:

Jason Bartlett (33) – $5.5MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout; vests with 432 PAs in 2012
Yuniesky Betancourt (31)
Geoff Blum (39)
Ronny Cedeno (30)
Stephen Drew (30) – $10MM mutual option with a $1.35MM buyout
Alex Gonzalez (35) – vesting option
Cesar Izturis (33)
Jhonny Peralta (31) – $6MM club option with a $500K buyout
Marco Scutaro (37)
Miguel Tejada (39)
Ryan Theriot (33)
Omar Vizquel (46)
Jack Wilson (35)

This is why the Brewers dealt Zack Greinke for an Angels package centered around Jean Segura. And this is why Jean Segura started Monday night at Miller Park.

The Brewers are at something of a crossroads right now. At 48-59, the Brewers have no chance of contention in 2012, but the offense and starting pitching have been above average despite a rash of injuries. The club could have a major influx of talent from the minor leagues in 2013 — beyond Segura, there’s Wily Peralta and Tyler Thornburg and possibly a full season of Michael Fiers to put around the Brewers’ solid core.

Chances are, contention in 2013 rests on getting production from everywhere in the lineup. This season, Brewers shortstops have produced just a .222/.280/.351 line (70 wRC+) at the plate, a slight step down from Yuniesky Betancourt’s .252/.271/.381 (72 wRC+) performance last season. Milwaukee managed without a competent shortstop in 2011 because of the presence of sheer star power — players like Prince Fielder and Zack Greinke to go along with the core in place more than compensated for Betancourt’s struggles.

There is no Prince Fielder equivalent on the free agent market next year, and even if there was, he wouldn’t be coming to Milwaukee. The Brewers may be able to make a play on the starting pitching market; they only have $52.4 million committed for 2013 and few major arbitration raises due. But even that free agent list is uninspiring. Unless Greinke wants to come back to Milwaukee, the best options are the Francisco Lirianos, Brandon McCarthys and Jake Peavys of the world — good pitchers, but not superstars nor aces.

And so the Brewers need to figure out shortstop for 2013. Is Segura the answer? Can he play the position well enough at the major league level? Perhaps the entire offseason plan doesn’t depend on what Segura can offer in 2013, but a big piece of it does. A ready Segura would be an important piece on a club that might have $30 million more to spend on fixable parts — the bullpen, most notably, and perhaps another starting pitcher or reserve infielder.

If not, it might be back to the drawing board, at least for now. Would it be prudent to try and deal Rickie Weeks? What about Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez? All three appear to have plenty left to contribute (note this week’s comment in the ESPN Power Rankings), but trades could set the Brewers up well for 2014 or 2015 if the requisite talent isn’t on hand yet next season.

Either way, to make this decision will require information. Information that just won’t be gleaned from another 150 plate appearances down in Double-A or Triple-A. The Brewers need to know what they have to figure out the next step, and that means Segura spends the next two months in Milwaukee.

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Comments

Tell us what do you think.

  1. Bryan Wolf says: August 7, 2012

    Is it at all possible they bring back Gonzalez at SS as a safety net for Segura, where he could be their utility backup if the kid hits. Would save them from having to carry another INF like Ransom. Gamel, Hart at 1st, Aoki, Gomez, Braun and one of the farm kids as backup OF, lucroy and maldonado. Could give them space to have an extra arm in the pen, and with the way this season went, that might not be a bad thing.

  2. Nels says: August 7, 2012

    I would love to see Khris Davis up as well. I’m not sure where he would fit though. I like our outfield a lot. Especially if Carlos is finally coming around, but that’s a big if I guess. Though he has improved noticeably over the last couple of years.

  3. Doug says: August 7, 2012

    One thing that Segura will provide at SS is cost certainty for the next 5 to seven seasons. This year the Brewers are paying about $7.25 million for the SS position ($5 million to Gonzalez, $1 million for Izturis and $1million buyout of Bentancourt option) for sub replacement level production. That is a cost that a mid market team like the Brewers simply cannot afford.

  4. Brad says: August 7, 2012

    Wouldn’t it be nice to see Ben Sheets back in a Brewer uniform next year

    • Tom says: August 12, 2012

      No.

  5. Luke says: August 7, 2012

    The rotation will certainly have to get better if the Brewers have even a glimmer of hope for contention, starters have performed well this season, but with Gallardo as the only known quantity going into next year, they’re in trouble. If Fiers and Estrada can replace the effectiveness of Wolf/Marcum then that’s a great start, but a FA signing is necessary if they want stability. McCarthy or Liriano or both could fit nicely into this rotation, put Estrada in the pen and see if Peralta or Rogers will step up and take the 5th spot. Not to mention the other FA such as Dempster, Anibal Sanchez, Ervin Santana (assuming the Angels decline $13M option), Lohse, Sheets, Lewis. The FA SP crop is full of guys that the Brewers can afford, and have some decent upside.

    • Cecil Cooper's Love Child says: August 7, 2012

      Kyle Lohse FTW! At least, we wouldn’t have to face again….and the Redbird fans would lose their minds.

      • Luke says: August 7, 2012

        Haha, of course the moment the Brewers sign him he’ll post a 5+ ERA and lose all of his ability to generate weak contact. I’d give McCarthy a shot, and Liriano at the right price. Gallardo, McCarthy, Liriano, Fiers, Estrada/Rogers/Peralta. I could live with that.

        • KRIS says: August 8, 2012

          Don’t sign Liriano that’s a horrible idea….

          A rotation of Gallardo, Estrada, Fiers, Narveson, and one of Peralta/Jungman/Thornburg would be a decent rotation. The bullpen is what needs to be revamped.

          • Luke says: August 8, 2012

            Signing Liriano is a horrible idea but bringing up Jungmann from advanced A ball to the majors is a good one? Or how about a rotation where only two guys have started more than 30 major league game and one of them, who wasn’t even very good to begin with, is coming off major surgery….

  6. Ron says: August 8, 2012

    How about the possibility of trading Weeks? Bring up Gennet to man 2nd, let Gennet and Segura play together this is your infield of future anyways, would not let Ramierez go, fields 3rd quite well, slow starter but under team control and has power. Hart seems to be your 1st baseman, T-plush is gone, bring up Shaeffer or Davis for outfield, might be banking too much on pitching youth in minors, Peralta is iffy at best not consistant, Fiers is number 2 starter at this time, believe, there is possibility of making a run at Grienke in off season, Liriano or McCarthy could fit, might sign Marcum if price is cheap as number 3-4 starter. This team has pieces and is not in total overhaul.

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