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News » Milwaukee Brewers Inside Pitch 2009-01-29

Milwaukee Brewers Inside Pitch 2009-01-29

Milwaukee Brewers Inside Pitch 2009-01-29
With the Brewers' payroll already matching the Opening Day level of 2008, owner Mark Attanasio said it's unlikely the team will add an established starting pitcher before spring training.

The Brewers began the '08 season with a payroll just over $80 million.

"The problem is, if we add a starter now and get up in the mid to high 80s (in millions) in payroll, if you have some negative events, you wouldn't then have flexibility," Attanasio said.

"That would be a first for us. We don't want to put ourselves in that position. So, we're kind of weighing that."

Projecting contracts still to be negotiated, Attanasio said the Brewers already were "between $80 million and $85 million."

Attanasio said the payroll cleared through the free agent losses of CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets, Eric Gagne and others was used for raises for arbitration-eligible players as well as those with raises in multiyear deals. And, though the Brewers' ticket sales have gone well this winter, he said all teams are being affected by the declining economy.

"The concerns over the economy have kept us somewhat muted this winter," Attanasio said. "We have to be concerned as we get into the season with problems affecting us here.

"So you can have maybe an $80 million to $85 million payroll, then you can have flexibility."

General manager Doug Melvin acknowledged that the Brewers are thin in the rotation with only five returning pitchers -- Yovani Gallardo, Manny Parra, Jeff Suppan, Dave Bush and Seth McClung. Melvin said he's still looking at other options but didn't anticipate a significant move.

"The thing we're going through right now is do we want to go out and go after someone now and maybe take away the flexibility we'd have during the course of the year, not knowing if the economy is going to impact our season?" Melvin said. "Last year we kept our flexibility and you saw what it allowed us to do, bring in CC, bring in Ray Durham. Seven million dollars we used to acquire those players."

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: January 29, 2009

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