Thursday, April 15, 2010

Jeff Suppan...Milwaukee's Soriano?

Today, Jeff Suppan is pitching against the Cubs.

Living here in Wisconsin, it get to hear a lot of interesting things about the Brewers.

Well, one thing that I have become very aware of is how big of a black hole Suppan has become to that organization. 

Back in 2007, Suppan signed a 4 year $42 million contract.

Much like the Cubs typically do, the contract was significantly back waited.  The first two years, Suppan got $6 millioin and $8 million.  But after that, the final two years (2009 and 2010) Suppan was owed $12.5 million for each season.

That is $12.5 million for a career .500 pitcher and has been actually sub .500 in his 3 years in Milwaukee.

Not only that...but he's 35 years old this year.

Is this that big of a deal?  Well, actually for a team with a $90 million payroll, yes it is.  That is almost 14% of their total payroll for an aging career .500 pitcher.

To take this into perspective, Alfonso Soriano's $18 million this season is just a little over 12% of the Cubs total payroll. 

For the Brewers, they are in quite a pickle here.  They don't really have the financial resources to eat a salary like this (remember that they are paying Bill Hall to sit on the bench for the Red Sox right now).  And the truth is, they really don't have a lot of good options to replace him in the rotation.  The Cubs on the other hand do have the financial resources to eat Soriano's salary (if they so choose) and they have a number of other options to play in left field right now.

So it is important to remember that the Cubs are not the only team to be stuck with players with bad contracts.  This Suppan contract is actually one of the worst ones out there.  Luckily for the Brewers, this is the last year on that deal.  We still have to deal with 4 more years of Soriano.