Originally posted on Brewers Bar  |  Last updated 12/19/12

MILWAUKEE, WI - NOVEMBER 4: Robin Yount (C) speaks as Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin (L) and Chairman and Principal owner Mark Attanasaio look on at a press conference announcing his return to the Milwaukee Brewers as a bench coach November 4, 2005 at Miller Park in Miwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)
  Yesterday on MLB Network Radio, Doug Melvin spoke briefly on a topic that has been on a lot of fans’ minds this offseason: The Brewers’ continuing efforts to take the remains of their 2012 bullpen and turn them into a serviceable unit. Melvin’s comments, which you can find on Adam McCalvy’s blog, are pretty well summed up by this excerpt: “There may be a couple of pitchers that we’re adding to the bullpen here that are still out there on the market, but we’re not going to enter into the high-priced free agents this year. We’re going to keep our flexibility.” I don’t think anybody was expecting the Brewers to sign any top-tier free agents this offseason (with the possible exception of seemingly half the national baseball writers in the country), but their passivity regarding the relief market has still been surprising. It’s becoming clear that, at most, the club will look to bring in a seventh-inning type reliever who otherwise slips through the market – Melvin mentioned Mike Gonzalez and Jason Frasor, among others, during his radio appearance. This strategy also falls in line with Melvin’s stated desire to “maintain flexibility”, as, barring anything both major and unexpected, the club probably will see their $95M 2012 payroll decrease by at least $10-15M. As things currently stand, the 2013 Brewers bullpen figures to have John Axford closing games and Jim Henderson setting him up, with Brandon Kintzler and Burke Badenhop seeing some 7th/8th inning work as well. Beyond those four, Johnny Hellweg, Jesus Sanchez, Fautino de los Santos, and Travis Webb may all break camp with the big-league club, depending on what coaches and officials see in spring training. Also, there’s a decent chance that one of the Brewers six starters will (fingers crossed) start the year as a long reliever, namely right-hander Tyler Thornburg. If everything goes right, that could be a solid bullpen, maybe even a very good one. But, relievers are relievers, and things often go wrong with alarming frequency – even with pitchers who don’t have the injury history of Kintzler or the recurring control issues of Axford and Henderson. With the roster discussed above, it would really only take one well-timed injury to bring the Brewers dangerously close to the situation they were in for most of 2012. I shouldn’t need to tell you that the chances of the 2013 Brewers making a playoff run with their bullpen in that state are close to zero. I hate to reduce this whole problem to “We need to sign some free agents!!!”, but the Brewers have some money remaining in their budget, a bullpen that could desperately use some additional depth, and a market that isn’t totally barren yet. (It should also be noted that the club seems content with their less-than-solid starting rotation, leaving the relief corps as the Brewers’ best opportunity to improve on their 2012 squad in the aggregate.) As much as I have wanted to commend the Milwaukee front office for being patient this offseason and not rushing into a potential overpay, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the time to act is approaching quickly. This post has been long on problems and short on solutions, but I plan on doing a 'part two' of sorts in the next few days, where I’ll look at the relievers left on the market and try and figure out who might be a good fit. Thanks for being patient through the slow winter! --NP
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Five most anticipated September MLB call-ups
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

The NFL is thinking about eliminating the preseason

Romo expected to miss 6-10 weeks with broken bone in back

Kaepernick explains why he is protesting national anthem

Dwyane Wade’s cousin shot and killed in Chicago

NFL tries to reduce kick returns, promptly causes more kick returns

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

San Francisco Giants inching closer to a record they really don’t want

Clint Dempsey undergoing testing for irregular heartbeat

Troubling details emerge from Jeremy Jeffress' DWI arrest

Chargers would welcome Joey Bosa if he signed contract

Falcons rookie Keanu Neal needs surgery on knee

Jerry Jones unhappy with Ezekiel Elliott's dispensary visit

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker