The Brewers Will Be Back

The conventional wisdom right now is that when the Brewers traded for CC Sabathia this June, they loaded up for a one year run at the playoffs. Both CC and Ben Sheets will be free agents after the World Series ends and losing those two from a rotation that finished the season up so poorly seems like an awfully daunting task. That's just a cursory look at things, though. A deeper look reveals something entirely different.

First off, all indications are that the Brewers will make a run at CC. They have some budget room with Sheets, Eric Gagne, and maybe Mike Cameron coming off of the books. Even if they can't keep pace with the Sabathia bidding (which seems likely), they should have in-house replacements in Yovani Gallardo and Manny Parra. Gallardo has all the makings of a true future ace and looked fairly strong in his return from a torn ACL late in the season. Parra had a great two-month stretch from May through July this year and has nice minor league numbers. They're not Sheets and Sabathia yet, but most teams would kill to have two young pitchers like Gallardo and Parra.

Beyond that, the key components of their lineup will all be back next year and there's no reason to think that any of them are going to suffer any kind of appreciable drop in production. In fact, guys like Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, and Corey Hart are all young enough that they should still be improving. They'll have five first round picks next year after Sheets and Sabathia sign elsewhere, and they should have a nice chunk of change to spend on free agents until Mat Gamel and Jeremy Jeffress are ready to help the big club. Don't count the Brewers out next year, just because Sheets and Sabathia are leaving at the talking heads are telling you to.

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