We knew that pitcher Randy Wolf would not be long for this team. We didn’t assume the change of scenery would be coming this quickly.
It was reported via MLBtraderumors.com and various sources on Twitter that as of about ten o’clock this morning that team officials had notified the veteran left-hander was no longer a member of the team.
Randy Wolf exits the club on his 36th birthday, carrying with him a career low winning percentage of .231 and a career high ERA of 5.69. He has struck out 96 batters this season, but opponents are hitting .318 against him. From a statistical standpoint, 2012 has been the lowest point of the 14 season veteran’s career, as he also led the National League in hits and earned runs against him.
Besides being an obvious move from a performance standpoint, there were financial factors at play here as well. Randy Wolf is in the last leg of his contract – a three-year, $29.75 Million deal with an option on 2013 worth $10 Million. The Brewers were either to offer him the extension or buy out his contract for $1.5 Million. Releasing him during the season means they are no longer responsible for the option, but must remain on the hook for Wolf’s buyout.
In essence, there was no reason not to make the move now, rather than waiting out the rest of the season. Randy Wolf is cleared to sign with any team as soon as the roster moves clear the waiver wire for Milwaukee.
With September call-ups on the way, and the pitching roster set to shift again this weekend, this move is far from out of the blue. Shaun Marcum will be returning to the team this weekend as a member of the active roster, and there is reportedly a push to bring up rookies Tyler Thornburg and Wily Peralta when the rosters expand come September first. Moving Wolf helps to make room for the new faces in the pitching staff, while at the same time removing a player who is currently seen as an obstacle to future plans for the team.
In a corresponding move by the Milwaukee Brewers, infielder Jeff Bianchi was called up from the Minor Leagues to take Randy Wolf’s place on the roster. Bianchi made his debut with the Brewers on July 13th of this year, playing in eight Major League games for the Milwaukee Brewers. He has yet to record a hit.
More updates will be available on the website and through our Twitter feed as they become public.