Today the Brewers added another veteran arm to the list of bullpen possibilities, by signing 40 year old Takashi Saito. Over the past two seasons he has played for the Red Sox and Atlanta Braves. Last season with Atlanta he posted a 2.83 ERA in 56 appearances. Two seasons ago in Boston in posted a very similar 2.43 ERA in ….56 appearances. The deal is reportedly worth around $3 million dollars for the 2011 season.
Not sure what the thought process behind this deal is, other than to make sure we have more than enough guys to fill the bullpen. Saito does have a very solid strikeout to walk ratio, but is nothing more than a short relief pitcher. Maybe Melvin and company are looking for a veteran to help bridge the gap between starters and closer John Axford. Saito could be a very nice veteran piece to a relatively young bullpen. The one really nice thing about Saito is his ERA has stayed pretty solid throughout his 5 year MLB career. His career ERA is a very solid 2.19 and he also has 84 career saves. Maybe he was brought in to be a fallback guy,just in case Ax has a Sophomore meltdown. I personally do not see that happening, but I have been wrong before (see Casey McGehee).
Luckily for the Brewers organization I am still on cloud 9 after last Sunday’s trade announcement. If we had not just acquired Zack Greinke 8 days ago, I would probably hate this deal. Now that we actually have starters who can get into the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings this is a very nice addition to a young Brewers bullpen. Hopefully Saito will add a sense of stability for the bullpen late in games. Something tells me this deal could pay some major dividends come September and October. Pairing him with newly acquired Sean Green could be a nice one two punch before we bring in the Ax. All of a sudden this is really starting to look like a championship baseball team. A solid young core, with a delicious sprinkling of veterans equals a team to be reckoned with down the stretch.
Also, for those of you who have reached out to me with concerns about what we have left in the farm system. My boy C.J. Batovsky over at Bleacher Report gives a nice breakdown of our top 15 players still in the farm system. You will find some old friends and a few new ones to get excited about. If you spent you Christmas crying over the 5 prospects we have traded away this winter, you should check out this article.
Hope everyone had a safe and happy holidays. I myself just returned to overcast and drizzly Seattle from a wonderful week at home with my family in good old Kenosha, WI. Until next time, get your season tickets while you can……….