Milwaukee Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin (pictured) believes his young players gained valuable experience last season and feels there's no reason to believe they won't be back contending for the playoffs again this season.
The Brewers won 90 games last season and made the playoffs, despite a slump in September, which Melvin said is a real learning experience for the young players. The Brewers did lose CC Sabathia to free agency, but they knew there was a good chance that would happen. As it stands right now, it looks like they'll lose Ben Sheets as well, even though Sheets still hasn't signed with another club.
The Brewers did add a closer in Trevor Hoffman, who is baseball's all-time saves leader. He's 41, but Melvin said Hoffman keeps himself in great shape and is excited and ready to pitch for the Brewers this season.
The Brewers have three players in salary arbitration, led by Prince Fielder, who asked for $8-million for the coming season. The Brewers submitted a $6-million figure and the two sides can still negotiate prior to a hearing in February.
Melvin said fans shouldn't expect to see the Brewers spend a lot of money now on free agency. He said he wanted to save the space to give the Brewers a chance to trade for a big time player again later in the fall to hopefully push them into the playoffs for a second straight year.