Organizational Rankings: #6

As we finish out the top eight, all of the remaining clubs earn an overall grade of A-, A, or A+. These eight franchises have separated themselves from the rest of the pack – there’s probably a bigger gap between #8 and #9 than between #8 and #4, for instance. If you root for any of the upcoming teams, you should be very pleased. The future looks bright for all the upcoming franchises.

Rankings So Far

#30: Washington Nationals
#29: Florida Marlins
#28: Houston Astros
#27: Kansas City Royals
#26: Pittsburgh Pirates
#25: San Diego Padres
#24: Cincinnati Reds
#23: Colorado Rockies
#22: Detroit Tigers
#21: St. Louis Cardinals
#20: Toronto Blue Jays
#19: San Francisco Giants
#18: Minnesota Twins
#17: Chicago White Sox
#16: Baltimore Orioles
#15: Seattle Mariners
#14: Philadelphia Phillies
#13: Los Angeles Dodgers
#12: Texas Rangers
#11: Oakland Athletics
#10: Los Angeles Angels
#9: Arizona Diamondbacks
#8: Atlanta Braves
#7: Chicago Cubs

#6: Milwaukee Brewers

Ownership: B-

Since Mark Attanasio bought the Brewers from the Selig Trust, the team has dramatically shifted gears. Payroll went from $27 million to $81 million in four years, and the team showed willingness to invest in the roster when opportunities arose, offering a significant deal to CC Sabathia. The team is profitable, even at these higher payroll numbers, and Attanasio is intent on winning. Things got a bit messy towards the end of the season when he demanded that manager Ned Yost be fired, but overall, he’s mostly stayed out of the baseball operations team’s way.

Front Office: A-

Perhaps the most under the radar of the sabermetric front offices, the Brewers are among the leading organizations in baseball in applying new ways of thinking to roster building. Doug Melvin has instituted a lot of forward thinking ideas, and there are a ton of smart people working up in Milwaukee. The loss oF Jack Zduriencik, Tony Blengino, and Tom McNamara hurts, but there are qualified men ready to fill their shoes. Melvin understands how to build an organization that can supply impact talent to he major league roster and how to surround those home grown players with valuable pieces from the outside. Milwaukee fans are in good hands with Melvin and his team.

Major League Roster: A-

Like the Diamondbacks, the Brewers have the best of both worlds – a core group of young talent that they can build around that is also capable of winning right now. Ryan Braun, J.J. Hardy, Prince Fielder, and Yovanni Gallardo are all-star caliber players, while Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks, David Bush, and Manny Parra are useful second tier pieces. Underrated players like Mike Cameron, Bill Hall, and Carlos Villanueva round out a roster that should be a wild card contender and could challenge the Cubs for the NL Central if everything goes right. They’ll have some decisions to make after the season, with a lot of expensive arbitration cases coming due, but they have enough assets to win now and win later.

Minor League Talent: A-

Even after trading prospects for Sabathia at the deadline, the team’s farm system remains very strong. Alcides Escobar, Mat Gamel, and Angel Solome provide potential as everyday position players who could be ready by 2010, helping to infuse another wave of talent into the major league roster. Jeremy Jeffress has a top notch arm, even with his off the field issues. Brett Lawrie has an advanced bat that should play anywhere, and his decision to play second base should get him through the minors fairly quickly. There’s good depth in the system as well, ranging from guys like Lorenzo Cain to Cutter Dykstra and Taylor Green. The Brewers have a lot of help on the way, or more potential trade pieces to help put them over the top in a playoff run.

Overall: A-

A smart front office, a talented young core that’s ready to win, and a very good selection of minor leaguers give the Brewers a chance to be good and stay good for quite a while. Their capital is a bit lower than most of the rest of thess elite franchises, which drags down their grade a bit, but they have a front office that can win with an $80 million payroll, especially given the cost controlled talent already in the organization. The Brewers are going to be fighting for a playoff spot for the foreseeable future, and they’ve earned their way into contention.

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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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I have no idea how you can give the brewers an A- for major league talent

Yea, i get the fact that there are some All-pro talents (Braun, Fielder, Gallardo) but the rotation is a MESS. The bullpen is hinging on Trevor Hoffman…after him, then what?

On that note, nothing was said of criticism to the tune of the Eric Gagne signing

Keep the articles up, I love them all

Jack Moore

You can build a bullpen with pieces that don’t look so hot. The Brewers bullpen projects to be much, much better this year.

Also, the only truly weak link in this rotation is Suppan – every other starter is projected to have an FIP below 4.70, and some projections have Suppan below 5.00. That’s still awful for his contract, but decent for a #5.

Kevin S.
Kevin S.

“On that note, nothing was said of criticism to the tune of the Eric Gagne signing”

Maybe because there’s no such thing as a bad one-year contract?


Well for 10 million it certainly wasn’t a good deal, but yes, its pretty hard for one year deals to be that bad. The real problem is if this kind of thing gets repeated, which it doesn’t seem to be.