Ryan's Place

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Brewers Re-Sign Moeller

From Adam McCalvy at MLB.com:

The Brewers on Wednesday re-signed backup catcher Chad Moeller to a one-year contract for 2006.

Moeller, who would have been eligible for salary arbitration, will earn $700,000 for the second straight season.

"I'm excited to get another chance there," Moeller said from his Arizona home. "I like the team, I like the staff and the players, and it's a place where I feel very comfortable."

The Brewers feel comfortable with Moeller, who has had two straight disappointing seasons offensively but is considered a solid handler of pitchers, including ace Ben Sheets. Sheets and Moeller paired as the Brewers' Opening Day battery, though Moeller served primarily as the backup to catcher Damian Miller.

"We feel good about the familiarity Chad has with the pitchers," general manager Doug Melvin said. "He can do some good things for us."

In 66 games during 2005, Moeller matched a career high with seven home runs but batted a disappointing .206. A career .254 hitter when he came to Milwaukee in the December 2003 blockbuster trade that sent slugger Richie Sexson to Arizona, Moeller has batted .207 in two full seasons with the Brewers.

"Obviously, I don't like my numbers the last two years," Moeller said. "But if I could have got rid of April and May I think I would have had a solid year [in 2005]. Those two months were terrible -- the fans told you that, and deservedly so. That was tough to go through."

Moeller batted .095 in April and .103 in May, then batted .252 over the rest of the season.

According to Melvin, the Brewers are not the only team feeling a pinch behind the plate.

"There are not a lot of great catchers out there," Melvin said. "You look at the free agent list, and there's really nobody out there. So you could go the trade route, but you hate to give up a player to get a catcher in return who is not much better than Moeller."


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