Ryan's Place

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Brewers Trade for Kolb

From Adam McCalvy at MLB.com:

The Brewers consummated a trade Wednesday that could help fill their most pressing offseason need. But it is not a done deal just yet.

In a strange twist, Milwaukee re-acquired right-handed reliever Dan Kolb from the Atlanta Braves for Wes Obermueller, a right-hander who has been unable to live up to promise. Last year at the Winter Meetings in Anaheim, the Brewers dealt Kolb, then an All-Star closer, to the Braves for top pitching prospect Jose Capellan.

Kolb endured a tough season in Atlanta and has made it well-known that he wants badly to return to Wisconsin, where he has a home. The Brewers believe they can work out a deal to re-sign him for 2006 at a discount.

Kolb and the Braves avoided salary arbitration last year by agreeing to a one-year, $3.4 million contract. The Brewers must now decide whether to offer Kolb arbitration by Dec. 19, but if he accepts, they could not cut his salary by more than 20 percent, a figure general manager Doug Melvin confirmed would be too high. Instead, both sides likely will quietly work out a scenario in which the team non-tenders Kolb, making him a free agent, then re-signs him at a greater than 20 percent cut.

To make that happen, the Brewers will have to work with Kolb's agent, Scott Boras.

"I think Danny might drive this a little bit," said Melvin, asked if he's worried about running into a roadblock with Boras. "Everybody knows the circumstances -- [Kolb] pitched well for us and he didn't pitch well for Atlanta."

In 2004, Kolb posted a 2.98 ERA in 64 games, was a first-time All-Star and set a Brewers record with 39 saves (Derrick Turnbow tied that mark this season). Faced with a chance to acquire Capellan, Atlanta's top pitching prospect at the time, Melvin pulled the trigger on the original trade last December.


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