Ryan's Place

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Brewers Re-Sign Kolb

From MLB.com:

After reacquiring him at the Winter Meetings and subsequently making him a free agent, the Brewers ended the Dan Kolb saga Wednesday by re-signing their former All-Star closer to serve as a setup man in 2006.

Kolb, who lives with his wife and two daughters just south of Milwaukee, will earn a base salary of $2 million with a chance for more via incentives for games finished.

The Brewers get another experienced arm to work the innings in front of closer Derrick Turnbow and Kolb gets a chance to resurrect his career in Milwaukee, where he notched 60 saves from 2003-2004, including a franchise-record 39 saves in his All-Star season of 2004.

"I'd say it was 50-50 that this thing was going to get done," said Kolb, who will be 31 on Opening Day. "I knew I wanted to come back, and that they wanted me back. Everybody gave just enough to make it work."

The Brewers traded Kolb to Atlanta at the 2004 Winter Meetings and he replaced John Smoltz as the Braves closer but struggled badly, going 3-8 with a 5.93 ERA and converting just 11 of 18 save opportunities. Kolb eventually lost the closer's job and was left off the team's postseason roster.

Wednesday's announcement ended a chain of events that began Dec. 7, when the Brewers traded right-hander Wes Obermueller, who was not expected to stick on the 40-man roster past the end of the month, for Kolb, who was not expected to return to Atlanta.

Because Kolb made $3.4 million with the Braves last season and was eligible for salary arbitration, the Brewers were forced to non-tender him Dec. 20 to avoid paying him at least $2.7 million in 2006. But they continued negotiating with Kolb's agent, Scott Boras, and finally reached a deal late Wednesday.

"We had a limit that we would go to, and we basically went there," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. "And they determined that this was the best place for Danny."


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