Offseason 2012: Introducing SS Alex Gonzalez; K-Rod returns

Late last night, Brewers set-up man Francisco Rodriguez accepted the Brewers’ offer of salary arbitration.  He is projected to earn somewhere between $11-13MM this year, putting the Brewers in a significant financial bind.  Doug Melvin was a little fuzzy on the math when discussing the impact on team payroll, but later stated that he talked to owner Mark Attanasio and that the team is still in the hunt for free agents.  It is not yet clear whether that includes 3B Aramis Ramirez, in whom the Brewers showed heavy interest before learning of K-Rod’s decision.

One glaring hole in the Brewers infield has been filled, though.  The Brewers have apparently agreed to a one-year contract with former Braves shortstop Alex Gonzalez.  A career .247 hitter, Gonzalez has the same low-impact bat as the much-maligned Yuniesky Betancourt, but his fielding is significantly better.  While Fangraphs indicates that Gonzalez’s defense slipped a bit last year, his history suggests he is a solid fielder who makes few errors.

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