Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said way back in October that he wanted to add two established starting pitchers this winter. On Wednesday, he landed the second of two.
With Randy Wolf already in tow, the Brewers agreed to terms with left-hander Doug Davis on a one-year contract that includes a mutual option for 2011, a baseball source said. The deal guarantees Davis $5.25 million and could pay up to $12.75 million if the option is exercised and Davis reaches all of his incentives.
The contract won’t be official until Davis passes a physical. Until that final step, Melvin could not confirm that he had a deal in place.
“We don’t have anything finalized yet,” Melvin said Wednesday afternoon, “but I guess we’re getting close.”
Davis pitched for the Brewers from 2003-2006 before he was traded to Arizona. He will earn a $4.25 million base salary in 2010, and the mutual option calls for a $6.5 million salary in 2011 or a $1 million buyout. Davis also can earn $1 million in what the source termed “makeable” incentives in each season of the deal, based on games, starts and innings pitched.
The lefty turned 34 in September after going 9-14 with a 4.12 ERA for the D-backs in 2009. He joins fellow newcomer Wolf in a rotation that suddenly has six established arms for five spots: Dave Bush, Davis, Yovani Gallardo, Manny Parra, Jeff Suppan and Wolf. Davis, Parra and Wolf are all left-handed.
Barring an injury before the start of the season, one of those six pitchers will have to bump to the bullpen or be let go.
“Players help us make those decisions,” Melvin said.
Melvin made starting pitching a priority after Brewers starters finished last in the National League last season with a 5.37 ERA.