The Brewers on Wednesday finalized their one-year contract with right-reliever Takashi Saito, a move that might signal the end of their major offseason acquisitions.
Saito will draw a base salary of less than $2 million but could earn incentives for appearances and days on the active roster to push his salary close to the $3.2 million he earned with Atlanta last season. He posted a 2.83 ERA and one save in 56 relief appearances for the Braves while holding opponents to a .203 average.
In Milwaukee, Saito will likely fit alongside right-hander LaTroy Hawkins and left-hander Zack Braddock as the primary set-up men to second-year closer John Axford. Saito turns 41 on Valentine’s Day.
There is still business to be done, including talks with second baseman Rickie Weeks about a contract extension and four other arbitration-eligible players — Prince Fielder among them — to be signed for 2011. And Brewers officials are always on the lookout for waiver claims or budget signings just before Spring Training.
But considering the big moves already made, most notably the trades for starting pitchers Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, it made sense to ask general manager Doug Melvin whether he might have just added his final significant piece.
“Well, the roster is full,” he said.
Indeed, Saito left the Brewers with a full 40-man roster five weeks and one day shy of the date pitchers and catchers must report to Maryvale Baseball Park.