Brewers release veteran starter Jeff Suppan

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Demoted to the bullpen in mid-April after back-to-back ugly starts to begin the season, Jeff Suppan posted a 7.48 ERA in 13 appearances as a reliever, allowing 19 runs on 34 hits and nine walks in 21.2 innings, and was released by the Brewers this afternoon.
Milwaukee signed Suppan to a four-year, $42 million contract in December of 2006 despite his being a 32-year-old journeyman with a 4.60 career ERA who’d posted an ERA below 4.00 exactly once.
For that money Suppan ended up going 29-36 with a 5.08 ERA in 577 innings, with his performance declining so much that the Brewers are now eating about $8 million of the $12.5 million he’s making this season. Oh, and the contract also includes a $12.75 million option for 2011 that the Brewers must buy out for $2 million.
The lesson, of course, is that signing mediocre, over-30 players to big long-term contracts usually doesn’t end well. During the offseason Suppan signed with the Brewers there were 10 free agents who got more than his $42 million: Alfonso Soriano, Barry Zito, Carlos Lee, Aramis Ramirez, J.D. Drew, Gil Meche, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Gary Matthews Jr., Jason Schmidt, and Juan Pierre. I’d say there’s a pretty strong chance the teams regret all 10 of those deals (with the possible exception of Drew … maybe).

Dodgers to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this summer

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the No. 34 jersey of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela during a three-day celebration this summer.

Valenzuela was part of two World Series champion teams, winning the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. He was a six-time All-Star during his 11 seasons in Los Angeles from 1980-90.

He will be honored from Aug. 11-13 when the Dodgers host Colorado.

Valenzuela will join Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale with retired numbers.

“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans, the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them.”