The Milwaukee Brewers today announced that the Club has agreed to terms with free-agent pitcher Jeff Suppan, Most Valuable Player of the 2006 National League Championship Series. The agreement, which is pending a physical, is for four years with a club option for an additional season.
"With 44 wins in the last three seasons, Jeff is not only a proven winner, he is also one of the most durable pitchers in baseball," said Brewers Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Melvin. "This agreement makes us feel very good about the depth of our rotation. Jeff's experience and durability should have a positive influence on our entire pitching staff."
Suppan, 31, went 12-7 with a 4.12 ERA in 32 starts for the World Champion Cardinals last season, including 6-2 with a 2.39 ERA in 15 starts after the All-Star Break. Suppan was named MVP of the NLCS as he went 1-0 with a 0.60 ERA in two starts against the New York Mets (one earned run in 15 innings). He was the starting pitcher in the decisive Game 7, tossing seven innings, allowing just one run and no hits after the first inning of play. For his career, Suppan is 5-2 with a 3.00 ERA in nine postseason outings.
The right-hander has made at least 31 regular-season starts in each of his last eight seasons and has averaged 193 innings pitched in that time. The 12-year veteran owns a career record of 106-101 with a 4.60 ERA in 317 games (301 starts). He is 44-26 with a 3.95 ERA over the last three seasons, tying for ninth in the Major Leagues in wins during that time (tied for fifth among right-handers).
Each year, Suppan will make a contribution of $100,000 to Brewers Charities, Inc., whose mission is to support activities and programs targeted at youth recreation, scholarship and education throughout Milwaukee and Wisconsin.
Suppan has pitched in the majors for Boston (1995-97, 2003), Arizona (1998), Kansas City (1998-2002), Pittsburgh (2003) and St. Louis (2004-06). He has reached double figures in wins seven times with a career-high 16 victories for the Cardinals in 2004 and 2005.
Pending the physical, Suppan will join a Brewers starting rotation that includes LHP Chris Capuano, RHP Ben Sheets, RHP Dave Bush and RHP Claudio Vargas, who was acquired via trade from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Nov. 25.
The Cardinals offered Suppan arbitration,
Suppan was 44-26 with a 3.95 ERA in three years with St. Louis. He was 6-2 with a 2.39 ERA in the second half of 2006. The Cardinals offered Suppan arbitration, hoping he would return to St. Louis as the #2 starter behind Chris Carpenter.
Suppan was named MVP of the NLCS for his efforts. in two NLCS starts, and decided to take the free agent route in hopes of a big payday.
Several teams were interested in Suppan, to include the New York Yankees and Mets, the Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates as well as the St. Louis Cardinals.
Recently with lack of communication between St. Louis and Suppan, and the numbers being discussed in the offers made to him by other clubs, it became very evident that he wasn't coming back to St. Louis.
According to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the deal is worth $42 million.