Finally we come to the first improved team in the NL Central as I continue to preview the 2007 division. St. Louis (Part 1), Houston (Part 2) and Cincinnati (Part 3) failed to impress me--it seems as if an overachieving Pirates squad could hang with those teams. Milwaukee, however, is a different story.
Ned Yost's Brewers finished at 75-87 in 2006, 8.5 games back of the Cardinals. Between last July's trade deadline and a few key off-season moves, though, they've retooled their roster. Their Hot Stove transactions, according to ESPN:
ADD: Craig Counsell, IF; Jeff Suppan, SP; Johnny Estrada, C; Claudio Vargas, SP; Greg Aquino, RP
DROP: Jeff Cirillo, IF; Tomo Ohka, SP; Edward Campusano, RP; Doug Davis, SP; Dana Eveland, SP/RP; Dave Krynzel, CF; Dan Kolb, RP
David Bell and Rick Helling remain as free agents.
On July 1st, the Brewers were 40-42 and within striking distance (only 4.5 GB) of the division leaders, St. Louis and Cincinnati. By the end of the month, though, they'd plummete...