The Milwaukee Brewers announced today that they have signed free agent Bob McClure to a four year, $1.95 Million contract. The deal includes $150,000 in bonuses, a $100,000 buyout and an option for a fifth year.
McClure, who became a free agent on November 10, was considered a hot commodity and was seven different teams in the re-entry draft. The offer from the Brewers was rumored to be lower than that of the A’s, who some thought had signed McClure a couple of weeks ago.
“It’s very hard to leave a contending team to go someplace else where you don’t know what’s going to happen,” said McClure. “And there are other things. For one thing, the support these fans showed for us last year — especially after the strike — was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen. These fans love this club. I wouldn’t want to come back here and get booed by 40,000 or 50,000 people.”
Did McClure receive any pressure from teammates to re-sign with the Brewers? It’s not clear if he was joking, but McClure says Robin Yount taunted him the past few days from outside of his window.
“He stood there swinging a bat,” said McClure. “He was trying to show me what it would be like having to pitch against those guys next year. Heck, I wouldn’t want to pitch against these guys. I might be dumb, but I’m no fool.”
McClure has been a Brewer since a 1977 trade with the Kansas City Royals. Prior to 1982, the 30-year-old hurler was used almost exclusively out of the bullpen. But the Brewers had trouble finding stability in the back-end of their rotation early on last season, so McClure got to see action as a starter in 26 games. He was signed to be a starter, but his flexibility is also an attractive asset.
Signing McClure guarantees he will be a Brewer through the 1986 season, when he will turn 34. Since it is unclear whether he has a spot in a rotation that has only two spots open (Mike Caldwell, Don Sutton and Cy Young award winner Pete Vuckovich anchor the first three spots), should the Brewers have made such a commitment to a pitcher who may be used primarily out of the bullpen for four years?
You tell us.