At the end of the 2012 season, the Milwaukee Brewers will have their hands full. Besides being worried about what to do with Greinke and Marcum, they also need to figure out the back end of the rotation. Randy Wolf is in his last season of his 3-year, $33 Million contract he signed in 2009, and Narveson, who will be coming off of a season ending rotator cuff injury, will also be a question mark.
If someone were to ask Melvin or Attanasio about the future, I don't think either one could give you an honest answer. Attanasio has already mentioned he believes this team can still compete with a few upgrades. Does he make one or two trades to boost the team in hopes they make the playoffs, or does he use Greinke and Marcum as valuable trade chips before the deadline? In the end, what they do with those two will ultimately decide the fate of Randy Wolf.
Wolf, who will be 36 at the season's end, was one of the Brewer's most consistent pitchers in 2011. Although he has struggled in a few starts this year, he has still shown some life. His past has shown that every other year he pitches well (for some of you folks, every other year he pitches poorly). Last year he posted an impressive 3.69 ERA/1.32 WHIP with 134 strikeouts in 212.1 innings pitched. Lets not forget, since 2008 he has remained virtually injury free.
The most likely situation-- if Greinke and/or Marcum come back, expect Wolf to be doing the same. Even on his off years, Wolf is capable of being a strong, back of the rotation starter. In the situation where the Brewers are not able to keep either Greinke or Marcum, expect them to let Wolf walk. Even though he will be making $9.5M at the season's end, don't expect him to come much cheaper. Attanasio has proved he is willing to spend more, if it means winning. Investing in Wolf expecting him to replace a #1-#3 starter is just silly. However, as a #4 or #5 starter, it can pay off quickly; especially with Narveson remaining a question mark.
If the above scenario unfolds, expect the Brewers to resign Wolf for 2 years, with a team option for $18M. Not quite a bargain, but as a #4 it isn't a bad value.