The Milwaukee Brewers managed to avoid drawn out arbitration hearings with everyone who was eligible. Let’s take a look at how the team did.
We won’t be reading about the Milwaukee Brewers having hearings to decide salaries for arbitration eligible player on their roster. No one will have to go to an awkward hearing, and we have an idea of where the payroll will end up for 2019…unless Josh Harrison or Dallas Keuchel decide to come to Milwaukee.
Who signed and for how much?
Corey Knebel was the first to sign, and will earn $5.125 million in 2019.
Junior Guerra is back in the fold for $2.2 million, and will likely spend most of 2019 coming out of the bullpen for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Travis Shaw is also back in the fold and comes in at only $4.675 million for 2019. That certainly looks like a bargain for a player with back-to-back 30-homer season.
Zach Davies will get $2.6 million for 2019 after his first year of arbitration eligibility.
The newest arbitration-eligible Brewer, Alex Claudio, will earn $1.275 million in his first year in Milwaukee.
Manny Pina will get $1.6 million for 2019, but his deal also includes a team option for 2020. That’s assuming he can beat out Jacob Nottingham and Erik Kratz for the backup role behind starter Yasmani Grandal.
Where does the payroll stand?
With the pre-arb guys who have yet to sign? The Milwaukee Brewers are just over $125 million right now in total payroll. They should be able to fit an affordable second baseman into their plans for 2019, but it’s hard to see a path to signing Keuchel. Unless they can find a new home for a few contracts, there might not be any rotation upgrades coming in.
Should anyone have signed an extension?
It’s surprising that Shaw’s agent didn’t seek to buy out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility. He actually signed for less than what was projected, and has been one of the most productive third basemen in the league for the past two years.
It was surprising to see Pina get the team option for 2020. He’s clearly the front runner for the backup catcher job this year, and should stick around for next year, too. That’s not bad for a guy who had never stepped foot in a Major League stadium prior to 2017.
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The Milwaukee Brewers did well to get their players back in the fold for 2019 without any arbitration hearing drama. Hearings are always awkward because teams have to tell their own players why they should earn less. It’s been known to cause distractions and impact player morale before they reach Spring Training. The Brewers did well to avoid that, and have everyone back at agreed upon rates.