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  • Brewers Settle with Ten Arbitration Eligible Players


    DuWayne Steurer

    With the deadline to file closing on Friday, the Brewers and ten arbitration-eligible players agreed to contract terms.

    Image courtesy of © Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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    The Brewers agreed to terms with several pending arbitration-eligible players on Friday, the deadline for filing for the 2023 season. As of the filing deadline, starting pitcher, Corbin Burnes remained the only eligible player who did not agree to the terms of a new deal.  The Brewers and Burnes can still agree on a one-year or multi-year deal before his arbitration hearing.

    Left-handed reliever Hoby Milner, who was a mainstay for the Brewer bullpen for most of 2022, agreed to a $1.025 million deal for the upcoming season. Backup catcher Victor Caratini earned a raise to $2.8 million.

    Keston Hiura signed for $2.2 million, so if he's used as a trade chip at this point, there's a little more cost certainty for anyone looking to acquire him. He may still be in the Brewers 2023 plans, but it's hard to see where he fits into the lineup with any regularity. Slugging first baseman, Rowdy Tellez saw his pay bumped to $4.95 million, which may very well make this season his last in Milwaukee. With Tellez being roughly a 1 WAR player, it's hard to picture the cost-conscious Brewers paying much more than this at a premium production position.

    Eric Lauer gets a pay bump to $5.075 million on the back of his strong 2022 campaign. Depending on how they view the rotation after the Wade Miley acquisition, Lauer's best value to the Brewers might be as a trade chip to fill in other areas of need. Likely closer, Devin Williams agreed to a $3.35 million contract.

    Despite the rumors of extension talk, nothing has materialized yet, and the Brewers and Willy Adames agreed to a one-year contract for $8.7 million. Of course, this doesn't preclude the Brewers and Adames from continuing to try to hammer out a multi-year deal, but with the mega-deals that have been handed out this off-season, it's become difficult to imagine the Brewers and Adames coming to terms.

    Infielder Luis Urias secured a $4.7 million contract. Today, Urias looks like he'll be the third baseman on opening day. With a  3.1 bWAR each of the past two seasons and entering his age 26 season, Urias is a solid bet to recreate that number. Newly acquired infielder Abraham Toro agreed to a $1.25 million contract for 2023.

    Lastly, starting pitcher, Brandon Woodruff agreed with the Brewers to a one-year deal for $10.8 million. With just two more years of team control, it will be interesting to see where things go from here with Woodruff, whether the team tries to extend him, deal with him and maximize their return on him, or ride him until next season. 

    With only Corbin Burnes yet to sign now, the Brewers payroll situation comes more into focus. While it's doubtful that we'll see Burnes sign any multi-year deal, it wouldn't be unrealistic for the team and Burnes to figure out a deal before his hearing date. For payroll purposes, it would be helpful for Matt Arnold to know what kind of flexibility he might have going into the tail end of free agency while looking at any remaining nuggets. 

    What do you think, Brewer fanatics? Arbitration signings aren't usually exciting, but sometimes we see some interesting contract numbers or last-minute multi-year deals. Did the Brewers overpay this year? What's the next move of the off-season? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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    CheezWizHed
  • Brewer Fanatic Contributor
  • Posted

    Might Corbin's lack of contract indicate they are trying to sign a longer term deal and buy out a FA year or two?  Or does it mean Corbin is playing hardball on arby numbers...indicating we don't have a prayer for his FA years. 

    Just a guess but I think Rowdy will end the year at 2-3WAR.  

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    6 minutes ago, CheezWizHed said:

    Might Corbin's lack of contract indicate they are trying to sign a longer term deal and buy out a FA year or two?  Or does it mean Corbin is playing hardball on arby numbers...indicating we don't have a prayer for his FA years. 

    Just a guess but I think Rowdy will end the year at 2-3WAR.  

    More than likely the latter. Agreeing to a settlement doesn’t exclude a team from signing the player to a long term extension (Devers is an example from this offseason). It’s likely Burnes thinks he can get more through the arb process than the Brewers were willing to offer.

     

    it would be pretty difficult for Rowdy to put up a 3 WAR season with how poor his baserunning/defense are. For reference Vlad Jr (who has the most comparable baserunning and defensive numbers to Rowdy among 1B) had 2.8 fWAR last year with a 132 wRC+ and 107 more PA than Rowdy. For Rowdy to get 3 WAR he would probably need to be around 135-140 wRC+ with a similar amount of PA as last year 

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    3 minutes ago, wiguy94 said:

    More than likely the latter. Agreeing to a settlement doesn’t exclude a team from signing the player to a long term extension (Devers is an example from this offseason). It’s likely Burnes thinks he can get more through the arb process than the Brewers were willing to offer.

     

    it would be pretty difficult for Rowdy to put up a 3 WAR season with how poor his baserunning/defense are. For reference Vlad Jr (who has the most comparable baserunning and defensive numbers to Rowdy among 1B) had 2.8 fWAR last year with a 132 wRC+ and 107 more PA than Rowdy. For Rowdy to get 3 WAR he would probably need to be around 135-140 wRC+ with a similar amount of PA as last year 

    I'd be totally okay with what Steamer currently has him projected for (122 wRC+ and 2.2 WAR). I could definitely see that happening with the banning of the shift and a reversion to the mean with his BABIP. 

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    3 minutes ago, Brewcrew82 said:

    I'd be totally okay with what Steamer currently has him projected for (122 wRC+ and 2.2 WAR). I could definitely see that happening with the banning of the shift and a reversion to the mean with his BABIP. 

    Yeah around 2 WAR is definitely attainable for Rowdy. 
     

    Last year Josh Bell had 123 wRC+ In 647 PA. His BsR was -5.6 leaving an offensive value at 11.3. His defensive value was -14.4. His fWAR was 2.0. That feels like something Rowdy could pull off with some better batted ball luck. 

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    CheezWizHed
  • Brewer Fanatic Contributor
  • Posted

    15 minutes ago, wiguy94 said:

    More than likely the latter. Agreeing to a settlement doesn’t exclude a team from signing the player to a long term extension (Devers is an example from this offseason). It’s likely Burnes thinks he can get more through the arb process than the Brewers were willing to offer.

    Yes, more likely the later and of course extentions can still come.... but not signing is a leverage tactic if the Brewers and his agent are currently in discussions.

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    4 minutes ago, damuelle said:

    Not so far apart on Burnes: 

     

    Probably should have just given Burnes what he wanted when you’re only $740K apart but some people are making this out to be so much more than it has to be. 

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    3 hours ago, CheezWizHed said:

    Might Corbin's lack of contract indicate they are trying to sign a longer term deal and buy out a FA year or two?  Or does it mean Corbin is playing hardball on arby numbers...indicating we don't have a prayer for his FA years. 

    Just a guess but I think Rowdy will end the year at 2-3WAR.  

    or he just wants to go to arbitration.

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    18 minutes ago, Robocaller said:

    If that's true, WTH? They gave Woodruff $10.8M. 

    Woodruff should get more than Burnes. He's pitched 100 more innings, has a better career ERA, and is in his 3rd arb year compared to Burnes 2nd arb year. Brewers should have just given Burnes what he wanted (not like payroll is up and Mark is trying to save some money) but that doesn't mean Woodruff should be getting less than Burnes.

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    6 hours ago, damuelle said:

    Not so far apart on Burnes: 

     

    Stop being so damn cheap and just pay your Cy Young award winner. Burnes is not asking for an unreasonable amount at all. Pretty ridiculous.

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    9 hours ago, wiguy94 said:

    Woodruff should get more than Burnes. He's pitched 100 more innings, has a better career ERA, and is in his 3rd arb year compared to Burnes 2nd arb year. Brewers should have just given Burnes what he wanted (not like payroll is up and Mark is trying to save some money) but that doesn't mean Woodruff should be getting less than Burnes.

    I don’t know, a Cy Young Award and being arguably the best pitcher in baseball over the past 3 years should be worth something imo…Granted, Corbin did file for less than Woody. 

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    15 minutes ago, Brewcrew82 said:

    I don’t know, a Cy Young Award and being arguably the best pitcher in baseball over the past 3 years should be worth something imo…

    Arbitration process looks at your whole career not just what you’ve done recently. 

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    13 minutes ago, wiguy94 said:

    Arbitration process looks at your whole career not just what you’ve done recently. 

    True. But it's still surprising as there's only a .03 difference in their ERA's and the hardware should be enough to cancel out the innings difference imo. Projections also had Burnes earning more than Woody, too. 

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    6 minutes ago, Brewcrew82 said:

    True. But it's still surprising as there's only a .03 difference in their ERA's and the hardware should be enough to cancel out the innings difference imo. Projections also had Burnes earning more than Woody, too. 

    Woodruff being a year further into arb than Burnes is the big difference maker here. If Burnes was arb 3 not arb 2 then he would surely be getting more than Woodruff probably a notable amount more as well (talking multiple million)

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    8 hours ago, wiguy94 said:

    Woodruff being a year further into arb than Burnes is the big difference maker here. If Burnes was arb 3 not arb 2 then he would surely be getting more than Woodruff probably a notable amount more as well (talking multiple million)

    It's not likely, that's the situation. Baseball arbitration is an archaic system that is based on rather strict rules and outdated modes of evaluating players (it's a union arbitration that is not baseball specific, so you get arbitrators who know nothing of baseball's intricacies). If you're arb 1, you basically get X% of your free agent value. If you're arb 2, you basically get X2% of your free agent value. If you're arb 3, you basically get X3% of your free agent value. At the far end of the spectrum, you occasionally see a player get something close to their actual free agent value in their arb 3/4 years (usually 4th year if that player happened to be super 2).

    The entire system is based on number of arb years with actual talent being a distant secondary part of the equation.

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    To add to this a bit, this is why you so often see players like Kolten Wong or Gio Urshela dished off via trade in their final year of arb. Some team might need one year of a player at that price but even though it’s a solid value for the team that controls said player, the system doesn’t properly rate and value that player so they move on.

    Yet one more way MLB bites mid-tier players in the ass and devalues them into a lower tier.

    The entire system is so broken. 

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    19 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

    It's not likely, that's the situation. Baseball arbitration is an archaic system that is based on rather strict rules and outdated modes of evaluating players (it's a union arbitration that is not baseball specific, so you get arbitrators who know nothing of baseball's intricacies). If you're arb 1, you basically get X% of your free agent value. If you're arb 2, you basically get X2% of your free agent value. If you're arb 3, you basically get X3% of your free agent value. At the far end of the spectrum, you occasionally see a player get something close to their actual free agent value in their arb 3/4 years (usually 4th year if that player happened to be super 2).

    The entire system is based on number of arb years with actual talent being a distant secondary part of the equation.

    Yeah the comparison for people should be Burnes likely to make $4M more in arb 2 than Woodruff did last year. Next year in arb 3 he will likely make $8M+ more than Woodruff did this year in arb 3

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    On 1/14/2023 at 2:29 AM, wiguy94 said:

    Woodruff should get more than Burnes. He's pitched 100 more innings, has a better career ERA, and is in his 3rd arb year compared to Burnes 2nd arb year. Brewers should have just given Burnes what he wanted (not like payroll is up and Mark is trying to save some money) but that doesn't mean Woodruff should be getting less than Burnes.

    Burnes is the better pitcher and it's not that close. Plus he won a CY.

     

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    6 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

    To add to this a bit, this is why you so often see players like Kolten Wong or Gio Urshela dished off via trade in their final year of arb. Some team might need one year of a player at that price but even though it’s a solid value for the team that controls said player, the system doesn’t properly rate and value that player so they move on.

    Yet one more way MLB bites mid-tier players in the ass and devalues them into a lower tier.

    The entire system is so broken. 

    Yeah, poor guys might not even have $30M career earnings.  :-)

     

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    7 hours ago, Robocaller said:

    Burnes is the better pitcher and it's not that close. Plus he won a CY.

     

    And once again, Burnes is arb 2 while Woody is arb 3. Burnes will be getting about $4M more than Woodruff did in arb 2 last year. This is how the arb process works.

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    7 hours ago, Robocaller said:

    Yeah, poor guys might not even have $30M career earnings.  :-)

    Oh, I'm not crying for mid-tier players but baseball would be better if more revenue sharing happened, coupled with younger players getting paid a lot more with older players getting paid a lot less. The sport would do better for itself if players were paid commensurate with their on-field ability at the time.

    The sport would be more compelling if Juan Soto made $25m right now and Xander Bogaerts didn't have a guaranteed eleventy-seven year deal.

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