Seven Brewers file for arbitration
Players, club to exchange salary figures Tuesday
MILWAUKEE -- All seven of the Brewers arbitration-eligible players formally filed Friday with the Player's Association, a procedural move that sets up the sides to exchange contract proposals on Tuesday.The players, with their 2009 salaries, are starter Dave Bush ($4 million), relievers Todd Coffey ($800,002) and Carlos Villanueva ($447,000), second baseman Rickie Weeks ($2.45 million) and outfielders Jody Gerut ($1.775 million), Carlos Gomez ($437,500) and Corey Hart ($3.25 million). Villanueva and Gomez are the first-time eligibles and should see the largest salary jump, as a percentage.
On Tuesday, arbitration-eligible players will file a proposal for a one-year contract and their team will counter with its own figure. The sides then continue negotiating until a hearing date, scheduled this year from Feb. 1-21. Often, a deal is struck for a salary near the midpoint, but if sides are unable to reach a deal before a hearing, each presents its case to a panel of judges which selects one figure or the other with no room for compromise.The Brewers haven't gone all the way to a hearing with a player during general manager Doug Melvin's tenure, which began in September 2002. Melvin came close with outfielder Brady Clark in 2006 before striking a deal with only hours to spare. Last year, Hart and the Brewers settled on a one-year deal on the eve of a scheduled hearing. The club expects to spend about $17-$18 million for the seven arbitration-eligible players. That figure could have been higher, but the Brewers opted to nontender pitcher Seth McClung and catcher Mike Rivera in December, making each player a free agent.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.