Before shopping at the “free agent” market, Brewers’ GM Melvin has to look at arb eligible players

While surfing the web for MLB related sites, I visited one of my favorites, www.mlb4u.com.
This site provides reliable info on free agents, trade possibilities, and a list of arbitration eligible players by team. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of time today (I’m looking for a new job…anyone want to hire me?), but found the two lists that Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin is scouring as we speak:
Free agents: The Brewers have 7 players on the list this season (Cordero, Jenkins, Graffanino, King, Koskie, Miller, and Linebrink). The site makes predictions as to where players will wind up which, if I recall correctly, is never very accurate…for example, I’m not sure why the Orioles would be interested in Francisco Cordero when they have so many other problems they need to fix to even get to “save opportunities.” Likewise, Eric Gagne rated ahead of Cordero on the FA market? They predict Jenkins signing with the Cardinals, and Damian Miller returning to the Brew Crew.
Players eligible for arbitration: The Brewers have 12 for 2008, or almost half their roster. Unfortunately, in a world of budgets and limited payrolls, Melvin has to decide which of these players to offer arbitration to and, more importantly, how much. Melvin has also exploited this list–recall last year how he dealt arbitration eligible Doug Davis to the D-backs for arbitration eligible Johnny Estrada and Claudio Vargas–in other words, Melvin was able to guesstimate what each would wind up getting and identify that he’d rather pay Estrada and Vargas than Davis.
Anyway, it is clear that Doug Melvin’s decisions on how to best spend the $70 million to $80 million payroll budget will be crucial in the future success of the Brewers.

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