Vargas avoids arbitration; gets $3.6 million

Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reported Tuesday that right-handed starter Claudio Vargas came to terms with the Brewers just three days before the deadline where players and team management swap contract amounts. The signing leaves the Brewers with just 3 arbitration-eligible players unsigned: Chris Capuano, Dave Bush, and J.J. Hardy.
Vargas’ $3.6 million deal is almost a million more than the $2.5 million he earned in ’07, and signals a commitment by the Brewers’ club that they will pay to keep mid-level talent. Still, the signing could also be a precursor to a trade, now that the acquiring team knows exactly how much Vargas will make…and that he is only under contract for a year. Yet, all signs point to Ned Yost having Vargas at the start of spring training, and at least until the end of April, until Mike Cameron is done with his 25 game suspension. Vargas likely wouldn’t clear waivers if designated for assignment to AAA Nashville, but the contract could be a bit of a disincentive to some cash strapped teams…still, I would think even the Pirates or the Rays would bite the bullet on taking a chance on Vargas.

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