Guessing the Brewers’ Arby Outcomes

The Brewers’ seven arbitration-eligible players filed with the player’s union Friday — Adam McCalvy has the story at brewers.com. The players that will be looking for raises are Dave Bush, Todd Coffey, Carlos Villanueva, Rickie Weeks, Jody Gerut, Corey Hart, and Carlos Gomez. As McCalvy notes, this is the first year of arby eligibility for Villanueva and Gomez (Gomez qualifies for arby due to his Super Two status). The players will swap figures on Tuesday, according to McCalvy, and from there will have until the date of the hearing to iron out a contract. Doug Melvin has never had to go to an arbitration meeting in his tenure as General Manager, and hopefully that trend continues this year. He won’t have to worry about working out a deal with Scott Boras for Prince Fielder this offseason, thanks to the two-year deal he got Fielder to sign last winter that locked in his 2010 salary. He will, however, have to deal with a couple of players that underachieved last season but will still be looking for raises anyway — here’s looking at you, Dave Bush and Corey Hart. Below is a table listing this year’s arby-eligible players and what they made last season, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

Pos Player ’09 Salary
SP Dave Bush $4,000,000
RP Todd Coffey $800,000
RP Carlos Villanueva $447,000
2B Rickie Weeks $2,450,000
OF Jody Gerut $1,775,000
OF Corey Hart $3,250,000
OF Carlos Gomez $437,500

So, what should these players make in 2010? In the link above, McCalvy says that the Brewers are planning to spend somewhere between $17 and $18 million on these players this winter. Villanueva and Gomez are in line for significant raises despite below-average performance last year just because they’re entering their first year of arby — they won’t be making the minimum again. Given Coffey’s performance last season, it seems to be a lock that he’ll make more than $1 million next year. Weeks can expect a reasonable raise, despite missing most of the year due to injury. As I noted earlier, the headaches start with Bush and Hart — pay cuts are almost unheard of when it comes to arbitration, so it seems likely that both will at least get small raises. With that said, here are my guesses on what they’ll end up making (not necessarily what the team will offer):

Pos Player ’10 Estimate
SP Dave Bush $4,650,000
RP Todd Coffey $1,650,000
RP Carlos Villanueva $750,000
2B Rickie Weeks $3,500,000
OF Jody Gerut $2,200,000
OF Corey Hart $4,150,000
OF Carlos Gomez $800,000

To me, these seem like reasonable raises and represent a decent compromise between what the two sides will likely be looking for. Thoughts?

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