After Prince Fielder and Manny Parra avoided arbitration on Tuesday, the Brewers have three arbitration-eligible players remaining, and they exchanged offers yesterday. Adam McCalvy has a blog post on what each player demanded, what the team offered, and the midpoint between the two offers.
More often than not, these disputes are settled near the midpoint. Finding common ground with Kameron Loe shouldn’t be very hard, and even the midpoint for Shaun Marcum at $4 million is almost absurdly cheap for a guy who many are expecting to be a third “number one.” One would think both cases are settled fairly soon. The Weeks case is starting to look far more complicated than anyone first anticipated, but his injury history does make estimating his monetary value a tricky proposition. Even then, an argument could be made that the Brewers lowballed Weeks on their offer, and probably did more to harm to their longterm negotiations with him than Greg Genske did by insisting on Dan Uggla as a point of comparison.
It is interesting to see how much the Brewers’ payroll could swing based on what happens with this three cases, though. A member at Brewerfan.net went through the team’s current salary obligations, including buyouts, and estimates that the opening day payroll will be between $86.8 and $91.8 million, depending on the results of the still-pending arbitration cases.
Give or take a half a million (we don’t know which pre-arby players will have their contracts renewed for slightly more), I think that ends up being pretty accurate. If that’s the payroll the team carries into the 2011 season, it would be nearly the same as last season’s Opening Day total of $90.4 million. Even on the high end of that estimation, the Brewers would be getting quite a bit of value for every dollar they spend. Considering the amount of roster turnover, that’s some impressive budget work by Doug Melvin.