Yesterday, we previewed five of the arbitration cases the Brewers will face this offseason. Today, we’ll look at the remaining four: Carlos Gomez, Nyjer Morgan, Travis Ishikawa, and Kameron Loe.
Kameron Loe: third year, $2.18 million (2012), $2.6 million (2013 projected)
Loe is another reliever whose fate will depend on Doug Melvin’s master plan to not re-create the 2012 bullpen. He had another rough year, thanks to some BABIP woes, a spike in home runs allowed, and a second straight year of seeing far too many left-handed batters. There is reason to think he can be better than he has been over the last couple years, but it’s hard to see it happening in Milwaukee as long as Ron Roenicke is manager. Don’t be surprised if Loe is not a Brewer in 2013.
Carlos Gomez: fourth year (super two), $1.96 million (2012), $3.4 million (2013 projected)
Gomez is probably due for a nice raise after a sudden burst of power brought his offense above league-average levels. With only one season of club control left, the Brewers may look at signing him to an extension instead of another one-year deal. Giving Gomez a multi-year deal (say, 3-4 years and $15-20 million) would require a lot of faith in his newfound power on the part of Doug Melvin, but the outfielder stands to make significantly more than that in free agency if he has another year like 2012.
Nyjer Morgan: third year, $2.35 million (2012), $2.6 million (2013 projected)
As has already been extensively covered here and elsewhere, Morgan is almost sure to be non-tendered. As much fun as 2011 was, it simply makes no sense for the Brewers to pay Morgan $2-3 million to sit on the bench when Logan Schafer, Caleb Gindl, or Mark Kotsay could do the same for a fifth of the cost. We certainly wish him the best, as he was a class act all season and can hopefully find it again in a new situation.
Travis Ishikawa: first year, $525,000 (2012), $900,000 (2013 projected)
Ishikawa had his uses for the 2012 Brewers, but his status for next year is still up in the air. The problem with him is actually quite similar to that of Morgan: Ishikawa is probably worth a roster spot, but it doesn’t make much sense to pay him much more than league minimum when there are guys already in the organization who can do his job for less money (see Gamel, Mat). Ultimately, Ishikawa’s future likely comes down to how much the Brewers value things like his defense and clubhouse presence. Either way, whether the club keeps Ishikawa or not isn’t going to make or break their offseason.