Brewers avoid arbitration with key players.
Milwaukee, W.I. ~ Yesterday General Manager David Stearns avoided last off-season’s saga with Chase Anderson last February and reached deals with the four remaining eligible key players.
Shutdown closer Corey Knebel, starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson, utility man Hernan Perez, and second-basemen Jonathan Villar all reached agreements with the Milwaukee Brewers before the 12 o’clock noon deadline for salary figure. Those four players were the four remaining Brewers eligible for arbitration and considering last year with Chase Anderson, David Stearns did a great job this year to reach agreements with the players. All four focused on signing 1-year deals.
Stearns told the media afterward that all four deals came down to the wire, and that the focus was generally on signing the players to 1 year deals. ” We’re certainly pleased we were able to agree with all four of the remaining eligible players.”, said Stearns, the 32 year old GM. His policy is to usually not continue negotiations until the deadline and then go to the hearings with the players. That is what happened last year with Chase Anderson.
Because they all are going through arbitration for the first ime in their careers, every player out of the bunch received serious raises in their respective payrolls.
Knebel jumped from a salary of $538,900 all the way up to $3.65 million. Nelson, who will join the Brewers in May to June because of a shoulder injury went from a salary of $547,00 to $3.7 million now. Perez, an extremely valuable utitlity man, got his pay boosted from $545,700 to a projected $2 million. And despite a costly disappointing season, Villar’s pay jumped from $554,500 to $2.55 million.
Knebel, an All-Star closer, took advantage of Neftali Feliz’s failures with the Brewers early in the season and went on to save 39 games for Milwaukee. He struck out a franchise record, 126 hitters in only 76 innings. Knebel also set a Major League record when he made 45 straight appearances with a strikeout.
Nelson, a 28 year old starting pitcher, was having a career year before he tore his labrum at Wrigley Field on September 8 while sliding back into first base after a hit. Before his injury Nelson wass 12-6 with a 3.49 ERA.
Perez a valuable utility man played seven different positions over the course of the year while hitting .259 and launching 14 HR’s to go along with 51 RBI’s.
Villar ,26, suffered through a difficult and disappointing season only hitting in the .240’s with 11 homers and 40 RBI’s.
The future keeps on looking brighter and brighter for these Milwaukee Brewers and with just over a month before the start of Spring Training, Stearns is done with arbitration.
By Jacob Szczap