The Brewers have a smaller-than-usual crop of arbitration-eligible players this winter, with just three players finishing the season with the requisite amount of MLB service time. Today Matt Swartz of MLB Trade Rumors released his salary projections for the trio next season and he has them taking home a combined $7 million, which would be up roughly 75% from the $4,001,250 they made last season.
The big jump belongs to Marco Estrada, who goes from $1.955 million in 2013 to $3.5 million in 2014. Estrada missed two months of the 2013 season with a hamstring injury but was red hot down the stretch, likely cementing a spot in the 2014 rotation. Even following the raise, Estrada remains a potential bargain for next year's team.
After that, you get two players that may or may not stick around. Swartz projects Burke Badenhop to get $2.1 million, which would be a $550,000 raise. Badenhop posted a 3.47 ERA and appeared in 63 games for the Brewers in 2013, but 49 of those appearances were in low-leverage situations. Swartz says Badenhop "remains a useful groundball pitcher," and if the Brewers saw him that way he'd be worth this price. If they intend to continue to use him as a mop-up man, though, then they might be better off going young and using this money elsewhere.
Finally, Juan Francisco is eligible for the first time as a Super 2 player and MLBTR projects he'll get $1.4 million, up from the $496,250 contract he signed with the Braves last spring. Francisco looked like he might be playing himself into a long term role when he hit .254/.333/.531 in his first 58 games as a Brewer, but his poor defense and .127/.203/.159 finish likely earned him a ticket out of town.
If you skimmed ahead looking for a summary, here you go:
|Player||2013 Salary||Proj 2014||Kyle's prediction|
|Marco Estrada||$1.955 million||$3.5 million||Settle near that price.|
|Burke Badenhop||$1.55 million||$2.1 million||Strong chance of non-tender|
|Juan Francisco||$496,250||$1.4 million||Non-tender|