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Cashing In

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Tom Haudricourt has a good summary of who on the Brewers is arbitration-eligible and how their previous seasons would affect their salaries if they went to arbitration. A few I'd like to highlight:

  • Melvin discussed a two-year deal with Tony Graffanino, but it fell through:
    Melvin earlier discussed a possible two-year deal with Graffanino's agent, Dan Lozano of the Beverly Hills Sports Council, but little progress was made.
    That may speak to the fact that neither the Brewers nor Graffanino really wanted Tony to be on the Brewers at this point.
  • The two arb-eligible players Doug really has his eye on are, perhaps obviously, Chris Capuano and Bill Hall:
    At some point, Melvin said he might consider making multi-year offers to Capuano and Hall to buy out some of their arbitration years. Melvin has done that in the past with players such as Matt Wise, Derrick Turnbow and Brady Clark.
    It would be fantastic if they could get Hall locked up for the next four years.
  • This should cheer you all up:
    Outfielder Kevin Mench didn't play well for the Brewers after coming from Texas in the Carlos Lee trade last July, batting only .230 with one homer and 18 RBI in 40 games. But Mench batted .284 with 12 homers and 50 RBI in 87 games with the Rangers before coming to Milwaukee and thus also could net a raise from his $2.8 million salary.
    Way to earn those bucks, Kevin.
To refresh, the actual arbitration hearings occur between the 1st and the 20th of February; during them, each side submits a salary figure and the arbitrator, after listening to each side's argument, chooses one of the two figures (not a midpoint). A lot of people feel that, from a morale standpoint, it's better to avoid arbitration whenever possible, figuring the player doesn't much like to hear his employer systematically build and present a case accentuating all of his faults.