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Marco Estrada and Juan Francisco avoid arbitration, agree to deals with Brewers

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The two players will be paid just under $5 million combined.

duhhhhhh how much money?
duhhhhhh how much money?

The Brewers had two players eligible for arbitration this year but neither will actually present their case before an arbitrator.

Both Marco Estrada and Juan Francisco have agreed to one-year deals with the Brewers, avoiding the need for a sloppy affair of the player saying why he is worth so much money and the team pointing out the players flaws. Francisco will make $1.35 million in 2014 while Estrada will earn $3.325 million, according to Tom Haudricourt.. Both also have performance bonuses written into their deals.

In his second year of arbitration, Estrada is receiving a raise from $1.955 million. He may very well have developed into the best starting pitcher on the Brewers' roster, so his new salary really does not seem so awful. Last season he had a 3.87 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. He has occasional troubles with home runs, but strikes out over eight and walks only two batters per nine innings. If he can keep his home run totals down, he could very will be an All Star pitcher.

Francisco is in his first season of arbitration eligibility. He is expected to compete for a starting spot at first base, or could platoon with Mark Reynolds. Francisco is also capable-ish of backing up third. He's got plenty of power in his bat, but doesn't do a whole lot else well. Really, he's a lesser, left-handed Mark Reynolds. He's almost certainly going to be on the roster opening day, though.

With the new contracts and the likely $2 million that will be owed to Mark Reynolds, the Brewers currently owe $80,225,000 to 11 players. That puts the team on pace for an opening day payroll of around $85,225,000. Given the lack of movement this offseason on the team, this might very well be the last significant Brewers news until spring training. Unless/until they sign Francisco Rodriguez again, anyway. Or bring back Yuniesky Betancourt on a minor league deal with an invite to spring training......maybe we should hope this is the last move of the offseason for Milwaukee.