The deadline to tender contracts for arbitration-eligible players is later today, but the Brewers are getting an early start.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN was the first to report this morning that the team agreed to a 1-year, $3.065 million deal with veteran catcher Stephen Vogt to avoid the arbitration process, and the team just confirmed the signing.
That figure is a small raise over the $2.965 million Vogt made in 2017 and is almost a million dollars less than projections put out by MLB Trade Rumors earlier this offseason. That would seem to indicate either Vogt's willingness to stay on and be a veteran leader on a young team, or his realization that he was likely close to being non-tendered (or a little of both).
Vogt helped solidify the Brewers' catching situation when he was claimed off waivers after being DFA-ed by Oakland about halfway through the year. The two-time All-Star struggled with the A's before turning things around a bit in Milwaukee, hitting .254/.281/.508 in 45 games as a Brewer. He hit for power in that stretch (8 home runs and 7 doubles), but didn't walk much and struggled defensively, especially after hurting his MCL in a collision at homeplate shortly after being acquired.
Manny Pina is still expected to be the starter, but you can do a lot worse than a .789 OPS from your backup (especially when he hits left-handed), even with his problems throwing runners out. Vogt will be 33 years old in 2018.
Vogt's arbitration contract is a non-guaranteed deal. The Brewers will have the ability to release him during Spring Training and owe him only a portion of his deal in the form of termination pay. Should he make the Opening Day roster, his salary will then become fully guaranteed.
After signing Vogt and Chase Anderson to contracts and removing Carlos Torres from the roster, the Brewers have six arbitration-eligible players left: Jared Hughes, Jeremy Jeffress, Jonathan Villar, Jimmy Nelson, Hernan Perez and Corey Knebel.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference