The team submitted a figure of $2.45 million for Anderson in January, while he's asking for $2.85 million. But as McCalvy reports, the Brewers are taking a "file and trial" strategy with arbitration this year, meaning negotiations to avoid a hearing ended once the two sides submitted their numbers. It's a different philosophy than the one employed by former GM Doug Melvin, who often kept negotiating until the date of the hearing.
According to McCalvy, the team has grown leery of the old strategy of just settling at the midpoint between the two proposals:
For much of former GM Doug Melvin's tenure, the Brewers continued negotiating with arbitration-eligible players after the exchange date, often settling at or near the midpoint of filing figures, sometimes literally on the doorstep of a hearing. But in the club's view, that process sometimes led to inflated salaries, because representatives could file an artificially high figure in an effort to drive up the midpoint.
McCalvy says Anderson had been told to expect a hearing once the two sides couldn't agree on filing deadline day, and Anderson told McCalvy at Brewers On Deck that there were no hard feelings about the business side of his relationship with the team.
After a rough start to his Brewers tenure last season, Anderson turned things around in the second half, putting up a 3.02 ERA (4.43 FIP) after the All-Star Break. He also posted career bests in K/9 (7.12) and K% (17.6%). As a Super Two player, this is his first year of arbitration eligibility.
Last week, JP took a look at a few comps for Anderson's case to see who has the best chance of walking out of the hearing victorious.
The Brewers haven't gone to an arbitration since 2012, when they beat Jose Veras in a hearing. They haven't lost an arbitration case since 2010, to Corey Hart. Anderson's hearing should take place before Pitchers and Catchers report on Valentine's Day.
Statistics courtesy FanGraphs