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Milwaukee Brewers avoid arbitration with All-Star closer Corey Knebel, agree to one-year deal

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Knebel will enjoy a nice raise after a breakout 2017 season that saw him become one of the best relievers in baseball

Cincinnati Reds V Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Today is the deadline for teams to swap figures with their remaining arbitration-eligible players. In many cases, both sides are hoping to avoid an arbitration hearing, so we typically see a flurry of activity.

The Brewers are one of the teams striking at least one deal today, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY, avoiding what could’ve been a costly arbitration hearing with Corey Knebel.

This was Knebel’s first year of arbitration eligibility, qualifying as a Super Two player. He made just under $539,000 in 2017 as he broke out as one of the best relievers in the National League, striking out 126 batters in 76 appearances, setting a new MLB record for consecutive games with a strikeout, converting 39 saves, and earning his first All-Star selection.

Earlier in the offseason, MLB Trade Rumors projected Knebel would earn about $4.1 million in arbitration, so the $3.6 million deal could be seen as a bit of a bargain.

The signing leaves Jonathan Villar, Jimmy Nelson and Hernan Perez as the Brewers’ only remaining arbitration-eligible players. Stephen Vogt, Jeremy Jeffress and Chase Anderson previously signed contracts (Anderson’s being a multi-year deal), while Carlos Torres and Jared Hughes were let go. The deadline for teams to exchange contract figures with their remaining arb-eligibles is noon.

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference