Baseball’s arbitration process isn’t fun. Players are looking to make up for being woefully underpaid (relative to the amount of money in the game) during their careers up to that point -- including both their time in the minor leagues and the majors -- while teams are looking to pinch every penny possible.
A lot of times, that can lead to some hurt feelings based on disagreements of value -- we all want to be fairly compensated and valued, right? -- especially when those disagreements are taken to an arbitration hearing. That’s why teams and players both try to generally avoid them.
Luckily, it looks like the Brewers have avoided those thorny situations this winter, agreeing to contracts for all of their remaining arbitration-eligible players.
The #Brewers have agreed to 1-year contracts with INF/OF Hernán Pérez, 2B Jonathan Villar, RHP Corey Knebel and RHP Jimmy Nelson, avoiding arbitration. No players remain eligible for arbitration. pic.twitter.com/L7jM7s2TrP— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) January 12, 2018
Minutes after it was reported that All-Star closer Corey Knebel had agreed to a $3.6 million deal to avoid his arbitration hearing, the team announced they’d also agreed to contracts for their last three arbitration-eligibles: Jimmy Nelson, Jonathan Villar and Hernan Perez.
There are good reasons why those three contracts were the last ones the team was able to hammer out. In Nelson’s case, how do you compensate someone who’s expected to miss much (or at least a significant part of) the next season but was your most important pitcher last season? In Villar’s case, what’s the middle ground between an outstanding 2016 season you got for pennies on the dollar and a terrible 2017 season? For Perez, how much do you pay your super-sub who plays nearly every day but isn’t truly everyday quality?
According to Adam McCalvy, Nelson will make $3.7 million this year. That’s a about a million less than what he was projected to receive after making $547,000 last year.
Jimmy Nelson settled with the Brewers for $3.7M, according to a source.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) January 12, 2018
Salary figures for Villar and Perez haven’t been released yet, but should be reported sometime soon. Villar was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to receive $3 million this year, while Perez was projected at $2.2 million.
UPDATE (1:10 p.m.):
Villar signs for a little more than $2.5 million in his first year of arbitration eligibility, again according to McCalvy.
Jonathan Villar settled with the Brewers for $2.55 million, per a source. Not surprisingly, he's said to be extremely motivated to re-establish himself in 2018.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) January 12, 2018
Hernan Perez’s deal also lands a bit below MLBTR’s projections, though he does have some incentives apparently built in:
hernan perez, brewers agreed at $1.975M plus awards— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 13, 2018