2013 Contract Issues: Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers are next in MLBTR’s 2013 Contract Issues series:

Eligible For Free Agency (4)

  • Zack Greinke - It looks like Greinke will be one of the offseason's top free agents. Assuming he spends the entire season in Milwaukee without signing an extension, I expect the Brewers will make him a one-year qualifying offer this fall to be eligible for draft pick compensation. Greinke will presumably decline the offer in search of a multiyear deal.
  • Shaun Marcum - It'll be interesting to see if the Brewers make Marcum a qualifying offer when he files for free agency. Qualifying offers project to be worth $12.5MM or so this offseason, a considerable jump from Marcum's current $7.725MM salary.
  • Cesar Izturis - While Izturis could be back in 2013, he doesn't appear to have a place in the Brewers' long-term plans.
  • Francisco Rodriguez - Rodriguez, 30, is off to a relatively slow start for the Brewers. He won't obtain a qualifying offer from the team this offseason.

Contract Options (2)

  • Randy Wolf: $10MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout. The 35-year-old left-hander hasn't looked like a $10MM pitcher so far this year, but the Brewers may pick up the option if he pitches 200-plus innings with an ERA around 4.00, as he did in 2010-11.
  • Alex Gonzalez: $4MM vesting option become guaranteed with 525 plate appearances. Gonzalez will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his ACL, so there's no chance this option will vest.

Arbitration Eligible (12)

The Brewers will have a large class of arb eligible players this offseason. Axford's case might be the most interesting one facing Gord Ash, Teddy Werner and others in the Brewers front office. This class includes some non-tender candidates (Chulk, Ishikawa, Conrad, Veras and even Morgan), so there's a good chance the Brewers will have fewer than 12 cases to resolve next offseason.

2013 Payroll Obligation

The Brewers have committed approximately $52MM to next year's payroll, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. The team's payroll has risen to $98MM under Mark Attanasio's ownership, so GM Doug Melvin will have some money to spend this offseason. He'll need it, with two of his top starters hitting free agency and uncertainty on the infield.

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