Matt Swartz has developed a very accurate model that MLBTR uses to project arbitration salaries, as explained in this series of posts. We've heard from many MLB teams and agencies that reference the projections in their work. The Brewers are next in our series. Estimated service time is in parentheses, and estimated 2014 salary follows.
- Marco Estrada (4.035): $3.5MM
- Burke Badenhop (5.116): $2.1MM
- Juan Francisco (2.156, Super Two): $1.4MM
When Estrada hit the DL on June 5th for a hamstring injury, he was sporting a 5.32 ERA. A back injury cropped up as well, delaying his return until August 7th. From that point onward, he posted a 2.15 ERA and 5.09 K/BB ratio in nine starts. Estrada will again be a popular sleeper pick heading into next season. For now, his salary projects to remain small, and he hasn't shown enough to justify a significant extension.
Acquired in December last year, Badenhop's 2013 peripherals were nearly a carbon copy of his '12 rates. He remains a useful groundball pitcher, and the Brewers have him for one more year before he's eligible for free agency.
Francisco was a popular trade target after the Braves designated him for assignment in late May. The Brewers dealt for him in early June and he hit .221/.300/.433 for them in 270 plate appearances, trailing off in the season's final month. He was used in a strict platoon, rarely facing a left-handed pitcher while mostly playing first base. Even just for some pop off the bench, Francisco seems worth retaining at $1.4MM.
Assuming the Brewers tender contracts to Estrada, Badenhop, and Francisco, they're looking at a projected $7MM for three arbitration eligible players.