The Brewers are next in our arbitration eligibles series…
- First time: Manny Parra, Joe Inglett, Kameron Loe
- Second time: Carlos Gomez, Carlos Villanueva
- Third time: Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Todd Coffey
Fielder will clearly be tendered a contract, though he's a strong trade candidate. With so many star first basemen locked up in multiyear deals, there are few clear comparables for Fielder in his last arbitration year. Mark Teixeira, another Scott Boras client, received a $3.5MM raise in January of '08. That'd put Fielder at $14MM, though the Brewers' first baseman has significantly fewer runs and RBIs than Tex did and lacks Gold Glove hardware as well. Boras isn't obligated to talk about Fielder's raise, though. He can just focus on what he feels Fielder is worth now, even comparing him to free agents.
Weeks is also a lock to be tendered, given his breakout healthy season in 2010. It's difficult to find a comparable for Weeks, as most top offensive second basemen are locked up. His credentials will net a raise of at least a few million bucks, and the Brewers will probably open extension talks.
Loe is another player who will be unquestionably tendered a contract. He had success out of the Brewers' bullpen this year, but doesn't have the career numbers to merit a big first-time payday.
Pitchers Parra, Villanueva, and Coffey all posted disappointing ERAs but strong strikeout rates in 2010. I think Parra and Villanueva will be tendered contracts, though they could be trade bait. Brewers GM Doug Melvin, speaking to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy, commented recently that "you don't want to give away a guy like Parra," as opposed to the team's "short leashes" on Jorge de la Rosa and Grant Balfour. Coffey earned $2.025MM this year, so there is a greater chance the Brewers non-tender him.
Gomez continued to struggle offensively, but his career numbers will limit his raise. He's likely to be part of the team's center field mix next year. Inglett, a 32-year-old journeyman, did solid work this year but could be cut in December for flexibility.