The Brewers have won their arbitration case against lefty relief ace Josh Hader, per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter). He’ll receive the $4.1MM that the team presented rather than the $6.4MM salary he had sought.
This is a significant win for the team side. For the Brewers, specifically, it not only means immediate savings but sets the team up to pay quite a lot less in each of the three remaining seasons of team control.
More broadly, this case now joins the Dellin Betances ruling in tamping down arbitration leverage for exceptional relief pitchers who have not accumulated a large number of saves. It has been a good winter for teams generally, as they’ve taken six of seven arbitration hearings thus far after the players scored some wins last offseason.
Hader, 25, will not earn as much as he had hoped. But he’ll still do much better throughout his arbitration years than would’ve been expected at the time of his initial promotion to the majors. Most of that is due to his excellent work on the field, of course, but he also did not seem in line for Super Two status. Hader just did sneak in to early arb qualification owing to this year’s unusually low service-time cutoff.
The Brewers have received quite a few good innings from Hader over the past three years. In 204 2/3 total frames, he carries a 2.42 ERA with 15.3 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9. He was homer-prone last year but otherwise remained all but impossible to square up. The flamethrower finished the season with a personal-best 6.90 K/BB ratio.