Today, the Brewers agreed to terms with Shaun Marcum just moments before the start of the arbitration hearing. This is not surprising, since Mark Attanasio has only had one player go to arbitration in his time as the Brewers owner.
Initially, the Brewers offered Marcum $6.75 million, which was a $2.5 million dollar raise. On the other side, Marcum was looking to double his pay from 2011, at $8.7 million. Neither request unreasonable. That being the case, the two sides were able to settle in the middle at $7.725 million.
Earlier in the week, I wrote an article voicing my opinion on how the Brewers should treat this negotiation. Obviously not one person in the Brewers organization read that article. If you would like to read it, here is the link. If not, let me give you quick version.
Why waste time negotiating a one-year deal? Sign him for 3 or 4 years with that $7.725 as his yearly wage. A 4-year, $30 million dollar contract is beyond reasonable for a pitcher like Marcum. I am just surprised that the Brewers would waste so much time on a single year deal, when they could have done something more. This was a terrific opportunity to lock up Marcum and help show Greinke that the team is serious about winning. After losing Prince this off-season, my biggest fear is that Greinke and Marcum will both leave after the 2012 season. Which, in my opinion, would doom the team to mediocrity for another decade or so.
At least it is over and Marcum will be ready to report in about 16 days.
Now that just leaves the only Brewer to have never pitched a single ball for the team, Jose Veras. You may be asking yourself, “Who is Jose Veras?”. He is the dude we got from the Pirates for Casey McGehee (who apparently has lost like 30 pounds this off-season). Veras is a 31 year old right-hander, who should help fill the gap between the starting staff and the best 1-2 punch in baseball (K-Rod and Axford). The McGehee trade served two purposes, one was to get another bullpen arm, the other was to sign Aramis Ramirez.
Veras is probably only looking for $1 million or so. That should make his arbitration pretty quick and painless. Last season for the Pirates, Jose appeared in 79 games with a 3.80 ERA. The most impressive stat I could find about Veras was his MORE than 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio. Veras strikes out a lot of batters, and walks very few. This guy will really help out in the bullpen if Manny Parra and Zach Braddock don’t return to full form.
Tomorrow, I am going to put together an in-depth look at the make-up of the 2012 bullpen. They are mostly familiar faces. Primarily I am going to focus on who could surprise us by making the opening day roster.
Happy Friday night everyone!!!