Today is the final day for players to avoid arbitration and the first player to agree to a contract with the Milwaukee Brewers is relief pitcher Corey Knebel.
Knebel, 27, signed a one year, $5.125 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers early on Friday morning.
According to MLBtraderumors.com, his arbitration value was $4.9 million, so the estimates were far off from what him and the team agreed on.
Knebel, started 2018 as the closer, but after an injury and mid season struggles, went down to Triple A on Aug. 23rd. He spent a couple days in the bullpen with pitching coach Derek Johnson to work on some things before reporting to Colorado Springs.
After return on Sept. 2nd, besides Josh Hader, no relief pitcher was hotter for the Brewers in September and October.
In 16 late season games, Knebel was lights out, giving up just five hits in 16.1 innings of work. He had 33 strike outs to just three walks and hitters were blanking against him, hitting only .102.
In the postseason, he was just as electric. In nine games he held opposing hitters to a .090 average, with 14 strikeouts to three walks in 10 innings.
Knebel will be important to the Brewers success in 2019 as they rotate the trio of him, Hader and Jeremy Jeffress in the back end of the bullpen to close out games.
The Brewers still have a handful of players that they hope to reach agreements with before the 1 pm EST deadline.
Third baseman Travis Shaw is the other big contract that’s expected to happen sometime this morning. MLBtraderumors.com projected he will receive a $5.1 million deal. Knebel received a slight bump over his projection and it stands to reason that Shaw could receive a similar bump as well.
If they don’t sign their contracts today, the Brewers will file their arbitration numbers and the players will file their side. The Brewers could use the file and trial approach and not negotiate after today, but they could still sign them to contracts prior to their hearing in early February.
So expect more great reports from Reviewing The Brew throughout the day as several Milwaukee Brewers sign their contracts.