Projection: $1.0MM – $1.0MM
All three of Swartz’s projections have Ryon Healy at a $1.0MM salary. The Brewers signed Healy to a $1.0MM deal for 2020 and he only made seven at-bats during the regular season.
Healy didn’t play well in his opportunities, and despite the lack of production at the corner infield spots, he still couldn’t crack the 28 man roster.
Maybe the Brewers will give Healy another chance next year at a similar price, but he’s certainly not going to be getting more money than what he signed for in 2020.
Projection: $5.125MM – $5.125MM
Corey Knebel has been sitting at a $5.125MM salary for two years now and these projections make it look like it’ll be three years running for Knebel.
In 2019, Knebel agreed to a $5.125MM salary prior to undergoing elbow surgery. He was re-upped for 2020 at the same price, as is normal for players that missed a season due to injury, and things went decent, but not great.
In 15 games this year, Knebel posted a 6.08 ERA, which was inflated by a couple of rough outings in August as he dealt with a hamstring issue that he later went on the IL for. Since returning from the IL, Knebel was back to his fastball velocity he was at pre-surgery and looked like his old self overall.
Being another year away from elbow surgery should help Knebel keep his velocity up at the 97-98 MPH range and that should improve his statistics. It’s possible the Brewers might not want to spend that much money on a reliever without much of a guarantee that he’ll perform at previous levels.
Projection: $2.725MM – $3.1MM
What a tough year for Omar Narvaez. He comes over to the Brewers from Seattle and essentially lost his starting job down the stretch to Jacob Nottingham because he couldn’t hit at the plate. Narvaez’s .176 average was the worst of his career.
Narvaez avoided arbitration with the Brewers last year with a $2.725MM salary and nothing in his 2020 performance would indicate he’s deserving of a big raise.
If there was a 162 game season, Narvaez likely would’ve been able to break out of his slump at some point, but it’s hard to estimate just how good those final numbers would’ve been then. If Narvaez does get a raise, it’s going to be minimal.
Stearns has not committed to Narvaez returning as the starting catcher in 2021 and there’s a chance he could get non-tendered, even if he wants to return at the same salary level.