In a normal offseason, the deadline for the Brewers and arbitration eligible players to agree to prior to a hearing is mid-January. This year, a lockout was initiated and a new deadline was set for March 22, 2022. Arbitration hearings will take place starting April 7 this season as opposed to Mid-February, which means for some they will begin the regular season without a set salary.
A large portion of the Brewers core is currently arbitration eligible. This includes Luis Urias who qualified as a Super-Two player, offseason addition Hunter Renfroe, NL Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes, NL Reliever of the Year Josh Hader, shortstop Willy Adames, and many more.
On Tuesday, the Brewers struck deals with all but one of their arbitration eligible players.
Because the two sides could not agree on a deal, a court will now determine Houser’s salary for 2022, which as mentioned earlier may be as early as April 7. Coincidently this is also Opening Day for the Brewers.
Of the players who agreed to deals, Josh Hader came in at the highest at $11MM. Second was Hunter Renfroe at $7.65MM and pitchers Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes just behind him at $6.8MM and $6.5MM.
Other notable salaries include Omar Narvaez at $5MM, Willy Adames at $4.6MM, Luis Urias at $2.55MM and Eric Lauer at $2.425MM. Overall, the Brewers spent $49.225MM on arbitration eligible players yesterday.
Last season, that same group of players counted for about $30MM less on the payroll. That’s a big increase for the Brewers payroll just for keeping the same players as the year before. Because of that, Milwaukee will be pushing a possible record-high payroll in 2022.
Given the uniqueness of the off-season, it is good to see the Brewers and their players agreeing to deals prior to the start of the regular season. As we have learned in the past, arbitration hearings can get ugly and may create some animosity. Most of that frustration is typically directed at the arbitration system and not at the Brewers.
Keep in mind though that just because the Brewers did not agree with Houser by the filing deadline, doesn’t mean they automatically go to a hearing. Houser and the organization can continue to negotiate and come to terms all the way up until they walk into the hearing.