Thursday, November 5, 2009

This Might be Old News

When I was digging around the various baseball blogs for some ammo for my Yankees Hate post, I came across a Brewers tidbit that I had not previously seen. It doesn't come as a huge surprise, but I found it interesting. This is from Buster Olney's blog, on 11/1 discussing the large number of young players that could be non-tendered, rather than given arbitration (and a chance at getting an undeserved raise). If this is old news to you, please disregard. Or if you generally disregard the bullshit I write anyways, then proceed as usual.

"J.J. Hardy, Milwaukee Brewers shortstop: He is 27 years old and theoretically entering the prime of his career, having hit 26 and 24 homers in 2007 and 2008. But Hardy hit .229 with 11 homers in 2009 while earning $4.65 million. He has five years of service time and is, of course, eligible for arbitration. Through that process, he could earn a salary close to $7 million.

Now, if Hardy were a free agent, it would seem unlikely he would land a multiyear deal for anything close to $7 million, given his history of injury and inconsistency. This past winter, veteran shortstop Orlando Cabrera signed for $4 million. Cesar
got a two-year deal for $5 million.

Before the trade deadline, the Brewers asked the Red Sox for what Boston considered to be excellent prospects in return for Hardy, and part of the reason the Red Sox rejected the overture was their sense that Hardy was about to become vastly overpriced in the market. With Alcides Escobar expected to take over at shortstop, the Brewers are said to be very willing to move Hardy. But what could they get for him? And is there necessarily a market for him, when the team acquiring him knows he probably would be paid more than what a player with his track record would be paid later in the winter?The next-best option for the Brewers, perhaps, would be simply not to tender him a contract."

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