Because of Major League Baseball, the word "arbitration" has become one of the scariest words for fans to hear. Even though it can be a good thing, I have this really morbid image in my head of what goes on during these arbitration meetings. Whenever I see that a team and a player can avoid these meetings, I always feel an unexplained sense of relief.
I'm feeling said relief tonight after learning that the Brewers and J.J. Hardy have avoided arbitration. Hardy has agreed to sign a one-year deal worth $4.65 million, a $2 million raise from last year. Even though this salary is probably pretty close to what would have been agreed on in arbitration, it's always a good sign to see a player and team agreeing to terms before that is necessary.
Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Dave Bush, Seth McClung, and Corey Hart are the remaining Brewers that need to go through the arbitration process. All of them will be in a Milwaukee uniform next season, barring a trade, but their contracts need to be worked out first.
Elsewhere around the MLB, former Brewer Gabe Kapler has agreed to join his friend Gabe Gross as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays.
And congratulations to Rickey Henderson and especially Jim Rice for their entry into Cooperstown.