Two things were known for sure. One, the Brewers were going to offer arbitration to CC Sabathia, basically as a guarantee they would get two free agents after he likely signs elsewhere. Two, Eric Gagne would not be getting a phone call.
That left two Brewers still eligible for arbitration, pitchers Ben Sheets and Brian Shouse. As much as we tried to guess what Doug Melvin would do, we wouldn't really know until the offers were made.
As it turns out, offers were made to both of them.
The risk with offering it to Sheets is that he very well might accept. Of course, if Sheets signs with another team, the Brewers will get two free agents in next year's draft. Very important. But if he can't sign with a team, likely because of the concerns about how soft he has been injury wise, he'll probably accept.
That means he'd be a Brewer for one more season, although at a higher salary than last year.
I'm glad the Crew offered arb to Shouse, although gut feeling tells me he might not accept. Arbitration is only a one year deal, and Shouse is looking for something in the two-year range, even though he is a 40-year-old man.
I can't imagine going into next year without him though.
If you're confused as to how the whole arbitration and draft picks scenario works, Tom Haudricout has a pretty good explanation.
He's also got the news on the Brewers latest signing, Scott Thorman, and news about their spring schedule. Thanks, Tom!