Recapping the Milwaukee Brewers Non-Tender Deadline–Who Stays & Who Goes?

Brewers General Manager David Stearns and Manager Craig Counsell talk before a spring training game, March 28, 2016.Mjs Counsell Stearns
Brewers General Manager David Stearns and Manager Craig Counsell talk before a spring training game, March 28, 2016.Mjs Counsell Stearns /

With the MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement set to expire on December 1st, and with that, likely a lockout to follow, the non-tender deadline was moved up to Tuesday at 7 p.m. CST. And for the Milwaukee Brewers, they had 13 players who were arbitration-eligible.

In short, an arbitration-eligible player is someone on the Brewers’ 40-man roster with less than six years of big-league service time–and there are then three categories that these players can fall into at the non-tender deadline.

First up, if a player is non-tendered, that means they will immediately become a free agent. Oftentimes this will occur when a team doesn’t want to pay a player the raise that they’ll earn through arbitration.

Next up, if a player is tendered a contract, that doesn’t necessarily mean a deal for the 2022 season has been agreed upon yet, but rather the two parties — the player and the team — agree to work something out. If it turns out that the player and team can’t agree on a salary, then that’s when hearings are involved, and arbitrators will determine that season’s salary.

Lastly, to avoid arbitration altogether, the player and the team can come to a contract agreement.

Below is a look at who the 13 arbitration-eligible players were for the Milwaukee Brewers and what their projected 2022 earnings will be, according to MLB Trade Rumors.

Jace Peterson – $1.3 million

Omar Narvaez – $4.1 million

Brent Suter – $1.0 million

Josh Hader – $10.0 million

Brandon Woodruff $7.1 million

Daniel Vogelbach – $2.0 million

Willy Adames – $4.0 million

Corbin Burnes – $4.0 million

Eric Lauer – $2.7 million

Jandel Gustave – $800,000

Adrian Houser – $2.3 million

Rowdy Tellez – $1.9 million

Luis Urias – $2.4 million

Non-Tendered Milwaukee Brewers

Of the 13 arbitration-eligible players, only two were non-tendered–John Curtiss and fan-favorite Daniel Vogelbach.

Curtiss was acquired by the Milwaukee Brewers prior to the trade deadline this past summer from the Miami Marlins. He was supposed to provide added bullpen depth, but unfortunately, Curtiss had a rough go during his short time in the Cream City.

In only six appearances that spanned 4.1 innings of work, Curtiss posted a 12.46 ERA, allowing eight hits, six earned runs, two home runs, and three walks. He will also miss all of the 2022 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

With the addition of Rowdy Tellez last season, there was some redundancy having both him and Vogelbach — two left-handed swinging first basemen — on the roster together. And to put it simply, Tellez was much better.

Vogelbach spent some time on the IL last season, but when healthy, he would appear in 93 games, slashing .219/.349/.381 with nine home runs and an OPS+ of 97. While he had his moments here in Milwaukee, ultimately, Vogelbach was a limited player.

Tendered Milwaukee Brewers

The players who were tendered contracts, fall into the no-brainer category. All of these players were key members of the 2021 Milwaukee Brewers. This group includes Willy Adames, Corbin Burnes, Josh Hader, Adrian Houser, Eric Lauer, Omar Narvaez, Brent Suter, Brandon Woodruff, and Luis Urias.

Now, as mentioned above, just because the Brewers tendered contracts to these players, that does not mean that there are any official deals in place–those still have to be worked out. And when it comes to Hader, Milwaukee can still trade him if the right deal comes along.

Milwaukee Brewers who avoided arbitration

That leaves Rowdy Tellez, Jace Peterson, and Jandel Gustave, all of whom agreed to one-year deals to avoid arbitration. At this time, we do not know what those contract values are.

Upon joining the Brewers after being acquired via trade from Toronto last season, Tellez found new life as the Crew’s primary first baseman. In 56 games with Milwaukee, Tellez slashed .272/.333/.481 with seven home runs and an OPS+ of 116–the league average is 100.

On-base Jace provides defensive versatility — something that we know Craig Counsell and David Stearns covet — and as his nickname suggests, he always seems to find his way on base. Over the last two seasons, Peterson has a .355 on-base percentage, while in 2021, he slashed .247/.348/.367 with an OPS+ of 93. His OPS+ during the shortened 2020 season was 104.

Lastly is Gustave, who appeared in 14 games last season out of the Milwaukee bullpen. He covered 18.1 innings while posting a 3.44 ERA and a WHIP of 1.091. Gustave would surrender seven earned runs, two home runs, five walks, and recorded 13 strikeouts.