Minutes before teams swapped contract proposals with their arbitration-eligible players, the Brewers announced they had agreed to terms on one-year contracts for second baseman Rickie Weeks and center fielder Carlos Gomez, leaving only four eligible players unsigned.
Terms of the new deals were not immediately available but Weeks earned $2.45 million in 2009, when he spent most of the season on the disabled list following wrist surgery, and Gomez earned $437,500 with the Minnesota Twins.
The Brewers acquired Gomez on Nov. 6 for shortstop J.J. Hardy and installed him as the starting center fielder. Gomez was arbitration-eligible for the first time as a “Super 2″ player after batting .229 last season with three home runs and 28 RBIs in 137 games.
Weeks has also yet to tap the potential that prompted the Brewers to select him second overall in the 2003 Draft, partly because of injuries. He was off to a great start in 2009 — .272 average, nine home runs and 24 RBIs in 37 games — before tearing the sheath of a tendon in his left wrist during a May 17 game at St. Louis. Weeks needed surgery and was lost for the season.
The Brewers expect Weeks back in 2010 as the team’s starting second baseman and leadoff hitter.
With Gomez, Weeks and outfielder Jody Gerut under contract (Gerut signed Monday for one year and $2 million), the Brewers were left with four unsigned players eligible for arbitration. At 11 a.m. CT on Tuesday, unsigned players and their teams swapped salary proposals, but can continue to negotiate until the date of a scheduled arbitration hearing next month.
The eligible players still unsigned include starter Dave Bush ($4 million salary in 2009), relievers Todd Coffey ($800,002) and Carlos Villanueva ($447,000) and outfielder Corey Hart ($3.25 million).