Coffey avoids arbitration with one-year deal
The Brewers moved a step closer to another year devoid of arbitration hearings when they agreed to terms on a one-year deal with reliever Todd Coffey on Thursday. With Coffey under contract, the Brewers have only three arbitration-eligible players still unsigned.
“It was quick, easy, painless,” Coffey said after the team’s announcement. “Now we can get on to baseball.”
Coffey will earn $2,025,002 in 2010, a $1.225 million raise from last season. The sides struck a deal two days after exchanging arbitration figures and settled for about $50,000 less than the midpoint — Coffey and agent Rick Thurman filed for $2.45 million and the Brewers countered at $1.7 million — but Coffey can earn that $50,000 in incentives based on appearances.
He joined the Brewers in September 2008 after the Reds released him on his birthday, and was a workhorse for the Brewers in his first full season in Milwaukee. Coffey posted a 2.90 ERA in a team-high 78 relief appearances and led all National League relievers with 83 2/3 innings pitched, a career-high.
He’s expected to return in a setup role to closer Trevor Hoffman in 2010 alongside Brewers newcomer LaTroy Hawkins.
With Coffey under wraps, the Brewers have three arbitration-eligible players left to worry about:
— Right fielder Corey Hart filed Tuesday for $4.8 million, $650,000 more than the club’s $4.15 million offer and $1.55 million more than he earned in a disappointing 2009 season.
— Starting pitcher Dave Bush filed for $4.45 million and the club offered $4.125 million, a relatively manageable gap of $325,000. Bush earned $4 million in a 2009 season marred by a line drive off the bat of Florida’s Hanley Ramirez on June 4 that struck Bush near the right elbow and caused trouble for the rest of the year.
— Reliever Carlos Villanueva filed for $1.075 million and the team offered $800,000, a $275,000 difference.
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