Update at 7:30 p.m. CT: Assistant GM Gord Ash confirms the sides have settled. Loe would need to make 78 appearances to max out his incentives.
The Brewers and reliever Kameron Loe avoided a potential arbitration hearing by agreeing Friday to a one-year deal that will pay Loe $1.25 million in 2011, according to a baseball source.
Loe, 29 and coming off a very productive debut season with Milwaukee, can earn an additional $115,000 in performance bonuses. His settlement fell just below the midpoint of figures filed by the sides earlier this week — Loe and agent Page Odle were seeking $1.65 million in arbitration and the Brewers offered $1.055 million.
The Brewers were somewhat surprised by Loe’s figure, and assistant general manager Gord Ash said there was “a very good chance” the sides would go all the way to a hearing. Friday’s settlement avoided that potentially messy procedure.
Loe signed a Minor League deal with Milwaukee last winter, was called up to the Majors starting June 1 and posted a 2.78 ERA in 58 games while earning a prorated portion of $650,000. He figures to slide into a middle to late-inning role with the team in 2011, working with right-handers LaTroy Hawkins and Takashi Saito and left-hander Zach Braddock as set-up men for closer John Axford. Loe also has Major League history as a starting pitcher and has been mentioned as one potential emergency option moving forward.
With Loe’s deal done, the Brewers have only two arbitration-eligible players still in talks about 2011 contracts — second baseman Rickie Weeks and starter Shaun Marcum.
Weeks filed for for $7.2 million and the Brewers countered at $4.85 million, a gap of $2.345 million. The midpoint of figures is $6.025 million.
Marcum is seeking $5 million in arbitration and the Brewers offered $3 million. The midpoint is $4 million.