The deadline to offer arbitration eligible players contracts is Friday, November 18. This year, the Brewers have the second highest number of arbitration eligible players in all of baseball. In total, 18 players are eligible. All together they are projected to command $79.9MM in salary. It is unlikely that everyone is granted a contract. With that being said, in this article we will cover three Brewers who could be non-tendered at this year’s deadline.
1) P Brent Suter – $3.1MM Projection
Suter is currently the longest tenured player on the Brewers roster. The 33 year old has been with the Crew for seven seasons now. Overall he has a career 3.51 ERA in 196 career games. In 2022 he appeared in 54 games, covered 66.2 innings, and had an ERA of 3.78. He had an ERA of 4.58 at the All-Star break but a 2.87 second half ERA.
Recently, the Brewers declined reliever Brad Boxberger’s $3MM club option. Given the fact that Boxberger often pitches in high leverage situations and Suter does not, one could speculate that Suter will not be tendered a contract at the $3.1MM projected salary. Maybe the Brewers and Suter can agree on a contract worth less money to avoid arbitration. If not, he may be non-tendered and enter free agency.
2) C Victor Caratini – $2.8MM Projection
The Brewers acquired Caratini via trade right before opening day. This trade was made due to Pedro Severino being suspended 80 games. Early on, the trade appeared to have paid off in the Brewers favor. However, Caratini struggled down the stretch and ended up with a batting average below the Mendoza line.
As it stands today, Caratini is on top of the depth chart at the catcher position. Omar Narvaez is a free agent and Mario Feliciano and the recently re-acquired Payton Henry are depth pieces. It would not be surprising to see the Brewers non-tender Caratini and pursue other options behind the dish.
3) 1B Keston Hiura – $2MM Projection
The Brewers and Keston Hiura have officially hit a fork in the road. Despite bouncing back after a rough 2021 season, Hiura did not see consistent playing time in 2022. To make matters worse, he is now out of minor league options.
Having no minor league options is an issue. If the Brewers do tender him a contract for 2023 and later want to free up space on the active roster, they could lose him through waivers. It is possible the Brewers tender him a contract for now and look to trade him. If Matt Arnold feels that there is no Keston Hiura trade market, they could elect to just non-tender him at the deadline.