Brewers non-tender Vogelbach, Curtiss

December 1st, 2021

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers cut loose first baseman and reliever after signing first baseman , utility man and reliever to one-year contracts on Tuesday, all before the deadline for clubs to tender 2022 contracts to unsigned players.

The Brewers did tender contracts to all of their other players under club control, including nine players who are eligible for arbitration this offseason. They are starters Corbin Burnes, Adrian Houser, Eric Lauer and Brandon Woodruff; relievers Josh Hader and Brent Suter; catcher Omar Narváez, shortstop Willy Adames and third baseman Luis Urías.

Those players are considered signed for 2022 at salaries to be determined, at least as the system is currently constructed. Under that system, teams and players would exchange salary proposals next month ahead of arbitration hearings in February.

This year offers a complication, however. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement between owners and players, which governs the economics of the sport, expires Wednesday night.

Vogelbach and Curtiss were among the players around the game who immediately became free agents. Vogelbach presumably overlapped too closely with Tellez, since both are left-handed power hitters confined defensively to first base. There is the possibility of the universal designated hitter next season, but the Brewers opted not to proceed in arbitration with Vogelbach after he earned $1.4 million last season.

Curtiss’ case was more unique, since he was not eligible for arbitration and would have earned something close to his 2021 salary of $615,000 in '22, then entered his three arbitration years after that. The Brewers opted to non-tender him because Curtiss will miss all of ’22 following Tommy John surgery in September; he was injured in his sixth appearance following a trade from Miami to Milwaukee at the July 30 Trade Deadline.

For Tellez, Peterson and Gustave, there’s some certainty. The 2022 salaries for Tellez and Peterson were not immediately known but Gustave reportedly agreed to a split deal that would pay $675,000 in the Major Leagues.

Of the arbitration-eligible players who were tendered contracts, Hader figures to be the most costly as he comes off a $6.675 million salary in 2021 and a third National League Reliever of the Year Award. He has two years of club control remaining.

For five others, this represents their first foray into arbitration, a system that typically applies to players with between 2-6 years of Major League service and awards salaries comparable to peers in the same service class with similar statistical production. That likely means significant raises for NL Cy Young Award winner Burnes (who earned $608,000 in his final pre-arbitration season in ’21), Adames ($590,000), Houser ($584,100), Urías ($575,100) and Lauer ($570,500).

Urías was the only Brewers player to qualify for arbitration shy of three years of MLB service as a so-called Super Two.