Brewers, Mike Brosseau Avoid Arbitration

12:15 pm: Mark Feinsand of reports that Brosseau will make $1.4MM.

12:10 pm: The Brewers announced that they have signed utility player Mike Brosseau to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration. His salary is not yet publicly known.

Brosseau, 29 in March, made his MLB debut with the Rays in 2019. Over that year and the shortened 2020 campaign, he got into 88 contests and seemed to cement himself as a valuable player. He hit 11 home runs and produced a batting line of .284/343/.500, leading to a wRC+ of 130. He also provided defensive versatility, playing the three non-shortstop infield positions as well as the outfield corners. Unfortunately, he struggled in 2021 and wound up splitting his time between the majors and the minors. In 57 MLB games, he hit .187/.266/.347 for a wRC+ of 73.

The Rays traded Brosseau to the Brewers a year ago and he seemed to get back on track after the switch. Milwaukee primarily used him in platoon fashion, as 105 of his 160 plate appearances came against lefties. For his career, Brosseau has a 127 wRC+ against southpaws but just an 84 the rest of the time. That was largely true in 2022 as well, though he strangely walked much more against righties in his small sample. That led his wRC+ totals to come out pretty even at 117 and 119, despite a .274 batting average against lefties and a .217 against righties. On the whole, he finished the season with a .255/.344/.418 batting line and a 118 wRC+.

He surpassed three years of MLB service time this year, qualifying for arbitration for the first time. Though it’s not yet known what salary he agreed to, MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected $1.2MM. Whatever the number, Brosseau has locked that money in. Under the previous collective bargaining agreement, teams could cut arbitration players in Spring Training and only pay a portion of the salary. However, the new CBA dictates that players will receive full termination pay so long as they don’t go to a hearing.

The Brewers currently have a number of lefties who project to get at least somewhat regular playing time, including Christian Yelich, Rowdy Tellez, Kolten Wong, Jon Singleton and Garrett Mitchell. Given Brosseau’s defensive versatility and penchant for hitting lefties, he should be able to plug himself into semi-regular platoon duty, as well as occasionally pinch-hitting and serving as a defensive replacement.

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