The Milwaukee Brewers and José Veras held their arbitration hearing today in St. Petersburg. This marks the sixth hearing of the year, and the teams are ahead 3-2. The Brewers have only had five hearings in their history. They lost to Corey Hart in 2010 and José Mercedes in 1998. The Brewers defeated Mike Fetters in 1994 and Jim Gantner in 1991. The panel at today’s hearing was Dan Brent, Marlene Gold, and John Sands according to Associated Press reports. According to my research, Dan Brent has participated in 16 panel decisions, and those panels have decided 12 of the 16 for teams. Brent’s most recent panel was Brian Brunney’s 2010 loss to the Washington Nationals. For Marlene Gold, this is her first baseball salary arbitration experience. For John Sands, a member of the Corey Hart panel in 2010 with Elizabeth Neumeier and Sylvia Skratek, this is his fifth panel decision. Sands also was a solo arbitrator in four decisions. He decided three of those for teams (Tony Tarasco-Orioles-1998, Zane Smith-Braves-1988, and Darryl Motley-Braves-1987). Tarasco was actually waived in March 1998 and picked up by the Cincinnati Reds. Ron Darling won his 1987 hearing with the Mets.
Veras pitched in 79 games last year for the Pirates, and he led the team in appearances. He was traded to the Brewers by the Pirates for Casey McGehee, one of only five undecided cases left in this year’s arbitration pool. Veras had a 3.80 ERA. The team offer was $2,000,000 and the player’s request was $2,375,000. That left a midpoint of $2,187,5000. Veras was paid $1,350,000 in 2011. I am a bit surprised that the Brewers did not find common ground with Bryce Dixson, Veras’ agent, because of their strong preference towards avoiding hearings.