Brewers, Veras go to arbitration
MILWAUKEE The Milwaukee Brewers’ first face-to-face meeting with reliever Jose Veras came in an arbitration hearing Monday.
For only the second time in 14 years, the Brewers went to a hearing with a player when they couldn’t reach a deal with the arbitration-eligible Veras. The Brewers acquired Veras in December from Pittsburgh in a trade for third baseman Casey McGehee.
Veras, 31, filed an arbitration figure of $2.375 million, compared to the Brewers’ offer of $2 million. He had a base salary of $1 million last season with Pittsburgh and also earned $350,000 in incentives.
The three-person panel of Dan Brent, Marlene Gold and John Sands will render their award today. They must pick one figure or the other, with no compromise.
It was only the second time the Brewers went to a hearing since Doug Melvin became general manager in September 2002. Two years ago, rightfielder Corey Hart won his arbitration hearing.
The Brewers’ previous hearing came in 1998, when right-hander Jose Mercedes prevailed.
Veras appeared in 79 games for Pittsburgh last season, going 2-4 with a 3.80 earned run average. He allowed only 54 hits in 71 innings while walking 34 and striking out 79.
He held opponents to a .206 batting average.
Braun still waiting
Monday marked the 25th day since the arbitration hearing began in New York for Ryan Braun’s appeal of a positive drug test. MLB guidelines specify that the panel “make all reasonable efforts” to render a verdict within that time frame, but it is not a rigid deadline.
Panel chair Shyam Das was given more time to deliver the three-person verdict as to whether Braun must serve a 50-game suspension to begin the 2012 season. The decision is expected to be announced before Braun is required to report to the Brewers’ spring camp on Feb. 24.
No MLB official would speculate on the probable date of the announcement because the process is intended to be confidential. If Braun is exonerated, the Commissioner’s Office would make no announcement, leaving it to the player’s representatives or the union to do so.