At least if the words of team negotiator Teddy Werner are to be believed. The two sides will likely head to an arbitration hearing after the Brewers pulled their latest offer to outfielder Corey Hart, reports Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“We made a final offer that we thought was a good offer,” said Werner.
“It’s significantly higher than the number we filed. They didn’t like
it. I said, ‘See you in Tampa in a couple of weeks.'”
Hart requested $4.8 million while the Brewers filed for $4.15 million when arbitration figures were exchanged last week. As Haudricourt notes, the Brewers have never went to an arbitration hearing under general manager Doug Melvin.
“Maybe they think we’re bluffing,” said Werner. “But we’re not.”
Hart is nowhere near as indispensable as a Tim Lincecum, but there’s a lot to lose for both sides if this goes to a hearing. The nature of such hearings can have long-lasting effects on the relationship between an organization and its player. Hart’s game has plenty of faults, and the Brewers will be sure to point them out if it comes to it.
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.