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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Brewers Re-Sign Clark to Two Year Deal

From Adam McCalvy at MLB.com:

The Brewers and Brady Clark made an overnight deal to avoid an arbitration hearing. A few hours later, they agreed to skip the whole process next year.

After first coming to terms on a one-year, $3.2 million contract on Wednesday, Clark and the Brewers later made it a two-year, $7 million deal that will carry Clark into free agency following the 2007 season.

"We didn't have intentions of doing a multi-year deal down there," said Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, who had just returned from St. Petersburg, Fla. "But we're glad to get it done."

It got done in a hurry. Melvin and Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash traveled Tuesday to Florida expecting to attend a 9:30 a.m. ET hearing on Wednesday against Clark and his agent, Bobby Barad. Clark had filed for $3.5 million in arbitration while the Brewers offered $3 million, and neither side seemed ready to budge.

Both sides met throughout the day Tuesday and finally came to terms on a one-year contract at about 1:45 a.m., less than eight hours before the scheduled hearing. It was announced later Wednesday morning.

But the groundwork had already been laid for a second year, and after Melvin and Ash had returned to Milwaukee and Barad to New York, it was finalized with one phone call.

Clark will earn $3.2 million in 2006 and $3.8 million in 2007. There are no incentives involved, Melvin said.

Why add the second year? Clark, who originally entered professional baseball as an undrafted free agent with the Reds in 1996, gets the security that comes with a guaranteed two-year contract. And if he performs anything like he did in 2005, the Brewers will save significantly on his 2007 salary.

Clark led the Brewers in 2005 with a .306 batting average and 94 runs scored. He earned a $1.15 million base salary but bumped his pay to $1.425 million with incentives.


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