MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers and reliever Kameron Loe avoided a potential arbitration hearing by agreeing Friday to a one-year, $1.25 million contract. Loe, 29 and coming off a very productive debut season with Milwaukee, can earn an additional $115,000 in performance bonuses based on appearances up to 78 games. His settlement fell just below the midpoint of figures filed by the sides on Tuesday -- Loe and agent Page Odle were seeking $1.65 million in arbitration, and the Brewers offered $1.055 million. The Brewers were somewhat surprised by Loe's figure, and assistant general manager Gord Ash predicted earlier in the week that there was "a very good chance" the sides would go all the way to a hearing. Friday's settlement avoided that potentially messy procedure.
"Any time you make a deal, you have to be happy," Ash said on Friday night. "The system is designed to make a deal, and in this case, that's just what it did." Loe signed a Minor League deal with Milwaukee last winter, was called up to the Majors on June 1, and posted a 2.78 ERA in 58 games while earning a prorated portion of $650,000. He figures to slide into a middle- to late-inning role with the team in 2011, working with right-handers LaTroy Hawkins and Takashi Saito and left-hander Zach Braddock as setup men for closer John Axford. Loe also has Major League history as a starting pitcher and has been mentioned as one potential emergency option moving forward. With Loe's deal done, the Brewers have only two arbitration-eligible players still in talks about 2011 contracts -- second baseman Rickie Weeks and starter Shaun Marcum. Weeks filed for $7.2 million, and the Brewers countered at $4.85 million, a gap of $2.345 million. The midpoint of figures is $6.025 million. Marcum is seeking $5 million in arbitration, and the Brewers offered $3 million. The midpoint is $4 million.