MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers signed outfielder Jody Gerut to a one-year, $2 million contract on Monday, avoiding arbitration the day before teams and their eligible players are to swap salary proposals.
Gerut earned $1.775 million last season, when Gerut batted .230 with nine home runs and 30 RBIs combined for the Padres and Brewers.
He was traded from San Diego to Milwaukee on May 21 for outfielder Tony Gwynn, Jr. and struggled to adjust. Gerut hit .098 (4-for-41) with two RBIs in his first 30 games with the Brewers, then finished strong by hitting .283 (34-for-120) with five homers and 19 RBIs over his final 55 games. The versatile Gerut projects as Milwaukee's fourth outfielder behind left fielder Ryan Braun, center fielder Carlos Gomez and right fielder Corey Hart.
With Gerut under contract, the Brewers still have six arbitration-eligible players left to sign. They are starter Dave Bush ($4 million salary in 2009), relievers Todd Coffey ($800,002) and Carlos Villanueva ($447,000), second baseman Rickie Weeks ($2.45 million) and outfielders Carlos Gomez ($437,500) and Corey Hart ($3.25 million).
On Tuesday, arbitration-eligible players who remain unsigned will file a proposal for a one-year contract and their team will counter with its own figure. The sides can continue to negotiate until the arbitration hearing, which will be scheduled from Feb. 1-21. Often, a deal is struck for a salary near the midpoint, but if sides are unable to reach a deal before a hearing, each presents its case to a panel of judges, which then selects one figure or the other.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.