Davis could earn almost $6 million
Davis, who is 9-9 with a 3.99 ERA this season, is making $450,000 this year after missing arbitration eligibility by a single day last winter.
"I call it the $1.2 million day," Davis said. "But it happens. I wasn't the only one in that seat. That's money that I'll never get back, obviously."
Davis' agent, Steve Canter, has a different view: "Whatever he may have lost in the offseason, the way this deal is structured he can easily win it back."
Canter said the two-year deal is for a guaranteed $4,750,000 and could climb to $5,950,000 with incentives and escalators.
Davis is glad none of them are batting incentives -- he's 0-for-42 at the plate this season.
"No, we put stuff in I could reach," he said, laughing.
The 28-year-old Davis leads the NL with 22 starts and has never missed a start in either the major or minor leagues.
If he makes 12 more starts this year, his base salary for 2005 jumps $300,000 to $2,350,000. And if he makes at least 33 starts next season, his base salary for '06 goes from $2,700,000 to $3,200,000. He can also earn an additional $400,000 in other incentives, Canter said.
"If he does his job and makes his starts, then he'll get that [which he missed out on last winter] and then some," Canter said.
Since coming to Milwaukee in mid-2003, Davis is 12-11 with a 3.59 ERA in 30 starts. He is 37-38 overall with a 4.61 ERA in 115 games, 95 of them starts, for Milwaukee, Toronto and Texas since 1999.
General manager Doug Melvin figured Davis would be arbitration eligible last offseason and was preparing the club's offer when he got word he didn't have to.
"That must have been very disconcerting for Doug," Melvin said. "Doug came up to me and talked to me in the office (at spring training). And I said, 'Just go out and pitch, do well and we can sit down later on and talk about it.' "
Davis did his part and the Brewers began negotiating an extension early this month.
"He went out and pitched well enough that I had to look back onto our sit-down we had at Maryvale and it was the time to do it," Melvin said. "He backed up what he said he was going to do and we backed up as a ballclub what we said we were going to do."
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press