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01/29/09 6:15 PM EST

Brewers ink seven to one-year deals

Stetter, Salome among prospects to agree to terms Thursday

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers signed seven of their pre-arbitration players to one-year contracts on Thursday.

The team came to terms with right-hander Tim Dillard, left-hander Mitch Stetter, infielders Alcides Escobar, Mat Gamel and Casey McGehee, infielder/outfielder Brad Nelson and catcher Angel Salome.

Of that group, Stetter is most likely to win a spot on Milwaukee's Opening Day roster, though he will have to compete with fellow lefty R.J. Swindle. Dillard will be in the mix for another bullpen opening, and the Brewers are intrigued about McGehee, who was plucked off waivers from the Cubs in October after driving in 92 runs for Chicago's Triple-A affiliate last season.

The Brewers are two months away from their decisions, but the others could begin the year at Triple-A Nashville. Escobar and Gamel would form a prospect-rich left side of the infield, and Salome figures to share time behind the plate with Vinny Rottino.

Teams control salaries during players' first three years of Major League service. The Brewers pay so-called "zero-to-three" players based on a system that compensates for statistical achievements and awards.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.