The Brewers announced on Thursday that they have acquired outfielder Rymer Liriano from the Padres in exchange for minor league left-hander Trevor Seidenberger. In order to clear a spot for Liriano on the team’s 40-man roster, the Brewers designated fellow outfielder Shane Peterson for assignment.
Liriano, formerly one of the Padres’ most highly regarded prospects, was designated for assignment himself last Friday to clear a spot for shortstop Alexei Ramirez, who signed a one-year deal with the Padres.. Still just 24 years old, Liriano struggled in his lone glimpse of Major League action, batting just .220/.289/.266 in 121 plate appearances back in 2014. He is, however, a highly accomplished hitter in the minors, having batted a combined .311/.399/.483 to go along with 14 homers and 21 steals in 620 Triple-A plate appearances. Liriano has played more corner outfield throughout his minor league career, but he also saw 168 innings in center field this past season and 349 innings there in 2014. That, it would seem, is his best path to the Brewers’ Major League roster, as Milwaukee is already flush right-handed-hitting corner outfield options, including Khris Davis, Ryan Braun and Domingo Santana.
Prior to the 2012 and 2013 seasons, Liriano made an appearance on a number of league-wide Top 100 prospects, including those from Baseball America, MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus, where he ranged anywhere from 39th overall (B-Pro, pre-2013) to 60th overall (MLB.com, pre-2012). Baseball America credited him with the best outfield arm in San Diego’s system for three consecutive seasons, and prior to the 2012 campaign BA also tabbed him as the best power-hitting prospect in the Padres’ minor league ranks.
Liriano underwent Tommy John surgery that cost him the entirety of his 2013 season, but he’s always produced at the minor league level when on the field. Scouting reports have, in the past, praised him for his ability to hit to all fields with power, even though there’s a general expectation that he’ll lose some of the speed he displayed earlier in the minors as he continues to fill out his frame.
Seidenberger, 23, was Milwaukee’s 12th-round pick in the 2013 draft and advanced to the Double-A level last season, though he struggled in a short time there after excelling at Class-A Advanced. He’s worked exclusively as a reliever — said by Baseball America at the time he was drafted to be his best role — and pitched to a collective 4.38 ERA as a professional thus far. After struggling initially in 2013 following the draft, Seidenberger has stepped up his game, averaging better than a strikeout per inning and working to a 3.77 ERA. He’ll likely head to Double-A to begin the 2016 campaign in the Padres organization, though he is, of course, not on the 40-man roster.
Peterson, 27, batted .259/.324/.353 with a pair of homers in 226 plate appearances for Milwaukee last season, spending time in all three outfield spots. He’s a career .297/.383/.461 hitter in parts of five seasons at the Triple-A level but never received much of a look in the outfield with the Athletics, who originally acquired him from the Cardinals as part of the 2009 Matt Holliday trade. This past season was Peterson’s first in the Milwaukee organization, and he’ll hope now to be claimed by a new club looking for some outfield depth with a fair bit of success in the minor leagues.
Jon Morosi of FOX Sports first reported that the Brewers were nearing a deal for Liriano (on Twitter).