Right-handers Wily Peralta, Rob Scahill, Michael Blazek, David Goforth, and outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis have all elected to become free agents, as per the Brewers’ player development Twitter feed (tip of the hat to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy).
Peralta is the most notable name of the bunch, as it wasn’t long ago that the righty looked like a promising part of Milwaukee’s rotation. After posting solid numbers in 2013-14, however, Peralta’s form dipped the next two seasons and then cratered this year, as he managed only a 7.85 ERA over 57 1/3 IP, with 10 homers and 32 walks in that stretch. Peralta wasn’t helped by a month-long DL stint due to a calf strain, but his performance also fell off at the Triple-A level over the last two seasons.
His struggles got him designated for assignment and then outrighted off Milwaukee’s 40-man roster over the summer, which allowed Peralta to elect free agency even though he still had two remaining years of team control thanks to Super Two status. Peralta and the Brewers avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $4.275MM deal last winter.
Blazek was twice DFA’ed and then outrighted off Milwaukee’s roster this season, so it perhaps isn’t surprising that he’s looking for a chance of scenery, especially given his displeasure at being demoted to the minors during Spring Training. Blazek only made five appearances (one of them a start) for the Brewers in 2017, posting an 8.31 ERA over 8 2/3 innings of work. The righty posted very effective numbers out of Milwaukee’s bullpen in 2015 but ran into some injury problems and struggled in 2016.
Scahill was also twice designated for assignment this season, plus once more back in February. The 30-year-old tossed 22 1/3 innings for the Brew Crew, posting a 4.43 ERA despite recording the same number of strikeouts (10) as walks, though four of those free passes were intentional. Never one to miss many bats over his six years in the bigs, Scahill nevertheless posted a solid 3.03 ERA over 65 1/3 innings for the Pirates and Brewers in 2015-16.
Nieuwenhuis agreed to a split contract last winter and spent much of the season at Triple-A, only appearing in 16 big league games. Nieuwenhuis received the most playing time of his six-year career in 2016 (125 games and 392 PA) but became an afterthought this year as the Crew had more outfield depth.
Goforth appeared in just one game for the Brewers in 2017, and has 36 1/3 Major League innings to his name after appearing in parts of the last three seasons. The right-hander has a 3.96 ERA over 533 2/3 career frames in the minors (all in the Milwaukee organization), though he has had increasing control issues and a lack of strikeouts over the last couple of years.