According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Milwaukee Brewers have signed Josh Tomlin to a minor league contract with an invite to Major League Spring Training. Tomlin will receive $1.25MM in the major leagues and can earn up to an additional $2.25MM in incentives, maxing out at 150 IP.
Tomlin, 34, was part of the Cleveland Indians organization for more than decade but saw his effectiveness take a sharp downturn last season. A starter for much of his career, he was moved to the bullpen to make room for Adam Plutko in the rotation after struggling through the early part of 2018. He didn’t fare much better in relief, and finished the year with a 6.14 ERA in 32 appearances. Those appearances were marked by 5.9 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 rates, each the worst totals he had posted in several years. More notably perhaps were the 25 home runs he allowed in just 70.1 IP, a rate that will have to come down considerably for him to be effective in the major leagues.
Zack Meisel of The Athletic chimes in on Twitter to note that Tomlin hoped he could stay in Cleveland and has actually even been working out at Progressive Field, but after a dreadful 2018 will have to take what he can get. Still, there have been times in Tomlin’s career that he has looked dominant. His first two postseason starts in Cleveland’s 2016 World Series run were both excellent, winning against the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays. The Brewers are obviously hoping for Tomlin to find some of that magic again and push for a role at the back of the rotation or in long relief, given the innings needed for his incentives.