The Brewers are set to designate infielder Hernan Perez for assignment, The Athletic’s Robert Murray reports (Twitter link). A corresponding move has yet to be announced, though Tyler Saladino seems likely to fill Perez’s spot on the 25-man roster, as Joe Alexander (via Twitter) reported that Saladino and Keston Hiura left the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate in San Antonio prior to tonight’s game, and Hiura’s pending return to the big leagues has already been reported.
Perez has been a useful utility piece for Milwaukee since joining the organization partway through the 2015 season. Playing primarily as a third baseman and corner outfielder, Perez has seen time at every position on the diamond except catcher during his time as a Brewer (including six appearances on the mound as a mop-up reliever. Perez showed a bit of pop with 27 homers in 2016-17, though overall, hit just .261/.291/.402 with 42 homers over 1620 plate appearances for Milwaukee.
Perez was arbitration-eligible for the second time this past winter, avoiding a hearing by agreeing to a $2.5MM deal with the Brewers. A team claiming Perez off DFA waivers would be responsible for the approximately $1.15MM remaining in salary, though it could be more likely that Perez clears waivers and is signed as a free agent if released, or the Brewers could keep him in the organization by outrighting him to Triple-A.
The versatile Saladino can take over the backup infield duties for Perez and he also has limited outfield experience, though Ben Gamel’s role on the team as the lone proper backup outfielder takes on larger import. Overall, the Brewers are costing themselves some positional flexibility with today’s moves, given how both Perez and Shaw were options at a wider range of positions than Saladino and Hiura. (Shaw’s demotion, however, had a lot more to do with his lack of hitting than his fielding.) It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Brewers further shuffle their roster on the trade front as the club continues to chase the either NL Central title or a wild card berth.