The Brewers and Indians announced a minor trade Wednesday, with Cleveland sending minor league infielder Mark Mathias to Milwaukee in exchange for minor league catcher Andres Melendez. Milwaukee has selected the contract of Mathias.
Mathias, 25, needed to be added to the 40-man roster in order to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft. The Indians apparently preferred not to commit that 40-man spot to Mathias, prompting today’s swap with the Brewers, who’ll now pick up some new infield depth. The 2015 third-rounder hit .269/.355/.442 with a dozen home runs, 31 doubles, two triples and 13 stolen bases at Triple-A this past season. Mathias is primarily a second baseman and third baseman, but he’s also logged 203 innings at shortstop since being drafted.
Milwaukee signed the now-18-year-old Melendez out of Venezuela back in 2017. He played 36 games with the Brewers’ Rookie-level Arizona affiliate in 2019, hitting .250/.340/.352 with a 30 percent caught-stealing rate behind the plate. Despite being years from the Majors, Melendez was ranked 16th among Brewers farmhands by Kiley McDaniel and Eric Longenhagen on their midsesason update of the team’s prospect rankings.