The Brewers continue to remain in touch with Ryan Braun, but GM David Stearns told MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy (Twitter links) that there isn’t much new to report about the possibility of a reunion between the two sides. Braun hit free agency for the first time in his career after the Brew Crew declined their half of a $14MM option on his services for 2021, on the heels of an injury-hampered season that saw Braun hit .233/.281/.488 over 141 plate appearances.
After starting 15 games as a designated hitter last season, it’s quite possible Braun’s chances of a return to Milwaukee could hinge on whether or not the universal DH is a part of the 2021 season. Stearns gave no specifics on this front, other than to say that his team is making preparations to play either with or without a DH in the lineup. While Braun is entering his age-37 season and doesn’t exactly fit the Brewers’ preferred model of multi-positional players, his 14-year tenure as the face of the franchise could create some room for a return — perhaps for just a final season, as Braun has weighed the idea of retirement but also said he wants to play another year.
More on the free agent front…
- The Marlins have interest in left-hander Chasen Shreve, according to Barry Jackson and Craig Mish of the Miami Herald. The Mets non-tendered Shreve following a season that saw the lefty post a 3.96 ERA and a very impressive 33.3K% over 25 innings, but Shreve also had a below-average 11.8% walk rate and he allowed four homers over his 25 frames.
- Also from Jackson and Mish, there doesn’t appear to be any new progress between the Marlins and Brandon Kintzler, as the club still hasn’t made an offer to their former closer despite some ongoing interest in bringing Kintzler back. Kintzler posted a 2.22 ERA and a 57.3% grounder rate over 24 1/3 innings for Miami last season, with the groundball specialist also posting his usual small strikeout totals (13.9K%). The Marlins paid Kintzler a $225K buyout in October rather than exercise their $4MM club option on the veteran righty.
- Hector Rondon signed a minor league deal with the Phillies earlier today, and The Athletic’s Zach Buchanan reports (via Twitter) that the Diamondbacks didn’t have interest in re-signing the right-hander. Arizona signed Rondon last winter to a one-year contract worth $3MM in guaranteed money that included a club option for 2021, but after a disastrous 7.65 ERA over 20 innings, Rondon’s option wasn’t picked up.