The Royals have signed righty Colten Brewer to a minor league contract, per a club announcement. Presumably, he’ll head to Major League Spring Training as a non-roster invitee whenever the lockout draws to a close. Brewer was outrighted off the Red Sox’ 40-man roster in June and was not added back prior to the end of the season. That allowed him to become a minor league free agent at season’s end (and thus allowed him to sign during the current Major League transaction freeze).
Brewer, 29, has spent the past three seasons in Boston, logging a combined 81 1/3 innings of 4.98 ERA ball with a 20.3% strikeout rate, a 13.3% walk rate and a 50.4% ground-ball rate. He was a solid and oft-used member of the Boston bullpen in 2019 (4.12 ERA, 54 2/3 innings) but has since been clobbered for a 6.75 ERA in 26 2/3 innings. He appeared in just one game with the Sox in the 2021 season, allowing four runs in a lone inning before being designated for assignment and clearing outright waivers.
While Brewer hasn’t had extensive MLB success, it’s easy enough to see why a team might be intrigued by a no-risk flier on the righty. He’s averaged nearly 94 mph on his go-to cutter over the past few seasons, shown strong spin rates on his breaking ball and boasted that well above-average grounder rate. For the Royals, in particular, that affinity for grounders is surely appealing; Kansas City has talented infield defenders such as Nicky Lopez, Whit Merrifield and Adalberto Mondesi already in the big leagues, with top prospects Bobby Witt Jr. and Nick Pratto expected to debut in 2022. They’re known more for their bats than their gloves, but both Witt and Pratto are well regarded defenders in addition to their prodigious potential at the dish.
Bullpen help figures to be one of the main priorities for the Royals post-lockout. President of baseball operations Dayton Moore spoke in November of building a “championship-caliber bullpen,” and while Brewer is little more than depth for the time being, most of the game’s best bullpens have unearthed a hidden gem or two on just this type of non-guaranteed deal.
Stockpiling bullpen options is only natural, and the Royals, who have also added former Braves closer Arodys Vizcaino in recent weeks, figure to take a few dice rolls of this nature in addition to pursuing some more notable veterans — once that is permitted. At present, each of Josh Staumont, Scott Barlow, Jake Brentz and perhaps Domingo Tapia has a bullpen job locked down, but there should be plenty of competition to round out the remainder of the relief corps.
He should be playing in Milwaukee.
Why Milwaukee hasn’t scooped up this kid is beyond me lol.
No matter where he plays he will always be a Brewer for life.
There are 3 things on this site I can count on: trolls, ignorance, and good puns. Thanks for the laugh!
Steve, really really nitpick-y here…but was Arodys Vizcaino ever an all star? I can’t find anything on Baseball Reference or anywhere else that says he was. Is it that he was a replacement for an injured player and it’s just not noted anywhere?
You’re correct! I should’ve double-checked, but in my mind he 100% made an All-Star team during one of the rough years with the Braves. Will update that now. Thanks for the correction.
What happened to Vizcaíno? I know his 2019 season ended with surgery to clean out some damage in his shoulder, but he didn’t pitch in 2020 (Covid related?) and barely pitched in 2021. Was the surgery more extensive than reported? Could be a good pickup if he approaches his time with the Braves, or he could be mostly done if his shoulder is shot.
my guy just sign with Milwaukee already and the pun community woulf love it
A Royal Brewer.
I like the direction the Royals are heading with that core! They just need Mondesi to stay healthy and the young core of SP to take the next step.
2.Witt Jr. SS
3.Mondesi Jr. 3B
If we can get rid of Santana we could also move Perez to DH and give mj Melendez a chance at C
No one is taking Santana off the Royals hands. Melendez will get his chance, he just may have to wait one more season
Thankfully he can no longer be terrible for the Sox
Rsox – agreed. Dave Dombrowski trade for him from San Diego as the big 2019 bullpen addition. Brewer simply put too many runners on base, and the innings he received in 2019 and 2020 were more because the Red Sox were so thin on bullpen depth instead of because he was effective. His 4.12 in 2019 was surprisingly low compared to how he actually pitched.
Brewer is like pouring gas on flames. If the Royals need to use Brewer for 50+ innings it will be a sign they are headed for a 90+ loss season.
Actually, since Pratto plays RF as well, then this would be my prefer line up.
2.Witt Jr. 3B
3.Mondesi Jr. SS
8.Melendez C/Dorzier DH