The Brewers announced that outfielder David Dahl has been released from his minor league contract. The 28-year-old heads back to free agency in search of another opportunity elsewhere.
Selected by the Rockies with the #10 overall pick a decade ago, Dahl developed into one of the sport’s top prospects. He reached the majors in 2016 and hit at an above-average level (even after accounting for Coors Field) for his first few seasons. Various injuries limited him to 239 MLB games through the end of the 2019 campaign, but the lefty-swinging Dahl compiled a strong .297/.346/.521 line when he was healthy enough to take the field.
That seemed to position him as a key piece of Colorado’s long-term future, but the Rox made the surprising decision to cut bait after the 2020 season. Dahl had a woeful 24-game stretch and missed extended chunks of action with back and shoulder injuries that year. The Colorado front office nevertheless came under some fire for not retaining him for an arbitration salary that would’ve still been fairly modest.
The Rangers signed Dahl that offseason, buying low on a $2.7MM guarantee. Texas hoped they’d unearth a long-term outfield contributor, but he instead continued to scuffle. Dahl hit only .210/.247/.322 across 220 plate appearances, seeing his power numbers take a dramatic step back. Texas released him last August, and Milwaukee brought him aboard on a multi-year minor league deal last summer.
Dahl has spent the past year with the Brewers’ top affiliate in Nashville. He’s shown well at the dish, hitting .327/.375/.536 in 31 games down the stretch last season. He’s had another quality performance this year, posting a .294/.357/.468 mark with nine round-trippers in 280 trips to the plate. Milwaukee has Christian Yelich and Hunter Renfroe as their primary corner outfielders, leaving them without a clear path to at-bats for Dahl in the outfield. Center field has been a problem area, but Dahl has played almost exclusively in right field with Nashville.
Milwaukee could’ve given him a look at designated hitter, but they’ve stuck with righty-hitting veteran Andrew McCutchen in that role. Instead, the Brewers will let Dahl search for other opportunities. Between his prospect pedigree, strong minor league performance and history of big league success, he shouldn’t have much problem latching on somewhere else on a minor league pact.