The Brewers announced that right-hander Trevor Kelley cleared waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Nashville, per Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. Kelley had been designated for assignment last week when the club acquired Bryse Wilson. Kelley has rejected the assignment and elected free agency, which was his right as a player with a previous career outright.
Kelley, 30, was drafted by the Red Sox in 2015 and worked his way up to the majors in 2019. He got into 10 games for Boston that year but posted an ERA of 8.64. The Sox put him on waivers and Kelley was claimed by the Phillies. He got another four appearances in 2020 but was shelled again with a 10.80 ERA in that short time and was outrighted at season’s end.
The Brewers signed him to a minors deal for 2022 and he was able to crack the club’s roster. He spent the season getting frequently optioned between the majors and minors. He posted a 2.36 ERA in 34 1/3 innings for Nashville with a 30% strikeout rate, 7.1% walk rate and 43.9% ground ball rate. Unfortunately, all those rate stats were a bit worse in his 23 2/3 major league innings, leading to a 6.08 ERA.
Kelley evidently didn’t find a club willing to give him a 40-man roster spot, but those solid results in Nashville could get him a minor league deal. Now that he’s a free agent, he can seek out the best opportunity for himself. If he eventually signs elsewhere and makes it back onto a roster someday, he’ll still have one option season and less than a year of MLB service time.