The Brewers have sent right-hander Jason Alexander outright to Triple-A Nashville, per Curt Hogg of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. There had not been any previous indication Alexander had been removed from their 40-man roster, so their count drops to 39 in that department. Hogg also relays that outfielder Raimel Tapia, who was designated for assignment on the weekend, cleared waivers and elected free agency.
Alexander, 30, first cracked the big leagues last year when the Brewers selected his contract at the start of June. He worked as a swingman, making 11 starts and seven relief appearances. He finished the year with a 5.40 earned run average in 71 2/3 innings, along with a 14.3% strikeout rate, 8.7% walk rate and 50.6% ground ball rate.
He was set to serve as rotation depth in Milwaukee this year but suffered a shoulder injury in February that was expected to keep him out of action until May, which led the club to quickly place him on the 60-day injured list. He began a rehab assignment in June and was optioned to the minors after being activated from the 60-day IL in July. He’s thrown 31 innings in the minors this year with a 5.23 ERA, still getting solid amounts of grounders but with a strikeout rate of just 12.6%.
It appears he wasn’t in Milwaukee’s plans for the near future, so they’ve bumped him off their roster and through waivers. Since he has less than three years of major league service time and this is his first career outright, he won’t have the ability to elect free agency. He’ll stick with the organization as depth but without occupying a spot on the 40-man roster.
Tapia, 29, began the year with the Red Sox but was released in June and landed with the Brewers. He got into 20 games with Milwaukee but hit just .173/.267/.288 before getting designated for assignment when the club promoted Sal Frelick. Since Tapia has more than five years of major league service time, he has the right to reject outright assignments while retaining his full salary, which he has done here.
He’ll now look for his next opportunity. The Red Sox remain on the hook for his $2MM salary, allowing any other club to sign him for the prorated league minimum, with that amount subtracted from what the Sox pay. He’s a career .273/.317/.388 hitter in 626 games, amounting to a wRC+ of 80. He’s also stolen 61 bases and provided average-ish left field defense with the ability to play the other spots on the grass as well.