The Brewers have made a couple of moves, per Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. Outfielder Greg Allen has been signed to a minor league contract and outfielder Chris Roller has been acquired from the Guardians in exchange for cash. Both players will report to Triple-A Nashville for now but are eligible to play for the Brewers in the offseason by joining the organization prior to September 1. Roller was eligible to be traded after the deadline since he hasn’t been on a 40-man roster this year.
Allen, 30, began the year with the Red Sox on a minor league deal but was traded to the Yankees in May. The Yanks added Allen to their roster but he landed on the injured list after just 10 games due to a right hip flexor strain. He returned about six weeks later and played in 12 more games before being designated for assignment and electing free agency.
It was the seventh straight year in which Allen got a part-time gig in the big leagues, having bounced from Cleveland to San Diego, Pittsburgh and the Bronx over the years, never reaching 300 plate appearances in any one season. He’s hit .231/.300/.340 in that time, which translates to a wRC+ of 74. But thanks to his speed, he’s been able to steal 48 bases in 57 attempts and play all three outfield positions with strong grades for his glovework.
Roller, 26, is a somewhat similar player. A 30th-round draft pick of the Dodgers in 2017, he went to the Guardians in the Triple-A portion of the 2020 Rule 5 draft. Since then, he’s taken 768 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A with a .214/.325/.341 batting line, which translates to a wRC+ of 81. However, he’s stolen 34 bases in 45 tries, including going 13 for 17 this year.
Rosters expand from 26 to 28 in September, which gives clubs more leeway to deploy specialized players. Many teams around the league use the extra roster spot to have an extra speed-and-defense player on the bench. Neither Allen nor Roller are on the roster just yet, meaning they are outfield depth for the time being. But by joining the organization prior to September 1, they could be options for the Brewers over the next month and even into the postseason. Since they are not on the 40-man, they will have to be granted a commissioner’s exemption to replace an injured player in October, but that’s not seen as a meaningful obstacle.