Milwaukee Brewers – MLB Trade Rumors 2021-01-23T17:23:37Z WordPress Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Report: Brewers Interested In Marcell Ozuna]]> 2021-01-23T15:59:18Z 2021-01-23T15:51:44Z
  • The Dodgers, Brewers, Yankees, and Red Sox are among the teams interested in Marcell Ozuna, according to Hector Gomez of Deportivo Z 101 (via Twitter).  These four clubs are new additions to Ozuna’s market, while the Twins and Mets (also mentioned by Gomez) were linked to the slugger earlier this winter.  Ozuna is looking for at least a four-year contract, Gomez writes.  While financial demands weren’t mentioned, it can be assumed that Ozuna is looking for enough money to put the Dodgers and Yankees well over the $210MM luxury tax threshold, so it’s possible their interest is somewhat limited.  Such a signing would also put Boston close to the threshold, and while the Brewers are nowhere near the tax line, it would represent a very bold move by a Milwaukee team that wasn’t expected to spend much this winter.  It has been a relatively quiet offseason for Ozuna on the rumor mill, as his market may be dependent on whether or not the NL has a designated hitter spot available in 2021 and beyond.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Players Avoiding Arbitration: 1/15/21]]> 2021-01-16T03:42:52Z 2021-01-15T16:51:22Z The deadline to exchange arbitration figures is today at 1pm ET. As of this morning, there were 125 arbitration-eligible players who’d yet to agree to terms on their contract for the upcoming 2021 season. Arbitration is muddier than ever before thanks to the shortened 2020 schedule, which most believe will lead to record number of arb hearings this winter. Be that as it may, it’s still reasonable to expect dozens of contractual agreements to filter in over the next couple of hours.

    We’ll highlight some of the more high-profile cases in separate posts with more in-depth breakdowns, but the majority of today’s dealings will be smaller-scale increases that don’t radically alter a team’s payroll or a player’s trade candidacy. As such, we’ll just run through most of today’s agreements in this post.

    I’ve embedded MLBTR’s 2021 Arbitration Tracker in the post (those in the mobile app or viewing on mobile web will want to turn their phones sideways). Our tracker can be sorted by team, by service time and/or by Super Two status, allowing users to check the status on whichever groups of players they like. You can also check out Matt Swartz’s projected arbitration salaries for this year’s class, and we’ll do a quick sentence on each player’s agreement at the bottom of this post as well, with the most recent agreements sitting atop the list.

    Today’s Agreements (chronologically, newest to oldest)

    Read more

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Brewers, Jace Peterson Agree To Minor League Deal]]> 2021-01-13T16:10:21Z 2021-01-13T16:09:37Z The Brewers are in agreement with utilityman Jace Peterson on a minor league contract, reports Adam McCalvy of (via Twitter). The team has since announced the signing. Peterson, an ISE Baseball client, will be invited to Major League Spring Training.

    Peterson, 30, spent the 2020 season with the Brewers organization as well, appearing in 26 games and tallying 61 plate appearances. He went just 9-for-45 in that time but also drew a whopping 15 walks and slugged a couple of home runs, resulting in a .200/.393/.356 batting line. Peterson saw time at second base, third base, first base and in both outfield corners with Milwaukee but was non-tendered earlier this winter.

    The Brewers were Peterson’s fifth organization, and he’ll have the opportunity to earn a bench role with them once again in 2021. He becomes the second utility option added by Milwaukee in as many days after yesterday’s signing of Daniel Robertson to a non-guaranteed, Major League contract. Peterson is a career .227/.317/.331 hitter in just shy of 1700 plate appearances split between the Braves, Orioles, Padres, Yankees and Brewers.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Brewers To Sign Daniel Robertson]]> 2021-01-13T16:19:17Z 2021-01-12T20:58:19Z 2:58PM: Robertson’s deal is not fully guaranteed, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link).

    12:57PM: The Brewers have agreed to a one-year deal with infielder Daniel Robertson, FanSided’s Robert Murray reports (via Twitter).  The contract, a Major League pact, will be official once Robertson passes a physical.  Robertson will earn $900K in guaranteed money, according to’s Mark Feinsand (Twitter link), with another $400K available in incentives. He’s represented by the MVP Sports Group.

    After being designated for assignment by the Rays last August, Robertson was acquired by the Giants and ended up appearing in 13 games for San Francisco, posting a .750 OPS over 24 plate appearances.  Robertson was non-tendered in December, as the Giants chose to let him go rather than pay a projected arbitration salary of roughly $1.2MM.

    Selected 34th overall by the A’s in the 2012 draft, Robertson went to Tampa Bay as part of the January 2015 trade that sent Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar to Oakland.  Robertson was garnering some attention on top-100 prospect lists at the time, and it seemed like he would be yet another shrewd Rays pickup after he broke out with a .262/.382/.415 slash line over 340 plate appearances in 2018.

    That season was cut short by thumb surgery, however, and Robertson couldn’t get on track in 2019, hitting only .213/.312/.295 over 327 PA.  With injuries also playing a factor in these struggles, it seemed like Tampa Bay moved on to other infield options, as Robertson didn’t receive any playing time for the Rays last season before his DFA.

    While Robertson’s right-handed bat isn’t necessarily the best platoon fit within Milwaukee’s current infield mix (Keston Hiura, Orlando Arcia, and Luis Urias all swing from the right side), his ability to play second base, third base, and shortstop make him an ideal candidate for a backup infielder role.  The Brewers are always prioritizing utility types, and Robertson has also played a handful of games at other positions in the big leagues, appearing as a first baseman and both corner outfield slots.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Brewers Sign Pablo Reyes To Minor League Deal]]> 2021-01-07T17:23:57Z 2021-01-07T17:08:27Z The Brewers have signed utilityman Pablo Reyes to a minor league contract, according to’s Adam McCalvy (Twitter link).  The deal contains an invite to Milwaukee’s big league spring camp.

    Reyes didn’t play during the 2020 season due to an 80-game PED suspension issued in February.  He elected to become a free agent after the season, ending a nine-year stint as a member of the Pirates organization.  After initially signing as a minor league free agent with the Bucs in 2012, Reyes hit .278/.351/.421 over 2587 plate appearances in Pittsburgh’s farm system.

    This solid bat and the ability to play all over the field (though Reyes was mostly a shortstop and second baseman in the minors) got Reyes a look at the MLB level in both 2018 and 2019.  Debuting with a strong .832 OPS over 63 PA in 2018, Reyes struggled at the plate in 2019, hitting only .203/.274/.322 in 157 plate appearances while also missing about a month of action due to an ankle injury.  Reyes spent much of his time on the Pirates’ active roster as an outfielder.

    The Brewers often prioritize multi-positional players, so the Reyes signing gives the team another versatile option to consider heading into Spring Training.  Reyes is a right-handed hitter, which could make it a bit of an uphill battle for him to break camp considering the Brewers already have quite a bit of right-handed depth.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Checking In On 2020’s Lowest-Scoring Offenses]]> 2020-12-31T21:55:30Z 2020-12-31T21:55:30Z Three of the 2020 campaign’s five lowest-scoring offenses belonged to National League playoff teams, but that’s not an ideal outcome if you truly want to make noise in October. Indeed, all three of those clubs (St. Louis, Cincinnati and Milwaukee) failed to advance beyond the playoffs’ initial round during the fall. So what have they and the league’s other two bottom-feeding offenses done to improve themselves this offseason? Not much, as you’ll see below…

    Pirates (219 runs scored, 73 wRC+):

    • The Pirates look even worse on paper than they did at the end of the season, having traded first baseman Josh Bell to the Nationals last week. While Bell had a horrid season in 2020, he was a star-caliber performer during the previous year, in which he slashed .277/.367/.569 with 37 home runs. The Bell-less Pirates haven’t done anything of significance to bolster their offense this winter, but the good news is that they should get a full 2021 (however many games that consists of) from third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, who ran roughshod over the league during a scintillating 95-PA debut in 2020. There’s also nowhere to go but up for holdovers such as Gregory Polanco, Bryan Reynolds and Adam Frazier, who each posted awful numbers last season.

    Rangers (224 runs, 67 wRC+):

    • The Rangers have a couple newcomers in outfielder David Dahl and first baseman Nate Lowe, who they hope will improve their attack in 2021. Otherwise, they’ll be counting on bounce-back efforts from the likes of Joey Gallo, Willie Calhoun, Nick Solak, Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor. It’s hard to imagine things will get any worse next year for that quintet, though Andrus and Odor have been trending in the wrong direction for years. The Rangers are down enough on Andrus these days that they’re planning on using him as a backup shortstop/utilityman behind Isiah Kiner-Falefa next season.

    Cardinals (240 runs, 93 wRC+):

    • The Cardinals’ place in these rankings is deceiving because a team-wide COVID-19 outbreak cost them two full games. Their 93 wRC+ was closer to average than horrendous, but that isn’t to say they don’t have work to do offensively. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt and outfielder Harrison Bader, two of their best hitters in 2020, are returning. But Brad Miller, who was second on the team in wRC+ (121), is a free agent. Going by wRC+, those three were the only above-average offensive players on last season’s roster. The Cardinals haven’t done anything thus far to better their offense, even though they’re facing questions almost everywhere. Catcher Yadier Molina is a free agent, as is second baseman Kolten Wong, while most of their outfielders underwhelmed at the plate in 2020.

    Reds (243 runs, 91 wRC+):

    • The Reds made a real effort to upgrade their offense last winter in signing Nick Castellanos, Mike Moustakas and Shogo Akiyama. Moustakas wound up having a typical season at the plate, but Castellanos and Akiyama fell short of expectations. Barring trades, no one from that group is going anywhere in 2021. Likewise, Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker, Nick Senzel and Tucker Barnhart will hang around in key roles. Aside from Winker, who was fantastic in 2020, the Reds will need more from everyone listed in the previous sentence. They also need to upgrade at shortstop, where the largely untested Jose Garcia is their current starter, but it’s unclear whether the team will do so to a satisfactory extent during what has been a cost-cutting winter so far.

    Brewers (247 runs, 89 wRC+):

    • We’ll cap things off with another NL Central team, Milwaukee, which has joined its division rivals this winter in doing virtually nothing to better its chances of success in 2021. The Brewers opted against retaining infielder Jedd Gyorko, among their most productive hitters last season, instead paying him a $1MM buyout in lieu of exercising his $4.5MM option. They also declined team icon Ryan Braun’s option, but that was an easy decision because the six-time All-Star would have otherwise earned a $15MM salary in 2021. Braun, to his credit, was roughly a league-average hitter last season, which is more than you can say for most Brewers regulars. Whether or not the Brewers bring in outside help, better years from former NL MVP Christian Yelich, Keston Hiura, Avisail Garcia and Omar Narvaez would go a long way in helping the team tack more runs on the board in 2021.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Jacob Nottingham Undergoes Thumb Procedure]]> 2020-12-31T05:57:02Z 2020-12-31T05:57:02Z Brewers backstop Jacob Nottingham has undergone surgery on the radial collateral ligament of his left thumb,’s Adam McCalvy tweets. The procedure is said to have gone as anticipated.

    Nottingham, who was injured during the postseason, will have just over two months to heal up before camp opens. The hope is that he’ll be a full go at or near the start of Spring Training.

    This malady likely won’t have a big impact on the Brewers’ plans, particularly given the promising prognosis. If anything, it could nudge the organization to gather up a bit more catching depth.

    Nottingham, 25, hit for enough power (.458 slugging percentage) to make up for a miserly .278 OBP in a twenty-game stretch with the Milwaukee organization in 2020. He stepped into the MLB fold after Manny Pina went down with an injury.

    The Brewers ultimately elected to tender Pina a contract, making him the odds-on favorite to serve as the #2 backstop. Presumptive starter Omar Narvaez scuffled with the bat in his first season with the club, but seems sure to get a chance to redeem himself.

    That leaves the out-of-options Nottingham with a need to make an impression in camp. If he shows well enough, and/or there are cracks in the Narvaez/Pina pairing, the Brewers could carry three backstops. If not, Nottingham may end up being dangled in trade or placed on the waiver wire.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Brewers Claim Tim Lopes]]> 2020-12-22T20:59:31Z 2020-12-22T20:48:26Z The Brewers have claimed outfielder Tim Lopes off waivers from the Mariners, according to a Seattle press release.  Lopes was designated for assignment earlier this week to create roster space for the Mariners’ acquisition of Chris Flexen.

    Lopes made his MLB debut in 2019 and saw quite a bit of action for the Mariners last season, appearing in 46 of 60 games as part of Seattle’s unsettled corner outfield mix.  Over 279 career plate appearances at the big league level, Lopes has hit .252/.315/.362, and he has also stolen 11 bases in 14 attempts.

    The large majority of Lopes’ playing time at the Major League level has come as an outfielder, though unusually, he spent almost no time playing outfield in the minors, playing mostly as a second baseman with significant amounts of experience also at third base and shortstop.  As such, the 26-year-old Lopes can bring quite a bit of versatility to a Brewers roster that has a lot of unanswered questions around the diamond.  The Brewers have valued multi-positional bench types in the past, and Lopes could be seen as a potential super-utility candidate for Milwaukee’s bench.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Ray Montgomery Joins Angels' Front Office]]> 2020-12-19T02:50:37Z 2020-12-19T02:50:37Z
  • The Angels have made a couple of additions to new general manager Perry Minasian’s front office. The team’s hiring Brewers vice president/assistant to the GM Ray Montgomery and Dodgers international crosschecker Brian Parker, per reports from Joel Sherman of the New York Post and Jim Callis of It’s unclear which roles the two will take on as part of the Angels’ staff.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Brewers Sign Hoby Milner, Dylan Cozens To Minor League Deals]]> 2020-12-18T01:06:51Z 2020-12-18T01:06:25Z The Brewers announced that they’ve signed left-handed reliever Hoby Milner and outfielder Dylan Cozens to minor league contracts. Both players will be invited to Major League Spring Training.

    Milner, 30 next month, put up a strong 2.01 ERA but questionable peripherals through 37 1/3 innings as a rookie with the Phillies back in 2017. He’s yet to come close to replicating that level of run prevention; in 24 1/3 frames since that debut effort, he’s been rocked for a 7.77 ERA.

    That sky-high ERA is an eyesore, but Milner excels at limiting hard contact (career 83.4 mph opponents’ exit velocity and 27.9 percent hard-hit rate). He also comes with a terrific minor league track record, having tallied 146 innings of 3.08 ERA ball with 11.5 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9 in four seasons out of the bullpen at the Triple-A level. He’s seen big league time each year since 2017, so there are clearly some clubs who believe there’s another level possible despite the overall lackluster results.

    Cozens, meanwhile, was once one of the more promising prospects in the Phillies organization. The 2012 second-rounder is now 26 years old and four seasons removed from a 40-homer campaign at the Double-A level. Cozens hasn’t played in an official game since May 2019 thanks to surgery to remove bone spurs and repair torn cartilage in his left foot that year. He’s a career .252/.329/.473 hitter in the minors with prodigious power but far too much swing-and-miss in his game, evidenced by a 36 percent strikeout rate in parts of three Triple-A seasons.

    Cozens does have a handful of MLB plate appearances (45) but has managed just a .154/.267/.282 slash with 24 punchouts in that tiny sample. He’ll give the Brewers some left-handed-hitting depth in Triple-A, but with a full outfield in Milwaukee, he’s likely to open the year in the minors and shake off some of the injury rust as he awaits an MLB opportunity.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Brewers To Sign Luis Perdomo]]> 2020-12-17T01:48:51Z 2020-12-17T01:27:30Z The Brewers have a deal in place with righty Luis Perdomo, according to’s Jesse Sanchez (via Twitter). It’s a minor-league arrangement.

    The 27-year-old Perdomo had been cut loose recently by the Padres. He’s expected to miss all of the upcoming campaign while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

    It isn’t clear just yet whether the accord has any special provisions (such as an option) for future seasons. If nothing else, Perdomo will be eligible for arbitration once again at season’s end, so the Brewers could decide to add him to their 40-man roster and tender him a contract if his rehab progresses well.

    If he can fully recover from his elbow woes, Perdomo will be looking for a chance to prove that he can deliver consistent results at the MLB level. He has a standout, mid-nineties sinker that reliably produces gaudy groundball numbers, but owns only a 5.19 ERA in his 444 1/3 career frames at the game’s highest level.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 12/16/20]]> 2020-12-17T00:54:27Z 2020-12-17T00:54:40Z The latest minor league moves from around baseball…

    Latest Moves

    • The Rays have signed catcher Joe Odom to a minors pact, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. A 13th-round pick of Atlanta in 2013, Odom stuck with the Braves organization through 2017 before joining the Mariners in the ensuing winter’s Rule 5 Draft. Odom did make it to the majors for the first time last season with Seattle, collecting 44 plate appearances, but the 28-year-old batted a meek .128/.209/.128 with no extra-base hits and 20 strikeouts. The Mariners outrighted him after that.

    Earlier Today

    • The Rangers signed right-hander Luis Ortiz to a minors contract, the team announced.  Ortiz has a 12.71 ERA over career 5 2/3 innings in the majors (with the Orioles in 2018-19), and is making his return to Texas after being drafted 30th overall by the Rangers in 2014.  He has been part of two notable deadline trades, included as part of the trade package sent to Milwaukee for Jonathan Lucroy in 2016, and then the Brewers shipped him to the Orioles in July 2018 as part of the Jonathan Villar/Jonathan Schoop swap.
    • The Brewers signed outfielder/first baseman Dustin Peterson to a minor league deal, as originally reported by Ana Soriano of RIDA Sports (Twitter link).  Originally a second-round pick for the Padres in the 2013 draft, Peterson has a .262/.316/.382 slash line over 2918 career minor league plate appearances in the Padres, Braves, and Tigers farm systems.  At the big league level, Peterson has a .570 OPS over 49 PA with Atlanta and Detroit over the 2018-19 seasons.  Most recently, Peterson posted big numbers for the independent Sugar Land Skeeters in 2020 and is currently tearing it up in the Mexican Pacific Winter League.
    • Catcher Tim Federowicz has signed with the Dodgers, as Federowicz revealed himself on Twitter.  This will be the veteran’s second stint in Los Angeles, as he spent his first four MLB seasons (2011-14) with the Dodgers.  It’s probably safe to assume that it is a minor league contract, as the Dodgers have Will Smith and Austin Barnes in the majors and top prospect Keibert Ruiz in the wings after his Major League debut last season.  Appearing in parts of eight seasons with six different teams, Federowicz has a .568 OPS over 443 career plate appearances and 163 games at the big league level.  He didn’t see any MLB action in 2020 after signing a minors deal with the Rangers last offseason.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dodgers Acquire Corey Knebel]]> 2020-12-11T17:44:39Z 2020-12-11T17:02:40Z Dec 11: The Brewers are acquiring southpaw Leo Crawford to complete the Knebel trade, per’s Mark Feinsand and others (via Twitter). The Brewers sent Knebel to the Dodgers just before the non-tender deadline. In Crawford, they’re getting a 23-year-old lefty who reached Double-A in 2019. Between High-A and Double-A, Crawford pitched to a 2.81 ERA across 121 2/3 innings with 9.9 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9. Some comparisons have been drawn to Brent Suter in terms of his deception and projectionable functionality as a starter who could work out of the bullpen depending on need.

    Dec 2: The Dodgers announced that they’ve acquired right-hander Corey Knebel from the Brewers in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. The trade comes after Knebel was reportedly set to be non-tendered, but it appears that the Brewers instead found an eleventh-hour trade for the former All-Star closer. He’ll still be eligible for arbitration with the Dodgers.

    Knebel, 29, struggled this past season in his comeback from 2019 Tommy John surgery. The 2017 All-Star was rocked for a 6.08 ERA with a 15-to-8 K/BB ratio in 13 1/3 innings — his first action on a big league mound since the end of the 2018 campaign.

    There were plenty of red flags for Knebel in 2020, most notably a 94.4 mph average fastball velocity that sat three miles per hour shy of its 2017 peak. That said, Knebel’s velocity began to trend upward late in the season, which could have been enough to give the Dodgers hope that he’ll regain some of the life on his heater next year when he’s another season removed from surgery.

    Knebel’s struggles in 2020 should prevent him from taking home much of a raise on his $5.125MM salary from this past season, so he’ll be an affordable, high-upside roll of the dice for a Dodgers club that hasn’t been afraid to take chances when it comes to buying low on formerly elite relievers.

    From 2017-18 with the Brewers, Knebel racked up 55 saves while pitching to a 2.54 ERA and 2.74 FIP over the course of 131 1/3 innings. Along the way he emerged as one of the game’s premier strikeout artists, averaging an obscene 14.7 K/9 and punching out 40.2 percent of the hitters he faced on the whole.

    Obviously, that was two years and one major surgery ago, but the Dodgers will hope for a return to form in what will be Knebel’s final season prior to free agency. If they can successfully round him into form, he’ll join a late-inning mix featuring Kenley Jansen, Brusdar Graterol and Joe Kelly, although the Dodgers figure to further supplement that group between now and Opening Day.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Brewers Sign Luke Maile]]> 2020-12-08T20:05:37Z 2020-12-08T18:30:02Z TODAY: The deal has been officially announced.

    DECEMBER 1: The Brewers have agreed to sign catcher Luke Maile to a major league contract, pending a physical, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets. Details are unknown. Maile is a client of Meister Sports Management.

    The 29-year-old Maile saw major league action with the Rays and Blue Jays from 2015-19. Maile then signed a major league deal with the Pirates last winter, but he didn’t play at all in 2020 after suffering a fractured right index finger that required surgery in July. He’ll bring a .198/.252/.304 line and 10 home runs in 657 plate appearances to Milwaukee.

    The Brewers relied on Omar Narvaez, Manny Pina and Jacob Nottingham at catcher in 2020, but they might not bring all three back next year. Narvaez and/or Pina could be non-tendered before Wednesday’s deadline, which makes the timing of the Maile addition especially interesting.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Brewers Sign Zach Green To Minor League Deal]]> 2020-12-04T04:01:11Z 2020-12-04T04:00:10Z
  • The Brewers tweeted that they’ve signed third baseman Zach Green to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league camp. The 26-year-old was a third-round pick of the Phillies in 2012 who spent the previous two seasons in the Giants organization. Green made his MLB debut in 2020 and totaled 16 plate appearances, though he picked up just two hits. However, Green isn’t far removed from an excellent 2019 showing in Triple-A, where he slashed .282/.380/.659 with 25 home runs in 297 plate appearances.
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