The Milwaukee Brewers have made a flurry of small off-season moves as other teams continue to reach for the big names. Here’s a review of what they have done so far. It’s hard to say at this point who will make the big league club and who won’t.
Andy Oliver/LHP- The Brewers signed left handed pitcher Andy Oliver to a minor league deal on Dec. 18. Oliver has not pitched in the Major Leagues since 2011. He has a June 15th opt-out clause. Oliver was once a highly thought of pitching prospect in the Tigers organization towards the end of the previous decade.
Eric Sogard/IF- Sogard, who is 30, is a defense-minded infielder who has had some moderate success at this level with the Oakland Athletics from 2013-2015. He could potentially provide defensive flexibility of the bench for Milwaukee.
Hiram Burgos/IF- Burgos has spent his entire career with the Brewers organization and this is a simle re-sign.
Tommy Milone/LHP- The Brewers signed former Twins starter Tommy Milone to a one year, 1,25 million dollar Major League deal on Dec. 15. Even though his full salary is not guaranteed, Milone will be expected to compete for a starting rotation spot and some even think this could open up a move for Wily Peralta to go to the bullpen.
Jett Bandy and Drew Gagnon- On Dec. 13, the Brewers traded catcher Martin Maldonado to the Angels for catcher Jett Bandy and pitcher Drew Gagnon. I am interested to see if Bandy ends up as the Brewers opening day catcher.
Ryan Webb/RHP- Former highly thought of Padres farmhand Ryan Webb is getting one last chance, signing a minor league contract with the Brewers with the opportunity to make the bullpen out of Spring Training.
Ivan De Jesus/IF- On Dec. 12, the Brewers signed journeyman Ivan De Jesus to a minor league contract. De Jesus will have a fair opportunity to make the club as a utility man off the bench.
Tyler Thornburg trade- Perhaps the Brewers most significant move of the off season so far. On Dec. 6, the Brewers traded standout relief pitcher Tyler Thornburg to the Red Sox in exchange for third baseman Travis Shaw, minor league Mauricio Dubon and right handed pitcher Josh Pennington. Thornburg was about to get very pricey for a setup man, and for a team like the Brewers who aren’t going anywhere for a while, pitchers like Thornburg are a luxury.
Eric Thames/1B- The Brewers most significant free agent signing this off season. Thames will receive 16 million in guaranteed money and 4, 5, and 6 million a year for 2017, 2018, and 2019. By putting all of the money up front this a brilliant move by David Stearns. If Thames works out, the will have a cheap first basemen for a few years, if not, they will have the ability to move him as his cotract won’t be hard to move.