Milwaukee Brewers – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-11-13T14:01:50Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Brewers Sign Angel Perdomo To Minors Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=137174 2018-11-12T19:11:21Z 2018-11-12T19:11:21Z
  • The Brewers announced (Twitter link) the signing of left-hander Angel Perdomo to a minor league deal with an invitation to their big league Spring Training camp.  Baseball America ranked Perdomo as the 18th-best prospect in the Blue Jays’ minor league system prior to the 2017 season, though the southpaw hit something of a wall in high-A ball, spending the last two seasons at the level and posting a modest 3.67 ERA, 2.12 K/BB rate, and 9.6 K/9 over 154 2/3 innings.  The 24-year-old Perdomo did miss time to injuries in each of the last two years, however, so better health and a fresh start in Milwaukee’s organization could get his career back on track.
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    Ty Bradley <![CDATA[Brewers Hire Andy Haines As Hitting Coach]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=136493 2018-11-03T19:06:48Z 2018-11-03T19:06:48Z The Brewers have hired Andy Haines as the team’s hitting coach, reports Jon Heyman of Fancred on Twitter.  Haines, 41, will replace Darnell Coles, who stepped down from the post late last week.

    Formerly of the Cubs organization, where he served as the team’s assistant hitting coach in 2018 after two seasons spent as the club’s coordinator of minor league hitting, Haines has a wide and varied in the background in the game.  He’s previously managed at multiple stops in the Miami system, where from 2010-2012 his posts overlapped with the low-level development of current Brewer Christian Yelich.  In all, Haines skippered at five spots across the Marlins’ farm, culminating with his 2014-15 post at the helm of the AAA New Orleans affiliate.  Baseball America has twice named Haines as a top managerial prospect, per his bio at mlb.com.

    Haines will work to stabilize an uneven Brewers offense last season, whose massive breakouts – Yelich, to an MVP-caliber .326/.402/.598 (166 wRC+), and Jesus Aguilar (35 HR, 134 wRC+) – were offset by cataclysmic decline (Orlando Arcia’s NL-worst 54 wRC+, Jonathan Schoop’s .202/.246/.331 crater after joining the team, major regression from Eric Thames and Domingo Santana).  With Steamer forecasting a 27 percent drop in Yelich’s production in the upcoming season and pegging Aguilar to return to near league-average (104 wRC+), the 2019 Brewers will almost certainly need rebounds from ’18 underperformers to stay afloat in a difficult NL Central.

    In all, Milwaukee posted a respectable .252/.323/.424 as a team last season, numbers slightly inflated by the generous dimensions of the team’s home park.  Still, in addition to the aforementioned regulars, the Brewers return veteran performers Ryan Braun, Lorenzo Cain, and Travis Shaw, and figure to benefit from the sizzling bat of top prospect Keston Hiura, should the club sputter in the season’s first half.

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    George Miller <![CDATA[Stephen Vogt Elects Free Agency]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=136214 2018-11-02T00:59:56Z 2018-11-01T23:32:47Z According to a team announcement, Brewers catcher Stephen Vogt has cleared outright waivers and elected free agency. Vogt, along with pitchers Jimmy Nelson and Brent Suter, was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list today. The 34-year-old Vogt did not play in the majors in 2018 after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in May. With the addition of Nelson and Suter, the Brewers’ 40-man roster now consists of 37 players.

    Vogt didn’t take the field this season due to that surgery, though he spent the year traveling with the team even after the operation. The veteran backstop joined the Brew Crew via waivers last June after being designated for assignment by the A’s. Vogt showed good pop with Milwaukee last year, hitting .254/.284/.508 with seven big flies in just 129 plate appearances and was rewarded with a $3.065MM deal in the offseason, avoiding arbitration. Unfortunately for both team and player, that proved to be a sunk cost, as shoulder issues in Spring Training lingered into the season before it was determined that Vogt was facing a potentially career-threatening injury.

    As it stands, it’s not clear where Vogt is in terms of recovery from an injury which the veteran described as “[feeling] everything go wrong that could go wrong with a shoulder.” If doctors determine his arm can handle another attempt at playing, he could look to re-up with the Brewers on a minor league pact or seek out a non-guaranteed deal with another club on the open market.

    Nelson, too, missed the entire 2018 season as he recovered from shoulder surgery that he underwent last September. If he can come back at full strength in 2019, he’ll add a dynamic presence to the top of a Brewers rotation that proved to be a surprising strength in 2018. He’d join Jhoulys Chacin and Chase Anderson in the rotation, with Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, Zach Davies and Junior Guerra representing further options (to say nothing of any potential offseason additions).

    The 29-year-old Suter surely would’ve been in that group as well, but the left-hander underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this summer and won’t be an option to return to the active roster until late 2019.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Reds Hire Pitching Coach Derek Johnson Away From Brewers]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=136021 2018-10-31T21:58:25Z 2018-10-31T21:57:42Z 4:57pm: MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy tweets that Milwaukee general manager David Stearns has confirmed that Johnson is leaving the organization. The Brewers had “extensive” negotiations in an effort to retain Johnson, Stearns said, but it seems the two sides ultimately could not reach an agreement.

    4:50pm: The Brewers are set for yet another coaching change, as Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets that pitching coach Derek Johnson is leaving the organization to join the Reds in the same capacity. Milwaukee previously saw hitting coach Darnell Coles step down, and he was announced as the new hitting coach for the Diamondbacks earlier today.

    To this point, the entirety of Johnson’s coaching career in pro ball has come in the National League Central. He spent the 2013-15 seasons as the Cubs’ minor league pitching coordinator and has served as Milwaukee’s pitching coach from 2016-18 before jumping ship to the division-rival Reds. Prior to that, he spent 11 seasons as the pitching coach at Vanderbilt, working with numerous future big leaguers, including first-rounders David Price, Mike Minor and Sonny Gray.

    Johnson will be the first staff hire under newly minted skipper David Bell on a Reds staff that figures to see its own fair share of turnover following the early-season dismissal of Bryan Price and the recent departure of interim manager Jim Riggleman.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Diamondbacks Name Darnell Coles Hitting Coach]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=135985 2018-10-31T20:15:01Z 2018-10-31T20:15:01Z The D-backs have announced that Darnell Coles, who recently stepped down as the Brewers’ hitting coach, has been hired as the new hitting coach in Arizona. He’ll replace the recently dismissed Dave Magadan. The Athletic’s Robert Murray had previously reported that Coles was the “leading candidate” to take over for Magadan in Phoenix (Twitter link). Tim Laker is sticking around as the Diamondbacks’ assistant hitting coach, per the press release announcing Coles’ hiring.

    “We’re excited to add a person of Darnell Coles’ caliber to our Major League coaching staff,” said manager Torey Lovullo in a statement accompanying the announcement. “He is an exceptional communicator that values building relationships. As a teacher, his dynamic approach has proven to help players develop.”

    Coles, 56, enjoyed a 14-year career as an infielder and outfielder before beginning his coaching career as the Mariners’ minor league hitting coordinator in 2000. Since then he’s served as a minor league hitting coordinator, hitting coach and manager in the Nationals and Brewers farm systems, served as the Tigers’ assistant hitting coach and spent the past four seasons as the Brewers’ Major League hitting coach.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Brewers Exercise Club Option Over Jeremy Jeffress, Buy Out Jordan Lyles]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=135948 2018-10-31T19:02:57Z 2018-10-31T18:56:43Z The Brewers made the easy call today to pick up their club option over righty Jeremy Jeffress, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy tweets. He stands to earn $3.175MM for the 2019 season.

    Meanwhile, the team declined a $3.5MM option over fellow right-hander Jordan Lyles, per Robert Murray of The Athletic (via Twitter). He’ll receive a $250K buyout.

    Jeffress, 31, would have been eligible for arbitration for a final time, but agreed to a contract last winter that gave the team a pair of options. It was quite an unusual deal, evidently occasioned by the fact that Jeffress has struggled with substance abuse in the past and had thrived in the environment provided by the Milwaukee organization.

    As it turns out, Jeffress reached $550K in incentive pay by virtue of throwing over seventy innings and finishing over twenty games. Added to his $1.75MM base salary, he earned $2.3MM — just a bit less than the $2.6MM he was projected for in arbitration.

    Jeffress can reach up to $2.2MM in incentives for each of the following two seasons, though achieving all would mean reaching not only 55 games finished but also throwing over ninety frames. In addition to the $3.175MM he’ll earn for 2019, the final club option comes with a $4.3MM price tag.

    To this point, the deal has worked out on the field — tremendously so, in fact. Jeffress worked to a minuscule 1.29 ERA in 76 2/3 innings in 2018, surrendering only 49 hits while compiling 10.4 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9 along with a typically excellent 56.4% groundball rate. The strikeouts came as a pleasant surprise; Jeffress ended the season with a 13.5% swinging-strike rate that easily topped his prior high.

    As for Lyles, the 28-year-old gave the Brewers 16 1/3 effective innings after coming over from the Padres via trade. He allowed only six earned on a dozen hits in that span, racking up 22 strikeouts against nine walks.

    Obviously, the Brewers did not seen enough to think that was a sign of things to come. Lyles has thrown 768 2/3 major-league frames, after all, with only a 5.28 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 on his overall ledger.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mike Moustakas, Joakim Soria Decline Mutual Options]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=135831 2018-10-30T23:37:36Z 2018-10-30T21:36:53Z The Brewers announced Tuesday that third baseman Mike Moustakas and right-hander Joakim Soria have both declined their half of their 2019 mutual options. Moustakas’ option came with a $15MM value, while Soria’s was worth $10MM. Both players received a $1MM buyout and are now free agents.

    [Related: Updated Milwaukee Brewers depth chart and payroll outlook]

    Moustakas, who turned 30 last month, was traded from Kansas City to Milwaukee prior to the non-waiver trade deadline (in exchange for Brett Phillips and Jorge Lopez) and went on to hit .256/.326/.441 with eight homers in 218 plate appearances as Milwaukee’s primary third baseman. On the season as a whole, the longtime Royals slugger hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 long balls and 33 doubles.

    It’s the second consecutive quality season at the plate for Moustakas since returning from a 2016 ACL tear, and it’s bold, to an extent, to see him turn down the guaranteed $15MM he could’ve secured (if the Brewers were similarly comfortable paying him at that rate, which isn’t a given). Moustakas and agent Scott Boras found extremely limited interest in free agency last winter on the heels of a superior offensive season to the one he just concluded.

    It’s certainly possible that Moustakas turned down some multi-year offers early in free agency and was ultimately forced to settle for his eventual one-year, $6.5MM deal after those suitors pursued alternative options. But now that he’s a year older and coming off a worse season with a relatively characteristic platoon split, it’d be hard to say that Moustakas did anything to truly elevate his profile in 2018. It’s true that he can no longer be saddled with a qualifying offer, which unquestionably sapped his market last offseason, so at the very least he’ll have that burden lifted as he explores the free-agent market for a second time.

    As for Soria, the final season of his three-year, $25MM pact (also signed with the Royals) was arguably the best of the three. In 60 2/3 innings, the 34-year-old pitched to a tidy 3.12 ERA while averaging 11.1 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and 0.59 HR/9 with a 35.7 percent ground-ball rate. Despite the fact that he’s entering his mid-30s, Soria posted the best swinging-strike rate (14.4 percent) and opponents’ chase rate (34.1 percent) of his impressive career. With that type of swing-and-miss ability in his back pocket, he’ll likely have little trouble topping the $10MM guarantee he’d have been promised had he instead accepted the option.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 10/30/18]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=135764 2018-10-30T14:08:35Z 2018-10-30T13:22:39Z We’ll use this post to catch up on some recent minor moves and track any more that pop up today:

    • The Brewers announced that they’ve inked infielder Jake Hager to a minors pact that includes an invitation to MLB camp. With the news, Hager will again factor on the Milwaukee infield depth chart as camp gets underway. He had his most impressive showing at any level to open the 2018 season, slashing .292/.371/.521 with ten home runs in 257 plate appearances at Double-A Biloxi last year. But Hager’s output slowed after he was bumped up to Triple-A to finish out the year. The 25-year-old has spent most of his time in the minors at shortstop and also has experience at second and third base.
    • First baseman Joey Meneses was released by the Phillies in order to pursue an opportunity in Japan, the club announced. He’ll be signing with the Orix Buffaloes. Meneses, 26, was not on the Philadelphia organization’s 40-man roster and obviously did not factor in its plans. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t shown some impressive skill. After joining the Phillies on a minors pact for the 2018 season, the long-time Braves farmhand picked up International League MVP honors for turning in a stellar campaign in which he slashed .311/.360/.510 with 23 home runs in 536 plate appearances at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Brewers Select Contract Of Tyrone Taylor]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=135733 2018-10-30T01:10:25Z 2018-10-30T01:10:25Z The Brewers announced today that they have selected the contract of outfielder Tyrone Taylor. With that move, and the departure of three free agents from the 40-man roster, the club has two roster spots to work with at present.

    Once considered one of the Milwaukee organization’s very best prospects, owing primarily to his defensive profile, Taylor fell largely off the map as he struggled to reach base or hit for power with any real consistency. The 24-year-old was a second-round selection in the 2012 draft, so he has been eligible for the Rule 5 draft quite a few times, but has never drawn outside interest.

    Taylor would have qualified for minor-league free agency in a few days had it not been for this move. Whether or not he’ll remain a part of the picture in Milwaukee isn’t clear, as Taylor could conceivably be utilized as trade bait, but the club obviously felt he had shown enough in 2018 to have real value.

    Despite first reaching the Double-A level (albeit briefly) in 2014, Taylor did not touch the highest level of the minors until the just-completed campaign. Once there, he followed through on the burst of life he had shown in an injury-shortened 2017 effort, turning in 481 plate appearances of .278/.321/.504 hitting along with twenty long balls — his first double-digit homer tally.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Brewers, Chase Anderson Hope For Bounceback Year]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=135463 2018-10-26T04:50:39Z 2018-10-26T01:19:32Z
  • The Brewers undeniably had a successful 2018 campaign, but it occurred despite of the struggles of righty Chase Anderson, who inked a short-term extension at the end of the prior season. As Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports, Anderson wrapped up the current year saying he has plans to get back on track for 2019. GM David Stearns, meanwhile, says the organization expects the same. Anderson, who’ll soon turn 31, did finish with a solid 3.93 ERA in 158 innings. But ERA estimators including FIP (5.22), xFIP (4.79), and SIERA (4.68) were not impressed, and Anderson failed to sustain the slight but notable velocity bump from the season prior.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Brewers Announce Changes To Coaching Staff]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=135493 2018-10-26T14:09:32Z 2018-10-25T23:32:03Z The Brewers announced today that they will be seeking two new coaches, as Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel was among those to report (Twitter link). Hitting coach Darnell Coles decided to leave the organization, while bullpen coach Lee Tunell and head athletic trainer Dan Wright will not be asked back.

    Unsurprisingly, manager Craig Counsell will be back for his third full season in the dugout. He’ll be looking for a pair of new lieutenants for the 2019 season and will also be working with a new head trainer, as the club has decided to move on from Dan Wright.

    Coles, a long-time major-leaguer, had served as hitting coach since the 2015 season. The 56-year-old had previously worked in the Milwaukee farm system before joining the Tigers as assistant hitting coach. Current Brewers hitting coach Jason Lane is said to be a possible candidate to take over for Coles but will also be allowed to pursue jobs with other clubs.

    As for Tunnell, he’ll move on after a long run as the club’s bullpen coach. A former big league hurler, he had stepped into the position in the middle of the 2012 season and held onto the job when Counsell took over for Ron Roenicke.

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    Ty Bradley <![CDATA[Stearns On Brewers’ Offseason, Future Outlook]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=135379 2018-10-24T19:13:54Z 2018-10-24T16:49:32Z After a deflating coda to one of the most successful seasons in franchise history, Brewers GM David Stearns held court with the media yesterday to discuss the team’s position heading into the 2019 season.  Though obviously disheartened with the club’s Game Seven performance at home last Saturday, the third-year boss sees little reason for pessimism in the near future.

    “From an organizational perspective, I’m incredibly proud of how our organization presented itself throughout the season and particularly on a national stage in October,” Stearns said. “Another rewarding aspect is we genuinely believe we are set up to succeed going forward. We return the vast majority of the core of this team. We return that core for multiple years going forward.”

    Indeed, the Brewers boast just three players – lefties Wade Miley and Gio Gonzalez, along with 37-year-old Curtis Granderson – who stand to hit free agency this offseason.  With a glut of emerging rotation candidates, including Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta, and Corbin Burnes, and regulars with lengthy track records entrenched at multiple positions, the 2019 Brewers figure to look strikingly similar to the current version.

    From a specific standpoint, a positional standpoint at the major-league level, we have the vast majority of our team returning,” said Stearns. “So, I don’t know that I would pinpoint a particular area or two that we see that absolutely must be addressed. But there are going to be opportunities to improve our team in the off-season, and we’re going to work hard to take advantage of those opportunities.”

    Milwaukee will face difficult decisions with Joakim Soria and Mike Moustakas, over whom the club holds contract options for the upcoming season, and Jonathan Schoop, whose $10.1MM projected arbitration salary (per MLBTR’s Matt Swartz) is hardly congruent with his recent output.  The Brewers hold a $10MM option over the 34-year-old Soria, who stands as one of the game’s few relievers able to sustain success for more than a decade – the two-time All-Star enjoyed one of his best seasons in 2018, posting his highest strikeout rate (11.13 K/9) in nine years and again limiting walks and homers at an elite rate.  His 92.4 MPH average fastball sits in perfect harmony with his marks in the category over the last few years and again ranked as one of the league’s most effective, per FanGraphs’ pitch value ratings.  He’s surely worth the figure, but might be a luxury item for the mid-market club already possessing of an elite back-end bullpen.  Moustakas, 30, has a mutual option with the Crew for $15MM in ’19 and seems most likely to be cut loose – his presence, after all, would mean an unorthodox return to second base for the 6’4, 230 lb Travis Shaw, likely rendering Schoop – for whom the Brewers gave up a package that included Jonathan Villar, who easily outperformed Schoop last season, and highly regarded hurler Luis Ortiz – a platoon bat at best, if retained.

    The only clear area of upgrade may be shortstop, where former top prospect Orlando Arcia sputtered to a dreadful 54 wRC+ and .235 xWOBA this season.  Arcia’s defense, long seen as sufficient to overcome a hole-ridden swing, has received mostly ambivalent reviews in his three-year career thus far, with UZR (-5.3 total) being a bit more skeptical than DRS (+8).  The Crew could turn to Schoop, though his mostly average marks at the keystone wouldn’t seem to portend well at a more demanding position, or pursue a trade, though the options, much like the free agent market at the position, are far from promising.  Catcher could be another option, though Stephen Vogt hopes to be ready by Spring Training in his recovery from a shoulder tear.  For bait, the club could look to deal from its a long-standing surplus in the outfield, where even former middle-of-the-order stalwarts Domingo Santana and Eric Thames struggled to find at-bats down the stretch.

    In all, the Brewers project to have a ~$25MM payroll bump (to an estimated $115MM, per Roster Resource and MLBTR’s Jason Martinez) before the option decisions, so the team doesn’t figure to be major players in free agency, though Stearns certainly didn’t rule it out: “I certainly imagine that we are going to show up in spring training with a slightly different-looking roster than the one we have right now, perhaps in ways that we don’t envision.”

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Stearns Noncommittal On Schoop's Future]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=135361 2018-10-24T00:39:18Z 2018-10-24T00:39:18Z The Brewers will have a tough call to make on Jonathan Schoop following the infielder’s struggles in 2018, and general manager David Stearns opted not to tip his hand when it comes to tendering a contract to the arbitration-eligible slugger (link via MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy). “That’s a discussion that we’re going to have to continue to have here over the next couple of weeks to a month,” said Stearns. “…He has had really impressive stretches throughout his career, and unfortunately for both him and us, we didn’t see one of those stretches when he was a Brewer. We’ll sit down to see if we can determine why, and then we’ll go forward.” Schoop, 27, was one of the game’s most productive infielders in 2017 but turned in an awful .233/.266/.416 slash through 501 plate appearances this year — including a brutal .202/.246/.331 slash with the Brewers. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projects him to earn a $10.1MM salary in 2019.

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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 10/23/18]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=135319 2018-10-23T18:09:06Z 2018-10-23T18:09:06Z Rounding up the minor moves from around the baseball world…

    • Brewers minor leaguers RHP Alec Asher, LHP Mike Zagurski and IF Nick Franklin elected free agency, the team’s development department announced today. The 27-year-old Franklin – a former first-round pick of the Mariners – is the biggest name of the three, though his .214/.285/.359 career line illustrates his struggles at the big-league level. Asher is a former 23rd-round pick of the Giants who appeared in two games for the Brewers this season without giving up a run.  Zagurksi is now 35-years-old and last saw significant time in the majors when he appeared in 45 games for the Diamondbacks in 2012, pitching to a 5.54 ERA across 37.1 innings. Zagurski and Franklin spent all of 2018 in the Brewers’ system, whereas Asher split the year between the Triple-A clubs of the Brewers and Dodgers.
    • The Arizona Diamondbacks signed right-hander Shane Watson to a two-year minor-league deal, per Baseball America’s Matt Eddy (via Twitter). The now-25-year-old Watson was drafted 40th overall in the 2012 draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, and last played for a major-league affiliated club in 2017 with the Double-A Reading Phillies.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Brewers' Rotation Options For 2019]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=135243 2018-10-22T04:05:20Z 2018-10-22T04:05:20Z
  • The emergence of Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes in the postseason gives the Brewers two more potential options in what could be a very interesting pitching rotation next season, JR Radcliffe of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes.  Woodruff and Burnes were multi-inning relief weapons out of Milwaukee’s pen, with Woodruff starting a bullpen game in Game One of the NLDS and the unofficial starter for Game Five of the NLCS (when Wade Miley’s “start” lasted just one batter in a bit of trickery on the Brewers’ part).  With Woodruff and Burnes likely to be stretched out in Spring Training, they could add depth to a Milwaukee staff that has Jhoulys Chacin as the only sure thing, with Zach Davies, Freddy Peralta, Chase Anderson, Junior Guerra, and potentially a healthy Jimmy Nelson also in the mix.
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