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2022 Brewers Roster Analysis and Spring Training Home Stretch Preview

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

For the last article today, I’ll continue our preview of our National League Central rivals with last season’s division champion, the Milwaukee Brewers.

TRANSACTIONS

*The Brewers started the offseason with a full 40-man roster and 5 players on the 60-day IL.

10/6/21: LHP Kyle Lobstein elected free agency in lieu of an outright assignment.

10/14/21: OF Troy Stokes, Jr. elected free agency in lieu of an outright assignment.

10/15/21: Signed OF Abraham Almonte to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

11/3/21: LHP Brett Anderson, RHP John Axford, RHP Brad Boxberger, IF Eduardo Escobar, LHP Daniel Norris, C Manny Pina and RHP Hunter Strickland declared Article XX-B free agents. RHP Colin Rea declared a free agent by the contract he signed from Japan. Signed RHP Trevor Gott to a 1-year, split major league contract. 40-man roster at 34.

11/4/21: Outrighted RHP Eric Yardley and C Luke Maile to AAA Nashville. 40-man roster at 32.

11/5/21: Activated RHP John Curtiss, RHP Justin Topa, LHP Angel Perdomo, and IF Mark Mathias from the 60-day IL. Announced that OF Jackie Bradley, Jr. exercised his $9.5 million player option for the 2022 season. Announced that OF Avisail Garcia declined the 2022 mutual option, which earned him a $2 million buyout and made him a free agent. RHP Eric Yardley and C Luke Maile elected free agency in lieu of outright assignments. 40-man roster at 35.

11/11/21: Signed IF Andruw Monasterio to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

11/12/21: Signed RHP Hobie Harris to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

11/13/21: Traded minor league RHP Evan Reifert to the Tampa Bay Rays for UT Mike Brosseau. 40-man roster at 36.

11/18/21: Signed OF Jonathan Davis to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

11/19/21: Outrighted IF Mark Mathias to AAA Nashville. 40-man roster at 35.

11/22/21: Traded a Player To Be Named Later or cash considerations to the Cleveland Guardians for RHP J.C. Mejia. 40-man roster at 36.

11/28/21: Signed RHP Jason Alexander and RHP Trevor Kelley to minor league deals and invited them to spring training.

11/29/21: Signed C Pedro Severino to a 1-year, $1.9 million major league contract. 40-man roster at 37. Signed LHP Rex Brothers to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

11/30/21: Non-tendered RHP John Curtiss and 1B Daniel Vogelbach. Agreed to a 1-year, $675,000 split major league contract with RHP Jandel Gustave, avoiding arbitration. Signed C/OF Brett Sullivan to a 1-year major league contract. 40-man roster at 36.

Sullivan, now 28, was a 17th round draft choice by the Rays in 2015, and never having been added to the 40-man since, was declared a Rule 9 minor league free agent. You don’t often see these types of guys signed to a contract to add them to the 40-man roster. The amount does not appear to have been disclosed, but you can bet it was a split contract that calls for something right around the minimum if he’s in the majors. Sullivan played all over in college, and has alternated at catcher and outfield the last couple of years, with time at third base early in his minor league career.

12/1/21: Traded OF Jackie Bradley, Jr., minor league IF Alex Binelas and minor league IF David Hamilton to the Boston Red Sox for OF Hunter Renfroe. 40-man roster still at 36.

12/15/21: Signed RHP Moises Gomez, C Jakson Reetz and OF Garrett Whitley to minor league deals and invited them to spring training.

1/10/22: Signed 1B Tyler White to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

3/13/22: Sent minor league C David Fry to the Cleveland Guardians to complete the 11/22 J.C. Mejia trade. Re-signed RHP Brad Boxberger to a 1-year, $2.5 million major league contract with a club option for 2023. 40-man roster at 37. Invited 56 players to spring training, which includes all 37 players on the 40-man roster and 19 NRIs.

3/16/22: Signed OF Andrew McCutchen to a 1-year, $8.5 million major league contract. 40-man roster at 38. 57 players in camp (38 40-man roster players + 19 NRIs).

3/22/22: Agreed to a 1-year, $6.5 million contract with RHP Corbin Burnes, a 1-year, $11 million contract with LHP Josh Hader, a 1-year, $2.425 million contract with LHP Eric Lauer, a 1-year, $2.7 million contract with LHP Brent Suter, a 1-year, $6.8 million contract with RHP Brandon Woodruff, a 1-year, $5 million contract with C Omar Narvaez, a 1-year, $4.6 million contract with SS Willy Adames, a 1-year, $1.94 million contract with 1B Rowdy Tellez, a 1-year, $2.55 million contract with IF Luis Urias (Super Two), a 1-year, $1.825 million contract with UT Jace Peterson and a 1-year, $7.65 million contract with OF Hunter Renfroe, avoiding arbitration with each player. Renewed the contract of RHP Devin Williams for $714,500.

The Brewers settled all of their arbitration cases except for RHP Adrian Houser. He filed for $3 million, while the club is offering $2.425 million. It is uncertain what penalty, if any, the Brewers forced Devin Williams to pay for not agreeing to the salary the club wanted to pay him.

3/23/22: Optioned RHP Alec Bettinger, RHP Dylan File, LHP Angel Perdomo, C Mario Feliciano and OF Corey Ray to AAA Nashville. Re-assigned RHP Jason Alexander, RHP Luke Barker, RHP Moises Gomez, RHP Hobie Harris, RHP Connor Sadzeck, LHP Ethan Small, IF Andruw Monasterio and OF Garrett Whitley to minor league camp. 44 players in camp (33 40-man roster players + 11 NRIs).

3/28/22: Optioned C Brett Sullivan to AAA Nashville. Re-assigned LHP Rex Brothers, RHP Trevor Kelley, IF Mark Mathias, IF Brice Turang, 1B Tyler White, OF Abraham Almonte, OF David Dahl and OF Jonathan Davis to minor league camp. 35 players in camp (32 40-man roster players + 3 NRIs).

3/29/22: Signed RHP Jose Urena to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training. 36 players in camp (32 40-man roster players + 4 NRIs).

3/30/22: Selected the contract of RHP Jose Urena from AAA Nashville. 40-man roster at 39. 36 players in camp (33 40-man roster players + 3 NRIs).

4/1/22: Re-assigned RHP Josh Lindblom to minor league camp. 35 players in camp (33 40-man roster players + 2 NRIs).

40-MAN ROSTER

PITCHERS (21)

Aaron Ashby (L, 2), Alec Bettinger (R, 2), Brad Boxberger (R), Corbin Burnes (R, 2), Jake Cousins (R, 3), Dylan File (R, 2), Trevor Gott (R), Jandel Gustave (R, 1), Josh Hader (L, 2), Adrian Houser (R), Eric Lauer (L, 1), J.C. Mejia (R, 1), Hoby Milner (L, 1), Freddy Peralta (R, 2), Angel Perdomo (L, 1), Miguel Sanchez (R, 2), Brent Suter (L, 2), Justin Topa (R, 3), Jose Urena (R), Devin Williams (R, 3), Brandon Woodruff (R, 1)

CATCHERS (4)

Mario Feliciano (2), Omar Narvaez (N/A), Pedro Severino, Brett Sullivan (3)

INFIELDERS (8)

Willy Adames (1), Mike Brosseau (2), Keston Hiura (1), Jace Peterson, Pablo Reyes (1), Rowdy Tellez, Luis Urias (2), Kolten Wong (N/A)

OUTFIELDERS (6)

Lorenzo Cain (N/A), Andrew McCutchen (N/A), Corey Ray (1), Hunter Renfroe (2), Tyrone Taylor, Christian Yelich (N/A)

NOTES

J.C. Mejia is eligible for a fourth minor league option this season. Corey Ray will be eligible for a fourth minor league option in 2023 if his option year is burned this season. Aaron Ashby and Dylan File will be eligible for a fourth minor league option in 2024 if their option years are burned in 2022 and 2023. Jake Cousins will be eligible for a fourth minor league option in 2025 if his option years are burned in 2022, 2023 and 2024

HOME STRETCH AND FINAL JOBS

PITCHING

Brett Anderson is gone, but all of the other starters the club relied on last season to lead the club to the division title are back. Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta and Brandon Woodruff are the top starters, with the rotation being rounded out by Adrian Houser and lefty Eric Lauer.

As for the bullpen, it depends on how many pitchers the club decides to carry. Aaron Ashby, Brad Boxberger, Jake Cousins, Trevor Gott, Josh Hader, Brent Suter, Jose Urena and Devin Williams have secure spots. Because of the club’s position player situation, the club will likely have only one more job. A strong candidate to win it is non-roster invitee Luis Perdomo, the former Cardinal farmhand and San Diego Padres starter. He was signed to a 2-year minor league deal that started in 2021, while he was recovering from Tommy John surgery. The club has a 40-man spot available for Perdomo, if necessary.

POSITION PLAYERS

The club will have Rowdy Tellez at first, Kolten Wong at second, and Willy Adames at short. Luis Urias suffered a quad injury on March 19th, which leaves the third base chores to some combination of Mike Brosseau, Jace Peterson and Pablo Reyes. Christian Yelich will be in left, Lorenzo Cain in center and Hunter Renfroe will handle right. Omar Narvaez will be the primary catcher with Pedro Severino backing him up. New signee Andrew McCutchen will handle the primary DH responsibilities. That leaves Keston Hiura as a bench bat and Tyrone Taylor as a backup outfielder. It’s possible that the club could option either Reyes or Hiura and keep another pitcher, but Reyes offers multi-positional flexibility and Hiura has had a phenomenal spring.