Archive for the ‘ Transactions ’ Category

Brewers Deal Sardiñas



The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired outfielder Ramon Flores (added to the 40-man roster) from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for infielder Luis Sardiñas. The 40-man roster remains at 35. The announcement was made by General Manager David Stearns.

Flores, 23, made his Major League debut this season, appearing in 12 games during three stints with the Yankees (5/30-6/10, 6/21-6/23 and 7/3-7/8). He was traded to Seattle on July 30, along with RHP Jose Ramirez, in exchange for infielder/outfielder Dustin Ackley. Following the trade, Flores was assigned to Triple-A Tacoma, where he batted .423 (22-for-52) with 2 HR and 7 RBI in 14 games before a right leg injury ended his season on August 14. He also batted .286 with 7 HR and 34 RBI in 73 games at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees) in 2015.

Flores, a native of Barinas, Venezuela, was originally signed by the Yankees at the age of 16 as a non-drafted free agent on July 4, 2008.  He is a career .275 hitter in the minor leagues with 45 HR and 267 RBI in 675 games (2009-15).

Sardiñas, 22, batted .196 with 0 HR and 4 RBI in 36 games during two stints with Milwaukee this season (5/15-6/8 and 9/8-end). He was acquired by the Brewers from Texas, along with RHP Corey Knebel and RHP Marcos Diplan, in exchange for right-handed pitcher Yovani Gallardo and cash considerations on last January 19.

Brewers Acquire Major League Infielder (Official Release)

The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired infielder Jonathan Villar (added to the 40-man roster) from the Houston Astros in exchange for right-handed pitcher Cy Sneed.The 40-man roster stands at 35. The announcement was made by General Manager David Stearns.

Villar, 24, has had Major League stints with Houston over each of the last three seasons (2013-15), batting .236 with 10 HR, 46 RBI and 42 stolen bases in 198 games. He started 163 games for the Astros (153g at SS, 8g at 3B, 2g in LF). Villar posted his highest career batting average in 2015 as he hit .284 with 2 HR and 11 RBI in 53 games. He started 28 games for the A.L. Wild Card winners (18g at SS, 8g at 3B, 2g in LF).

Villar, a native of La Vega in the Dominican Republic, was originally signed by Philadelphia as a non-drafted free agent on May 20, 2008. He was traded to Houston, along with outfielder Anthony Gose and left-handed pitcher J.A. Happ, in exchange for right-handed pitcher Roy Oswalt and cash on July 29, 2010. He made his Major League debut on July 22, 2013 with the Astros and was the team’s Opening Day starting shortstop in 2014.

Sneed, 23, was selected by Milwaukee in the third round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. He went 6-13 with a 3.30 ERA in 37 games (30 starts) over two seasons in the Brewers organization (2014-15). Sneed was 0-2 with a 5.92 ERA in 11 games (6 starts) at Rookie Helena in 2014 and split the 2015 season at Class-A Wisconsin (15g/13gs) and Class-A Brevard County (11gs), going 6-11 with a 2.58 ERA in 26 games (24 starts).

Brewers Announce Several 40-Man Roster Subtractions


Just prior to the close of the business day Monday, the Milwaukee Brewers announced six players as no longer being a part of its 40-man roster by way of outright assignment to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

New general manager David Stearns has been discussing his ongoing evaluation of the organization’s talent pool. Now almost a month into his official tenure, the first wave of changes are underway in earnest.

Five of the players could have remained under team control for 2016. Four of those five appeared in the big leagues in Brewers uniforms this season along with the sixth player who won’t be back with the club in any capacity.

The names:

  • RHP Johnny Hellweg
  • LHP Cesar Jimenez
  • C Juan Centeno
  • 1B Matt Clark
  • OF Logan Schafer
  • RHP Kyle Lohse (declared free agency)

Lohse’s declaration should come as no surprise given how his tenure in Milwaukee ended this year. All five of the outrighted players now also have the right to declare minor league free agency, though they could sign minor league contracts for next year should they choose to do so.

Despite a new man in charge and disappointing results following Tommy John surgery and rehab, you would think the Brewers would prefer retaining Johnny Hellweg on a minor league contract. They have, after all, put quite a bit of time and money into him after he was acquired as the second piece in the Zack Greinke-to-Los Angeles deal. Hellweg was also the Brewers MiLB Pitcher of the Year once upon a time.

Jimenez’s outright is probably the only somewhat unexpected move as he performed acceptably for the majority of his time in Milwaukee. That said, he’s certainly a veteran player who doesn’t have a ton of business on a rebuilding roster at the end of the day.

Centeno was passed over for a September call-up after appearing in 10 games early in the year. While it’s not a bad thing to have a third catcher on the 40-man roster, that spot is much more valuable this off-seaosn for Rule 5 Draft protection than for a guy who is inconsequential while there are no games being played.

After being sold a bill of goods never fulfilled, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Matt Clark look for his next opportunity elsewhere. He’s flashed a solid set of tools and I believe he could help a team at the MLB level. That said, at 29 years of age next season, he’ll be outside of the range wherein the Brewers would best benefit from his skills before they deteriorate.

As for Logan Schafer, he’s always been a great guy and he still plays top flight defense (when he’s sharp) but given where he’s at in his career against where the Brewers are in their rebuild, this one just felt kind of inevitable. Schafer is a solid 5th outfielder, in my opinion, but outfield just so happens to be one of the deepest positions in the organization right now both in terms of players currently on the 40-man roster and those hopefully on their way through the minor (Brett Phillips, Tyrone Taylor, Trent Clark).

The Brewers have plenty more decisions to make as the weeks and months pass following the completion of the World Series. For now, Stearns has decided he needs the room on his 40-man roster. After all, two of the spots would appear to be spoken for already as RHPs Jimmy Nelson and Michael Blazek will likely be reinstated from the 60-day Disabled List soon enough and will, as a result, fill two of the current openings.


Nelson and Blazek were reinstated from the 60-day DL on Monday as assumed. That officially puts the 40-man roster at 36 players with four open spots.


Ron Burgundy may never have heard Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin,’” but David Stearns obviously has, and he’s willing to make the moves he deems necessary to regain Milwaukee’s footing in the ultra-competitive National League Central division.

Up next for Stearns? It could be a decision on whether to pick up the $8 million club option on first baseman Adam Lind. That decision must come by the close of business Wednesday.

What off-season?

Brewers Announce Reported Coaching Hirings

Derek Johnson (left) & Pat Murphy

Derek Johnson (left) & Pat Murphy


The Milwaukee Brewers have announced the hiring of Derek Johnson as pitching coach and Pat Murphy as bench coach. In addition, the Club has announced the return of bullpen coach Lee Tunnell to the 2016 staff. The announcement was made by General Manager David Stearns.

“We are excited to announce the additions of Derek and Pat to our coaching staff and that Lee will return,” said Stearns. “Combined with Ed (Sedar) and Darnell (Coles), we believe that we are assembling a staff that embodies the type of culture that we are looking to instill throughout our organization.”

Johnson, 44, replaces Rick Kranitz as pitching coach. He joins the Brewers from the Chicago Cubs, where he served as pitching coordinator from 2013-15. Prior to that role, Johnson enjoyed 11 seasons as the pitching coach at Vanderbilt University from 2002-12. Over his last three seasons at Vanderbilt, he served as associate head coach in addition to pitching coach. Among others, Johnson guided the collegiate careers of 2012 Cy Young Award-winner David Price and current Oakland Athletics ace Sonny Gray.

Murphy, 56, replaces Jerry Narron as bench coach. He spent the previous six seasons in the San Diego Padres organization, joining the Club as a special assistant to the baseball operations department in 2010. He went on to manage at Class-A Eugene (2011-12), Triple-A Tucson (2013) and Triple-A El Paso (2014-15) before being named Padres interim manager last June 16. Along with his professional managing experience, Murphy had successful college stints as the head coach at the University of Notre Dame (1988-94) and Arizona State University (1995-2009). While at Notre Dame, he coached current Brewers manager Craig Counsell.

Tunnell, 55, returns for his fourth full season as bullpen coach. In 2015, the Milwaukee bullpen led the National League in strikeouts (548) and ranked second in winning percentage (23-15, .605), fifth in ERA (3.40) and fifth in opponent batting average (.238).

Stearns Taps Rays’ Arnold (Official)

The Milwaukee Brewers have announced the hiring of Matt Arnold as vice president and assistant general manager. The announcement was made by General Manager David Stearns.

“I am thrilled to bring Matt on board,” said Stearns. “Matt has touched nearly every aspect of baseball operations during his impressive career. He has the ability to impact our organization across the entire baseball operations spectrum and will be an integral part of our operation.”

MattArnoldArnold, 36, had served as director of player personnel for the Tampa Bay Rays prior to joining the Brewers. During his time with the Rays (2007-15), Arnold assisted President of Baseball Operations Matt Silverman in player acquisitions, contract negotiation and internal farm system evaluation. His responsibilities also included foreign and domestic special assignments and coordinating advance scouting coverage for the postseason. In addition, Arnold oversaw the integration of science, biomechanics and human movement analysis within baseball operations at all levels.

During his nine-season tenure in Tampa Bay, the Rays posted the fourth-best winning percentage in the American League (773-686, .530) and qualified
for the postseason four times (2008, 2010-11 and 2013), including the franchise’s first World Series appearance in 2008.

Arnold has 15 seasons of professional baseball experience. Along with his time with the Rays, he has worked in the baseball operations departments of the Los Angeles Dodgers (2000), Texas Rangers (2002) and Cincinnati Reds (2003-06).

While with the Reds, Arnold served as assistant director of professional scouting with his duties including player analysis, financial planning and arbitration, as well as involvement in advance, amateur and professional scouting. He joined the Rays following the 2006 season as a professional scout and was promoted to director of professional scouting in November 2009. In that role, he supervised the organization’s Major League and professional scouting departments. He was promoted to his most recent position with the Rays this past June.

“While leaving an incredible organization in Tampa Bay, I am excited and eternally grateful for the opportunity join the Brewers family,” said Arnold. “I am delighted at the prospect of building upon a dynamic environment and facing the challenges ahead together with Mark (Attanasio), David (Stearns), Doug (Melvin), Craig (Counsell) and the baseball operations department. Through hard work, curiosity, and creativity, I intend to work tirelessly with our talented group to bring a championship to Milwaukee.”

Originally from California, Arnold attended the University of California-Santa Barbara, where he earned a degree in economics. While there, he met his wife, Jodi. The couple has a daughter, Julianne, and a son, Tyler.

Brewers Announce Coaching Staff Changes

The Milwaukee Brewers have announced that hitting coach Darnell Coles and third base coach Ed Sedar will return for the 2016 season.

The Club did not renew the contracts of first base coach Mike Guerrero, pitching coach Rick Kranitz, bench coach Jerry Narron, outfield coach John Shelby and bullpen coach Lee Tunnell. The announcement was made by General Manager David Stearns.

“Jerry, Rick, Lee, Mike and John have contributed to the development and growth of the Brewers organization in various capacities for many years. Their devotion to Brewers baseball and to Milwaukee is unquestioned,” said Stearns. “Decisions like these are challenging, but as our organization progresses through a period of change, we believe that new ideas and visions are needed in certain areas.”

Coles, 53, recently completed his first season on the coaching staff after he was named to the position last October 23. He is in his second stint in the Brewers organization, having served as minor league hitting coordinator (2010-11) and then manager at Double-A Huntsville (2012-13) during his first stint. Prior to his return, Coles spent one season (2014) as assistant hitting coach with the Detroit Tigers.

Sedar, 54, has been in the Brewers organization since 1992, including the last nine seasons (2007-15) on the Major League coaching staff. Sedar, who is the longest-tenured coach on the staff, has served as first base coach (2007-10) and third base coach (2011-15).

Guerrero, 47, completed his second season on the Major League coaching staff and his first as first base coach.

Kranitz, 57, spent five seasons as pitching coach with the Brewers. Narron, 59, and Shelby, 57, also spent five seasons on the coaching staff while Tunnell, 54, recently completed his third full season.

Official Release: Brewers Introduce New General Manager


The Milwaukee Brewers have named David Stearns as the organization’s General Manager. The announcement was made today by Brewers Chairman and Principal Owner Mark Attanasio.

Stearns, 30, comes to the organization after serving three years with the Houston Astros as Assistant General Manager. In that role, Stearns has been a key member of the Astros management team focusing on all areas of the Astros baseball operations, including player development, scouting, administration, and analytics.

“David is a rising star in Major League Baseball and has been an integral part of the rebuilding of an Astros organization that has begun to reap the benefits of his efforts,” Attanasio said. “David’s philosophy and skill set are an ideal match for the Brewers. His proven leadership and diverse set of talents will position us to consistently compete for a World Series championship.”

The Astros have put together one of Major League Baseball’s most dramatic turnarounds in recent history, going from 51 wins in 2013 to 70 last season and now currently occupying an American League Wild Card playoff spot with 79 wins though Sunday.

“This has been a position that I coveted for numerous reasons,” Stearns said. “First, I’m excited to continue building on what I believe is already a solid foundation of young talent with the Brewers, particularly in the Minor League system. And as someone coming from the outside, I’m impressed with the strong relationship between the community and the Club. The fan support is incredible, and I know that they will be behind us as we create something special here. I want to thank Mark Attanasio for bringing me on board, and appreciate all of the hard work that has been done by Doug Melvin and everyone at the Brewers to make this such a special opportunity.”

Prior to joining the Astros, Stearns served one year (2011-12) as the Director of Baseball Operations for the Cleveland Indians and three years (2008-11) with Major League Baseball’s Central Office, where he most recently held the position of Manager, Labor Relations. In that role, he assisted in the salary arbitration process, handling uniform player contracts, and was a member of MLB’s negotiating team for the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Before joining Major League Baseball, Stearns worked in the Baseball Operations Departments of the New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates and the Arizona Fall League. He is a graduate of Harvard University.

A native of New York City, Stearns is engaged to Whitney Ann Lee and will assume his new role with the Brewers on October 5.

Doug Melvin, who has been with the Brewers since 2002 and has served as President of Baseball Operations and General Manager since 2012, announced in August that he would be stepping down from the position.

Korn Ferry International assisted in the process of identifying and evaluating candidates in the search, led by Jed Hughes, its Vice Chairman, Global Sector Leader, Sports.

Will Davies Be Joining Santana in Milwaukee This Week? Yup.

If you follow my timeline on Twitter (@BrewerNation), you are probably already aware of the following information. In fact, I’ll lay out the principal statements to this point by way of linking my tweets. That way, I’ll be able to simply supplement them.

Note the date. Manager Craig Counsell has said similarly themed words in the weeks since. Counsell also more recently reiterated that “the latest” they need a fifth starter would be in Cincinnati. That led me to believe that perhaps they’d call on someone earlier than the last possible day (Saturday, September 5) to join the rotation.

Counsell was asked before Sunday’s game whether he was willing to say who would be coming up and when they would arrive as far as September call-ups are concerned.

I did a little counting and realized that if the Brewers wanted Davies for a start this week, something would need to happen.

Then last night, I caught wind that Jorge Ortega was headed from High-A Brevard County to Triple-A Colorado Springs.

It stands to reason that Ortega was going up to Triple-A because a spot was opening. And nobody would be going up from Double-A Biloxi because of the moratorium on moving players away from that playoff-bound squad until said playoff run was concluded.

Then in a moment of connecting the dots, I tweeted the following about how perhaps 9/5 wasn’t the target date for a rotation addition after all.

And finally from this morning, what looks to be the account of Davies’ old high school coach tweeted this…

It certainly does appear as though things are lining up.



So to answer the question in the title? Yup.



Prodigiously Powerful Prospect Promoted


The Milwaukee Brewers had a roster spot to fill prior to Friday’s game against the Nationals in Washington D.C. The opening was created Wednesday and at the time manager Craig Counsell said they would be calling up a hitter but declined to identify who at that time.

Following their 8-7 win on Wednesday afternoon over the Miami Marlins, the Brewers announced that Tuesday’s starting pitcher Tyler Cravy was headed to the disabled list with a right elbow impingement. Cravy says that elbow was first injured five days prior while batting in a start against the Chicago Cubs. The elbow was apparently hyperextended on a foul ball in the top of the 5th inning. Cravy was unable to get through the bottom of the fifth as he walked a batter and then allowed a pair of home runs all with one out.

It had been previously announced that Cravy would pitch out of the bullpen for the time being after a run of bad starts and because of a scheduling quirk which has the Brewers not in need of a fifth starting pitcher for two weeks, but then the injury was revealed. Without the need of that starter, the Brewers had the chance to add another hitter. They’d been playing with a four-man bench for some time.

With Friday morning came the announcement that some had expected and many had anticipated no later than September 1…

Santana has been absolutely mashing since he came over to the Brewers system. The recently turned 23-year-old is slashing .333/.426/.573 this year at the Triple-A level including a robust .380/.424/.544 line just with the Brewers’ Class-AAA affiliate Colorado Springs Sky Sox.

There is a lot of swing-and-miss in his game as evidenced by his 91 K in 275 Fresno ABs and 17 in 79 w/Colorado Springs. That said, in Fresno is K% was 33.1% whereas with Colorado Springs it has dropped to 21.5%. Still, it’s a lot. He does have a good batting eye and has walked 54 times against his 108 strikeouts this season in Triple-A.

Santana’s calling card though is that when he hits balls they tend to stay hit. He is still developing of course but the power is what makes people drool over Santana as a prospect. He has 18 home runs in Triple-A this season to go along with 23 doubles and four triples. That’s 45 extra-base hits in 354 at-bats.

In his brief call-up to the Astros earlier this season, Santana hit a pair of home runs and a pair of doubles in 39 at-bats.

The future is coming over the next couple of seasons. Santana is the first piece of what plans to be many.

BREAKING: More (Reported) Trades!

Here are the latest two trades breaking this morning:

(with a hat tip to Lookout Landing who heard of the discussions yesterday)

Nothing announced yet on that one.

The other deal, as first reported…

…has been announced.


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