The Milwaukee Brewers have claimed 26 year old outfielder Shane Peterson off waivers from the Cubs, according to a tweet from Adam McCalvy. Peterson was placed on waivers by the Cubs after being claimed only four days ago. The Brewers continue to add outfield depth after losing Caleb Gindl, Kentrail Davis, Sean Halton, Eugenio Velez, and Kevin Mattison all so far this offseason. With the addition of Peterson, the Brewers 40 man roster is currently full.
Peterson was originally a second round pick by the Cardinals in 2008. He’s had a busy offseason so far, as he comes to the Brewers after being designated by the Athletics and placed on waivers by the Cubs. He bats and throws left-handed, and has experience at first base as well as all three outfield spots. Peterson has seven career Major League at bats, getting one hit for the Athletics in two games in 2013.
Though inexperienced in the bigs, Shane comes with a strong minor league track record. Across four seasons at AAA, Peterson has a .294/.383/.428 slash, and has achieved double digit home runs and steals in each of the last two seasons. He’s shown a solid ability to get on base with a career 11.7% walk rate, but also strikes out at a 20.3% clip. GM Doug Melvin had this to say about Peterson:
“We like his versatility…Not many first basemen can play center field. It’s nice to get another left handed bat, too.”
Melvin also said the Brewers tried to claim Peterson before he was awarded to the Cubs, so management should be happy that he ultimately landed in Milwaukee.
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My speculation is that this claim could likely spell the end of Logan Schafer in Milwaukee. Though regarded as a strong defender, Schafer has been a disappointment offensively. Across 503 plate appearances since 2011, Schafer has put up a meager .209/.283/.320 line, good enough for an OPS+ of 66 and a negative oWAR. With the 40 man roster full and the Brewers needing to add relief pitching, Schafer could well be the odd man out.
Another possibility would be that Peterson will serve as depth for a potential trade of Gerardo Parra. It’s been reported that the Brewers are listening to offers on the outfielder, who is currently projected for a bench role and a $6.4 mil salary by MLB Trade Rumors. Parra could make sense for a team like the Giants, who are looking for outfield help. Parra’s Gold Glove caliber defense would play well at spacious AT&T Park.
Shane Peterson is a solid depth addition to a Brewers team that needs to rebuild its bench after losing its top two producers from 2014, Rickie Weeks and Lyle Overbay. While he doesn’t address any of the specific platoon needs the Brewers might face, he has a solid approach and can play multiple positions. Should Peterson show enough to make the team out of spring training, he could make an impact for the Brewers in 2015.