The Milwaukee Brewers have announced the signing of catcher Nevin Ashley to a minor league deal, according to the team’s Player Development Twitter page. The deal will include a Major League Spring Training invitation.
Ashley was a 6th round draft choice by Tampa Bay in 2006 and turned 30 this past August. He played in the Rays’ organization through 2012 before bouncing around through Pittsburgh’s and Cincinnati’s systems in the last two seasons.
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The right handed hitting Nevin is a career .257/.351/.380 hitter across nine minor league seasons, including .235/.322/.365 in 780 at bats at AAA. He strikes out fairly often, with a career mark of almost 21% at AAA, but has also walked at a more palatable 10.4% across his minor league career. Ashley comes with a strong defensive reputation, however, as he has twice been named top defensive catcher in the Rays system, according to Baseball America.
The Brewers are already set at the big league level with the tandem of Jonathon Lucroy and Martin Maldonado, and also have waiver claim Juan Centeno on the 40 man roster. Ashley is unlikely to see any significant major league time this season (barring injuries), and is likely mostly just organizational filler at this point. Milwaukee needed some AAA depth at catcher after dealing Shawn Zarraga to the Dodgers, and it appears that Nevin Ashley will be the man.