The new Milwaukee Brewers utility man last saw major league action back in 2019 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Up to this point, a majority of the roster news that has been made by the Brewers this offseason has revolved around a series of minor league deals such as the one that brought in pitcher Luis Perdomo or when the pair of deals for Dylan Cozens and Hoby Milner were announced.
Thursday saw Milwaukee continue that trend when it was announced by MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy on Twitter that the team was signing a infielder/outfielder who last saw playing time with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Pablo Reyes, who is 27 years old and has two minor league options remaining, also follows a trend of multi-functional player signings by the Brewers like the waiver claim for Tim Lopes and the previous minor league signing of Dustin Peterson.
Who is new Brewer Pablo Reyes?
Reyes was signed by the Pirates back in 2012 as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic. After a few years in the rookie leagues, he ended up reaching Double-A in 2017 and then made it to Triple-A the following season.
After slashing a combined .284/.337/.421 with 16 steals and 55 runs scored in 122 games in the minors in 2018, Reyes got a late-season call-up to the Pirates that year. He impressed in limited time, slashing .293/.349/.483 over 18 games with three homers. His first career major league bomb actually came in a loss to the Brewers on Sept. 14th
2019 saw Reyes flip back and forth between the minors and majors a bit. And while his minor league numbers were solid, his first chance at more extended major league playing time only resulted in a .203/.274/.322 slash line with 36 strikeouts to just 13 walks in 71 games.
Though his 2019 major league season was subpar, his career minor league numbers are well-rounded with a .772 OPS, .351 OBP, 121 steals, and 51 homers over eight seasons. He has also made appearances at every outfield spot and every infield position but first base in his short major league career.
Are there any red flags with Reyes?
Well outside of his subpar 2019 major league numbers, there’s one pretty big red flag with Reyes and it’s what caused him to miss the entire 2020 regular season.
Shortly after being designated for assignment by the Pirates in January of 2020 and then being outrighted to Triple-A, it was announced that Reyes would serve an 80-game suspension due to a violation of the league’s PED policy, as was detailed by Adam Berry of MLB.com here.
Though last season saw teams play just a 60-game season, it has been confirmed by McCalvy that Reyes’ suspension has been completed as a result of the shortened season. And while the suspension brings with it a red flag, Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns seems confident that the team’s research justifies the move.
If anything, this is another solid minor league signing by the Brewers. Reyes has the chance to impress with his Spring Training invite, but if he doesn’t earn a major league roster spot then the team has another young Swiss Army Knife-type player to develop just a level away in the minors.
The Brewers may not have added much to the major league roster yet this offseason, but at this rate at least their Triple-A should be pretty well stocked with solid players for 2021.