The Milwaukee Brewers have made a trade, acquiring outfielder Derek Fisher from the Toronto Blue Jays.
While the Brewers are still looking to address the third base position, David Stearns has acquired yet another outfielder.
Fansided’s Robert Murray had the news first, followed shortly by the official announcement from the Brewers.
In exchange for Fisher, the Crew will send some cash and a player to be named later. Fisher had just been designated for assignment by the Blue Jays and was on waivers. Now he will head to Brewers camp.
Who Is Derek Fisher And Why Are The Brewers Acquiring Him?
Fisher was the 37th overall pick back in the 2014 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros and was a fairly well touted prospect coming up through the minor leagues. He reached the majors in 2017, and struggled to gain a foothold in a stacked Astros lineup. He went up and down over the next few years, never playing in more than 57 big league games in a season.
In 2019, he was traded to Toronto in exchange for Joe Biagini and a few others. He continued to struggle offensively with the Blue Jays.
He had his best big league stat line in 2020, posting a .226/.359/.452 slash line with a 122 OPS+, but that was only in 31 at-bats, so very little can be drawn from that small of a sample size.
Fisher is out of minor league options and has not shown the potential to play a corner infield position such as first or third base at the professional level. So the versatility and flexibility that Stearns likes in his acquisitions isn’t there. So why make the move?
Fisher is kind of in a similar boat to Billy McKinney, a former top prospect that hasn’t panned out yet and is battling to stay in the big leagues.
As a left handed hitter that has some power, Stearns is making a bit of an upside play perhaps. McKinney and Corey Ray also hit left handed while Tim Lopes and Tyrone Taylor are right handed. These five guys will all be battling for the backup outfielder job. Fisher and McKinney are both out of minor league options, meaning they would have to be DFAed if they don’t make the Opening Day roster.
Stearns was a part of the front office that drafted Fisher back in 2014 in Houston, so perhaps his familiarity with him might help bring out that untapped potential.
One of the things Fisher is really good at is running. He’s been in the 92nd percentile or above in sprint speed three of his four seasons in the big leagues. If they can get him to hit, there’s some upside. But so far in Fisher’s career, he hasn’t been able to hit big league pitching.
It’s a crowded outfield picture as guys fight for the backup job. Fisher and McKinney may have the inside tracks because they’re out of minor league options.
None of this changes the fact that the Brewers still need to add a third baseman.