Even with MLB in a lockout and a transaction freeze underway, the Milwaukee Brewers have just announced the signing of a player on a minors deal.
The Brewers have signed former Braves outfielder Abraham Almonte to a minor league contract.
Almonte has been in the big leagues since 2013 but has only received sparing playing time as a backup and isn’t known for swinging a big bat. But the 32 year old brings solid defense and depth to a position group that David Stearns always keeps well stocked.
Will Abraham Almonte have any impact on the big league Brewers in 2022?
Almonte is additional depth for the outfield at Triple-A after signing a minor league contract. He also received an invite to spring training and will get a chance to prove himself there.
With the addition of Hunter Renfroe, the Brewers have four very capable regular outfielders on the big league roster and utility options Jace Peterson and Mike Brosseau can also play out there if necessary. Milwaukee also has 2016 first round pick Corey Ray sitting in Triple-A and Ray is on the 40 man roster. David Dahl is also still in the organization.
The odds of Almonte making an impact on the big league roster in 2022 are pretty slim, barring injuries decimating the depth above him.
How can the Brewers make this signing during a lockout and transaction freeze?
That’s a good question. According to Jim Goulart, who first reported this news, the signing became official back on October 15th. But it was never publicly announced until just recently and no one knew.
David Stearns does like to operate in secrecy and since no one really asked about Almonte, they didn’t tell anyone about the signing. So the signing wasn’t really made during the transaction freeze, just announced during it. It’s still odd, but it’s a minor league deal, which is still allowed anyways.
Almonte has bounced around the league, making his debut in Seattle, then heading to San Diego, then spending a few years in Cleveland, then one year stints in Kansas City, Arizona, San Diego again, and then most recently Atlanta.
He’s a switch hitter, which is always nice to have, but his production at the plate hasn’t been consistently solid and thus has failed to earn regular playing time at the big league level to this point in his career.
Almonte is likely to spend time in the Nashville Sounds outfield in 2022, along with Ray and Dahl. He’s more organizational depth and could be a fun player to watch during spring training next year.