As the MLB lockout continues, things have been mostly quiet on the major league side of the Milwaukee Brewers news cycle. Since the trade with the Red Sox for outfielder Hunter Renfroe, things have ground to a halt.
The same doesn’t go for the minor league operations, however, where fans have gotten some small news nuggets to get them by. Earlier this week it was in the form of a minor league Rule 5 acquisition of right-handed pitcher Caleb Boushley.
On Thursday, the Brewers took it a step further, getting about as close as you will get these days to news regarding the major league roster. Sure, it was an announcement of minor league deals, but with a twist.
On Thursday, the Brewers signed three players to minor league deals with invitations to spring training.
Though the lockout rolls along, Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns is still keeping busy. This latest signing, which was announced by the club earlier in the day, adds a few new faces that will get a chance to prove themselves this spring.
Catcher Jakson Reetz, a 3rd round pick by the Nationals in 2014, is a career .230 hitter with a .702 OPS for his minor league career with 33 homers in 472 games. He got to make his major league debut with Washington last season, going 1 for 2, which included a double in his first ever major league at bat.
The Brewers have been bolstering their catching depth this offseason after making a deal to acquire former Oriole Pedro Severino and another to bring in former Tampa Bay Ray Brett Sullivan. This adds even more depth to the catching pipeline.
Outfielder Garrett Whitley was the 13th overall pick by the Rays in the 2015 draft. He hit the Double-A and Triple-A levels for the first time in 2021 and peformed pretty well at the former stop, batting .255 with a .880 OPS, including 14 doubles and 11 homers in 57 games.
He did not find quite the same success at Triple-A level, though, with his average dropping to .170 and his OPS dipping all the way to .570 in 31 games. Unlike Reetz, Whitley has yet to make his major league debut.
Right-handed pitcher Moises Gomez comes to the Brewers as a free agent from the Seattle Mariners organization. And like Whitley, he spent time at both Double-A and Triple-A for the first time in his career in 2021, performing well at one stop before struggling at the next.
Gomez was great at Double-A, sporting a 1.23 ERA and a 0.989 WHIP over 23 relief appearances with 25 strikeouts to seven walks. In 13 games at Triple-A, though, his ERA and WHIP jumped up to 5.94 and 1.560, respectively. Still, a career 3.09 ERA and 1.239 WHIP as a minor leaguer shows some promise worth digging into.
It’ll be a while until we get some big, major league Brewers news again, so for now, minor league deals with spring training invites will have to suffice.