Here are grades for each of the major Milwaukee Brewers’ 2021-2022 offseason moves.
2. Brewers trade for INF Mike Brosseau
It took just 10 more days before the Brewers made their first trade of the 2021-2022 offseason. On November 13th, Milwaukee traded minor league pitcher Evan Reifert to the Tampa Bay Rays for infielder Mike Brosseau.
Brosseau was coming off a rough 2021 season in which he slashed .187/.266/.347 in 57 games with the Rays. His prior two seasons were much better, though, as he slashed a combined .284/.343/.500 with 11 homers in 86 games and a 128 OPS+. He also had quite the memorable home run in a pivotal game five in the 2020 ALDS.
The Brewers gave up an intriguing pitching prospect in Reifert in the deal. The undrafted free agent was excellent in 2021, putting up a 2.10 ERA and a 1.200 WHIP with a whopping 103 strikeouts over just 60 innings across Low-A Carolina and High-A Wisconsin.
Still, it was a small price to pay, giving up a less-than-sure-thing minor league pitcher for a player with four years of control who will almost certainly play a utility role for the Brewers right away. And if Brosseau looks more like his 2019-2020 self than his 2021 version, it could turn out to be a steal of a trade.
3. Brewers trade for RHP J.C. Mejia
Right as Thanksgiving was approaching, the Brewers pulled the trigger on another small-ish trade to improve their depth. On November 22nd, Milwaukee struck a deal with the Cleveland Guardians, bringing in right-hander J.C. Mejia for a player to be named later.
The 25-year-old Mejia has little MLB experience having just made his debut last season. In 17 games (11 starts), the righty put up a 8.25 ERA and a 1.605 WHIP while giving up 13 homers in 52 1/3 innings.
His career minor league numbers look much more solid, though, as he has a 3.12 ERA and 1.111 WHIP over 109 games. In 2019, he was ranked as the 16th best prospect in the Cleveland system by MLB Pipeline with his scouting report showing 55 grades for all four of his pitches.
Just recently, the player to be named later in the deal was, in fact, named as minor league catcher/infielder David Fry. The 26-year-old had solid numbers across Double-A Biloxi and Triple-A Nashville in 2021 (.255/.348/.449) and could be close to an MLB debut.
Mejia has a minor league option remaining, so the Brewers have a little more time to determine what they have in him. It’s a relatively low risk move to add pitching depth. But unlike the Brosseau trade, this move gives away a player with a higher likelihood of seeing major league time. Hopefully that doesn’t come back to bite Milwaukee.