Following the signing of Rhys Hoskins, the Brewers 40 man roster is currently at capacity. That means if the Brewers want to bring in anyone else in free agency and make another addition, it will require a subtraction.
Throughout the course of the offseason, teams commonly reach 40 man roster crunches as they bring in new players but need to clear space for them. Trades are an easy way to make such upgrades while sending out players to save space.
Back in December, the Brewers cleared some roster space by trading Adrian Houser and Tyrone Taylor to the Mets for pitching prospect Coleman Crow. Now, they're in a position again where they have to trade or DFA someone if they want to make an addition.
1. LHP Clayton Andrews
Clayton Andrews has a chance to stick around because he's a left handed reliever with minor league options still available. However, in his limited big league opportunities, he hasn't shown that he could potentially be a reliable option out of the bullpen.
In four appearances last season, Andrews got shelled in each of them, giving up 10 earned runs on 10 hits, including three homers, with a 27.00 ERA. Granted, it's only four outings, but the undersized righty has a very slim margin for error on the mound, and he hasn't been able to operate within it at the big league level.
The Brewers brought in Bryan Hudson this offseason as another left-handed relief option and paid a pretty high price to get him, which puts Andrews further down the depth chart and at risk of being designated for assignment in a roster crunch.
2. OF Chris Roller
The Brewers placed Chris Roller on the 40 man roster at the beginning of the offseason after acquiring him in August in a minor trade with Cleveland. Roller dominated for Triple-A Nashville, earning a 40 man spot as the Crew protected him from the Rule 5 Draft.
Roller hit a stellar .364 with a 1.111 OPS for the Sounds, clearly impressing the Brewers front office. However, he may find himself the victim of being the low man at a deep position in a roster crunch. If Roller were an infielder, his path to playing time would be much easier, but in the outfield, that'll be a tough group to crack in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee's outfield group includes Christian Yelich, Jackson Chourio, Sal Frelick, Garrett Mitchell, and Joey Wiemer as the top five options in the big leagues. Blake Perkins is also still in the organization and had some solid big league time last year. Owen Miller and Jake Bauers can also play some outfield if need be.
A seventh outfielder on the 40 man may be a luxury the Brewers can't afford if they find a free agent that suits their needs and Roller would be the one on the chopping block.
3. INF Vinny Capra
The Brewers claimed Vinny Capra off waivers from the Pirates back in November and he's quietly been on the 40 man roster ever since. Capra hasn't been able to gain much traction in the big leagues, playing in just 17 total MLB games the last two seasons with a .174 average and .514 OPS.
Now, in Triple-A, Capra hit a solid .289 with a .782 OPS last year, so there is some talent with the bat, although he doesn't bring much power. Still, Capra represents more of a lottery ticket that could maybe be a utility option someday.
The Brewers battle for the utility infield job is a crowded picture. Capra, Jahmai Jones, Owen Miller, and Oliver Dunn are all on the 40 man and competing for that backup infielder job. There's also Andruw Monasterio, who could still earn the utility job if he loses the starting third base battle to Tyler Black. Also Christian Arroyo is in camp on a non-roster invite, as is Yonny Hernandez. Milwaukee has depth in the infield and could easily cut bait with Capra to clear room for an addition elsewhere.
There is the potential for the Brewers to trade from their 40 man roster as their next move, rather than put a player on waivers, and the trade options would be a different group entirely than this one. Also, there's the possibility the Brewers may even be done with 40 man moves until we get into spring training, but with the amount of players still on the market, that seems unlikely.