Brewers Bring In Pair Of Outfielders For Minor League Depth Ahead Of Roster Deadline

The Brewers are shoring up their depth
Toronto Blue Jays v Milwaukee Brewers
Toronto Blue Jays v Milwaukee Brewers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

The Milwaukee Brewers brought in a few more outfielders on Thursday, the deadline for teams to add players to the organization and still be eligible for the postseason this year, although both will be reporting to Triple-A Nashville.

The Brewers announced that they had signed outfielder Greg Allen to a minor league contract and acquired minor league outfielder Chris Roller from the Cleveland Guardians in exchange for cash.

Roller is a 26 year old right handed hitting outfielder that's put up some interesting numbers for Cleveland's Triple-A affiliate this year. He's hitting just .222 but has a solid .373 OBP thanks to a high walk rate, he also has some power and speed, slugging 12 homers and stealing 13 bases. He's never hit for a particularly high average and he previously never hit for much power. Prior to this year, the most homers Roller had in a season was seven.

Roller is Rule 5 Draft eligible this winter and may not be a strong candidate to be added to the roster, but the Brewers clearly see something they like in him.

Greg Allen is a 30 year old journeyman veteran outfielder that has some big league experience in each of the last seven seasons. He spent his big league time this year with the New York Yankees, appearing in 22 games and garnering just 23 at-bats. He hit .217 but with an .812 OPS thanks to three of his five hits going for extra bases, a double, triple, and one homer each.

The Brewers nearly acquired Allen several years ago, as he was a part of the agreed-upon four player return for Jonathan Lucroy in 2016. Lucroy exercised his no-trade clause and the deal didn't happen, but the Brewers have liked Allen for a while. His career hasn't turned out as expected, but Allen finally is a Brewer.

The Brewers have rotated through a number of veteran outfield options stashed in Triple-A and none of them have broken their way through to the big leagues. Milwaukee's chosen to give those opportunities to rookies and top prospects Joey Wiemer and Sal Frelick. Blake Perkins was also brought in as a rookie on a majors deal and has seen time. But Tyler Naquin and others haven't gotten a chance and it's unlikely Allen gets one either.

However, these additions do provide some insurance in case Joey Wiemer continues to struggle or injuries pop up and the Brewers need more outfield depth help.

With a flurry of players on the waiver wire, including former Brewer Hunter Renfroe and former Cardinal Harrison Bader, the Brewers were too far down the waiver order to claim anyone they would've liked. They ended up with no claims awards and they knew that was likely, and opted to bring in Roller and Allen to provide some depth while they still could.