Just a day after the Milwaukee Brewers made one big outfield-related roster move, they made another one at the same position, albeit one of a lower impact.
On Wednesday, the Brewers announced that they were signing outfielder Blake Perkins to a one-year contract. While the few signings that have happened so far this offseason have been on the minor league side, this one is ended up being a major league deal.
The news came as many Brewers fans were still reeling from the news that came the day before. That was when Milwaukee opted to trade one of the team's best offensive players from 2022, outfielder Hunter Renfroe, to the Los Angeles Angels, receiving three young pitchers in return.
The move adds some depth back into the position as well as some flexibility. What remains to be seen is how Perkins will fit into the grand picture of the outfield in 2023 and beyond.
On Wednesday, the Brewers signed outfielder Blake Perkins to a one-year major league deal.
Perkins, who just turned 26 last September, was originally drafted out of high school by the Washington Nationals back in 2015. They took him in the 2nd round that year as the 69th overall selection of the draft.
Perkins worked his way up to the High-A level with the Nationals before being traded in 2018. Midway through that year, he would end up being sent to the Kansas City Royals as part of a package that netted Washington relief pitcher Kelvin Herrera.
In two and a half years with the Royals organization (not counting the lost 2020 minor league season), Perkins would work his way up to the Double-A level. After the 2021 season, he would opt to become a minor league free agent.
The New York Yankees would be the team to give Perkins his next chance, signing him to a minor league deal. He would end up having one of the best offensive seasons of his pro career, setting career highs in slugging (.456) and homers (15) while also batting .246 with a .357 OBP. He would become a free agent again after the season before being signed by the Brewers.
The added power is a new aspect of Perkins' game as he had been considered a relatively light hitter before last year, having only amassed 28 total homers over six prior seasons. Speed (126 steals in his minor league career) and solid defense had been more of his calling card.
Perkins had yet to be added to a 40-man roster for his career, which means he has all three minor league options remaining. And of course he will only make the league minimum, which is much less than the $11MM that Renfroe was projected to make.
Though Perkins obviously isn't a Renfroe replacement for the lineup, his presence could be nice considering the team's outfield situation. As it stands, the Brewers are set to start going young at center and right field with Garrett Mitchell, Esteury Ruiz, and Tyrone Taylor currently on the 40-man roster. And there is always a chance that prospect Sal Frelick could join them (with Joey Wiemer not far behind) while Taylor could be moved at some point this offseason.
While fans are probably excited to see what Mitchell, Ruiz, Frelick, and Wiemer can do, they are all still very young. Perkins may not have had the perfect minor league career to this point, but there are things to like in what he has shown recently and his extra experience could be nice in case some of the young guns aren't quite ready for the big show.
It might feel weird for Brewers fans to see the move to bring in a little known minor league outfielder right after trading such an important player at the same position the day before. If the team utilizes the savings from the two moves elsewhere, things will feel less weird once the offseason is over.