The MLB offseason is fully underway, and there are several key deadlines that are quickly approaching. One of those important deadlines is the roster protection deadline that occurs tomorrow, November 14th, at 5PM CT.
This deadline is the cutoff for ball clubs to add Rule 5 eligible players to the 40-man roster. If a player is not added by the given date, they join the pool of players who are eligible to be added by other ball clubs during the Rule 5 Draft that occurs during the winter meetings.
In order for a player to be Rule 5 eligible, the player must have signed with the organization at age 18 or younger, and they need to be added to the team's 40-man roster within five seasons. This offseason, there are several players within Milwaukee's organization who meet this criteria.
Players in the organization who are Rule 5 eligible include: OF Carlos D. Rodriguez, C Jeferson Quero, SS Eduardo Garcia, RHP Bradley Blalock, RHP Evan McKendry, SS Freddy Zamora, 1B Zavier Warren, LHP Adam Seminaris, RHP Joseph Hernandez, and RHP Justin Yeager
On Monday afternoon, the Brewers made two key roster moves ahead of Tuesday's 5PM CT roster protection deadline.
The Milwaukee Brewers have added catcher Jeferson Quero and RHP Bradley Blalock to the 40-man roster, thus protecting them from the Rule 5 Draft.
Starting with the more obvious move, it's no surprise to see Jeferson Quero added to Milwaukee's 40-man roster. According to MLB pipeline, Quero is Milwaukee's No. 2 prospect and checks in at No. 32 on their top 100 prospect list. They have him slotted in as the second-best catching prospect in baseball only behind Padres' catcher Ethan Salas.
Quero displays plenty of enticing tools and has the potential to be the future backstop for the Milwaukee Brewers. He brings strong defense behind the plate and possesses intriguing upside with his bat as well. If Quero entered the Rule 5 draft pool, it was likely another organization would add him to their 40-man roster. The Brewers' 21-year-old catching prospect has a high ceiling, and he could be in line to see significant big league action alongside William Contreras as soon as next season.
Bradley Blalock was the other player added to the 40-man roster on Monday afternoon. Blalock was acquired at the trade deadline a few months ago from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for infielder Luis Urias. As mentioned, this move ensures the Brewers keep him in the organization ahead of the Rule 5 Draft.
Blalock has been plagued with injuries throughout his young career, missing all of 2022 and most of the 2023 season as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. In his return in 2023, Blalock made just four starts with High-A Wisconsin, pitching to a 5.27 ERA across his 13.2 innings pitched.
Given that Blalock was the only player the Brewers received for Luis Urias, it's no surprise to see him added to the team's 40-man roster. Otherwise, the Crew would have risked losing him to another ball club, and they would have given up Luis Urias for essentially nothing. There's intrigue in his pitch arsenal, and the Crew will look to continue Blalock's development in the minor leagues as he works to get back to full health in 2024.
Following these two roster moves, the Brewers currently have 36 players on their 40-man roster. There are still 24 hours left before tomorrow's 5PM deadline for Milwaukee to protect more players if they desire.