Today the Milwaukee Brewers announced that pitcher Colin Rea would be returning to the team, having agreed to sign a one-year deal with a club option for the 2025 MLB season.
The right-handed pitcher joined the Brewers initially in 2021 where he featured in just one game, before returning again in the 2023 season after having spent time playing in Japan. Rea started 22 games this past season and became an integral piece of the rotation with Wade Miley, Eric Lauer, and Brandon Woodruff missing time.
Rea finished the 2023 season with a 6-6 record, 110 strikeouts, and a 4.55 ERA in those 22 starts. It was a career high season for him in terms of wins, starts, and strikeouts.
The Brewers will bring back veteran depth piece Colin Rea for 2024 after signing him to a one year free agent contract.
Financial details of Rea's new contract were not immediately known. Last year, Rea was on a minor league contract before being selected to the big league roster and carried a $750k salary, per Spotrac. He's likely to see a nice pay bump but it won't break the bank for Milwaukee.
Opponents hit just .235 against him and he registered a 1.19 WHIP, the second best of his career. More importantly for Rea and why the Brewers chose to re-sign him is that the team went 14-8 in his starts.
With Brandon Woodruff set to miss the 2024 season, this makes sense for the Brewers to bring back a solid starter in Rea. GM Matt Arnold spoke of the club's need for pitching depth this offseason and Rea was a very important depth piece for the 2023 club. There's still more work for the Brewers to do with the rotation, but Rea's return is a good start. The club option also allows them to have control of his contract for another year if they so choose and that should motivate Rea to make sure the front office picks up that option.
It is worth noting that Rea used his final minor-league option in 2023, having been optioned to Nashville on three occasions per Curt Hogg.
Rea's free agency didn't last long and so the front office clearly has confidence in him and hopefully it will be Craig Counsell managing his time on the mound yet again in 2024.