Outfielder Tyler Naquin joined the Milwaukee Brewers in February on a minor league contract. The former division rival outfielder competed for a spot on the major league roster all spring but ultimately did not break camp with the big league team.
Before the regular season started, Naquin had the opportunity to opt out of his contract, but he elected to stay with the organization and is currently playing in Triple-A with the Nashville Sounds. Under last year's new collective bargaining agreement, he will have two more chances to opt out and retest free agency if not on the 40-man roster. The first of those dates is approaching quickly.
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Tyler Naquin can opt out of his minor league contract on May 1st.
Naquin's numbers with the Sounds through 13 games do not jump off the page. He is slashing .250/.294/.375 with two home runs and seven RBI's. An injury did prevent him from playing in more games, but he is currently back and healthy.
From a numbers standpoint, it may be in Naquin's best interest to remain with the organization. If he has a monster month of May and is still not on the Brewers major league roster, another team may be more willing to take a mid-season flier on him in free agency.
Another thing for Naquin to consider is the fact that the Brewers outfield is currently banged up and inexperienced. Garrett Mitchell potentially may not return this season, Sal Frelick is out for the next 6-8 weeks due to undergoing thumb surgery, and Tyrone Taylor needs an extended rehab assignment due to not playing a single game in spring training because of an elbow issue.
With these injuries, Joey Wiemer has shifted from right field to center field. Brian Anderson and Blake Perkins have been splitting right field duties as a result. A lot can happen in a month's time and it's not out of a realm of possibilities that Milwaukee will be in need of Naquin's services at some point during the month of May.
It will be interesting to see what Naquin decides to do come Monday May 1. There currently is no clear path to the big leagues for him, but that could change on a dime. If he elects to stay, June 1 would be his last chance to opt out of his minor league contract with the Brewers.