In the coming week there are three major off-season deadlines. They are the deadline for free agents to accept a qualifying offer, the deadline to add players to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from the Rule-5 draft, and the non-tender deadline.
Two of these deadlines are on Tuesday, November 14. By 3:00 P.M. that day the qualifying offer deadline will pass. This does not apply to the Brewers as they rightfully did not offer any of their players on expiring contracts the $20.325MM deal. However by 5:00 P.M. that day it is expected that their top catching prospect will be on the 40-man roster.
Milwaukee Brewers top catching prospect Jeferson Quero should be added to the 40-man roster in order to be protected from the Rule-5 draft.
Jeferson Quero, currently the Brewers second ranked prospect in their system, signed with Milwaukee in 2019 as a 16 year old. His affiliated baseball debut didn't come until 2021 and over the past two seasons he worked his way up to Double-A.
Quero spent all of 2023 with the Biloxi Shuckers and became one of the stars on their team while playing alongside Jackson Chourio, Tyler Black, and pitchers Carlos Rodriguez and Abner Uribe. Throughout his development, his strong throwing arm and ability to throw out base runners has been his calling card, but last summer he stepped up his offensive game.
At the plate in 2023, Quero flashed more of his power potential by smashing 16 home runs. He managed to maintain a low 17.8% strikeout rate while slashing .262/.339/.440. Fangraphs equated his wRC+ at 107, which is quite incredible given the fact that he had to face pitchers with pre-tacked baseballs for the first half of last season.
This off-season Jeferson Quero meets the criteria for being Rule 5 draft eligible. This means that if Milwaukee does not add him to the 40-man roster prior to the Tuesday evening deadline, then other teams will have the opportunity to select him in the December Rule 5 draft.
Given his performance a season ago there is a strong likelihood that another team would take him in the Rule 5 draft. This should result in him joining the 40-man roster this week so that he can be protected in the draft. Once added, he will join William Contreras as the only other catcher on the 40-man roster.
While a long shot, it is possible that Jeferson Quero makes the 2024 Opening Day roster in a back up role. However, more than likely Milwaukee will look to add another veteran catcher to serve as the initial backup to William Contreras. Given their familiarity, a reunion with current free agent Victor Caratini is possible.