While Milwaukee Brewers fans wait for the team to make a big offseason move similar to the William Contreras trade from this same time last offseason, the team has made another smaller move to add some more bullpen depth.
The Brewers are reportedly trading for right-handed pitcher Taylor Clarke, a reliever who has spent the last two seasons with the Kansas City Royals. The move was first announced by FanSided's Robert Murray and later confirmed by the club.
In exchange, the team is sending two minor leaguers to the Royals as part of the acquisition. Those players are right-handed pitcher Ryan Brady and infielder Cam Devanney.
The Brewers have traded two minor league players for Royals reliever Taylor Clarke.
Clarke was originally a third round pick by the Diamondbacks out of College of Charleston in 2015. He would make his MLB debut in 2019, starting in 15 of his 23 appearances and compiling a 5.31 ERA over 84.2 innings.
After two more seasons in Arizona, the D'backs would end up non-tendering Clarke after the 2021 season. He would end up signing with the Royals as a free agent after that where he ended up making 105 apperances in two seasons.
Clarke has pitched mostly as a reliever since his first MLB season and has had mixed results. For his career, he has a 5.03 ERA and a 1.400 WHIP while striking out 21.4% of batters faced. He has two years of team control and one minor league option remaining.
Clarke's best pitch is easily his high 80s slider, which he through 37% of the time in 2023, more than any other pitch, and saw batters hit just .242 off of it. He also has a mid 90s four-seamer, a changeup, and a sweeper that was new to the arsenal in 2023. And though he's not a massive strikeout guy, he had an elite chase rate of 34.9% that ranked in the 98th percentile in the league per Baseball Savant.
Meanwhile, infielder Cam Devanney, the team's 15th round pick in 2019, heads to Kansas City after a breakout season in 2022 (.264/.342/.492, 23 homers, 68 RBIs) that was followed by another solid one in 2023 (.271/.363/.461, 11 homers, 47 RBIs). He played solely at Triple-A this last season could see time in the majors with the Royals.
Pitcher Ryan Brady, the other minor leaguer given up by the Brewers in the trade, was signed as an undrafted prosect in 2022. He hit affiliated ball for the first time last season, putting up a 2.69 ERA in 37 games while topping out at Double-A.
Clarke wasn't the first bullpen addition for the Brewers this offseason and likely won't be the last, especially based on the way the team has cycled through relievers over the course of the past few MLB seasons.