While the Milwaukee Brewers are still searching for their answer at the first base position for the 2024 season, another team from the NL Central apparently no longer has that problem. And it comes at the expense of the Crew themselves.
Rowdy Tellez, who had played for the Brewers in parts of the last three seasons, agreed to a free agent deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday. The news came via Robert Murray of FanSided on Twitter.
Tellez was one of the more obvious non-tender candidates for the Brewers heading into last month's deadline to tender contracts to players for the 2024 season. Sure enough, Milwaukee decided to move on despite the uncertainty it brought at first base.
Former Brewers Fan Favorite First Baseman Rowdy Tellez has signed with the Pirates as a free agent.
Tellez first came to the Brewers part way through the 2021 season as the team was once again searching for answers at first base. He had been acquired from the Blue Jays who were clearly handing over the reigns at first base to Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
The change of scenery appeared to benefit Tellez, who batted .272 with a .814 OPS in 56 games after arriving in Milwaukee. While those numbers dipped some the following season, he still ended up an effective run producer in 2022, hitting 35 homers while driving in 89 runs.
Unfortunately, everything got worse in 2023 for Tellez. he would hit just .215 with a .667 OPS and hit just 13 home runs while driving in 47 as he also played just 105 games as he battled injuries. Projected to make nearly $6MM in his final arbitration year, the non-tender decision was an easy one.
Now, Tellez is set to head to a Pirates team who also could use a first baseman. After trading Carlos Santana to the Brewers at last year's trade deadline, Pittsburgh used various players at first base led by Connor Joe, who isn't exactly a heavy slugger as he hit 11 homers with 42 RBIs in 133 games last year.
Tellez continues a trend of first basemen who have played for both the Brewers and Pirates in recent seasons. Besides Tellez and Santana, Daniel Vogelbach and Ji Man Choi have also spent time playing for each NL Central team.
It's good to see a player who Brewers fans grew fond of find himself a landing spot for the 2024 season. Now it's time for Milwaukee to find their own first baseman for next year.