This is the time of year when the transaction wire is peppered with minor moves. Guys who have fallen out of favor with organizations reach out and find new ones, and most of them eventually fall out of favor again and repeat the cycle. These moves matter, though, because every now and then you can find a useful player this way.
On this day in 2009, the Brewers signed Kameron Loe to a minor league deal. Loe was 28 and had spent five nondescript seasons pitching for the Rangers and one disastrous season in Japan before signing with Milwaukee, and appeared unlikely to do little more than help fill out the roster in Nashville. Loe posted a 3.16 ERA in ten starts as a Sound, and was called up after two months to avoid an opt-out clause in his contract.
All Loe has done since then is pitch in 125 of the Brewers' 273 regular season games (46%), posting a 3.18 ERA and becoming very good at keeping runners off the basepaths (he's walked just 2.1 batters per nine as a Brewer, and posted a 1.151 WHIP). He's had some notable meltdowns and he hasn't always been used appropriately, but if it weren't for John Axford Loe would probably have been the Brewers' best reliever over the last two seasons. Not bad for a guy picked up off the scrap heap.
- 2011 first round pick Taylor Jungmann, who turns 22.
- Nashville Sound Patrick Arlis, who turns 31.
- Milwaukee native Joe Randa, who turns 42. Randa played 12 major league seasons between 1995-2006 as a member of the Royals and four other teams.
- 1981-84 Brewer Roy Howell, who turns 58.
- Seattle Pilot and 1970 Brewer Steve Hovley, who turns 67.