The year has almost ended. Thursday is New Year's Eve. I thought it would be interesting to list all the Brewers more notable transactions throughout the entire year. It'll be kind of a capsule of their activity. I'm going to leave out the minor stuff--no one cares that Logan Schafer changed his uni number January 5 for example. But I'll hit on everything of interest.
1/5 - Brewers trade RHP Yovani Gallardo to the Texas Rangers for SS Luis Sardinas, RHP Corey Knebel, and RHP Marcos Diplan
1/9 - Brewers designate 1B Hunter Morris for assignment
1/30 - Brewers designate UTL Elian Herrera for assignment
1/30 - Brewers sign LHP Neal Cotts
January was a strange month for Brewers fans. After acquiring Adam Lind earlier in the offseason it seemed like the Brewers were going to try to compete in 2015. But the trade of Yovani Gallardo seemed to be counter-productive to that end. Some felt it signaled there was no real plan in place. Others thought it signaled the start of the long awaited rebuild. And some felt it was simply dealing from an area of depth with young Jimmy Nelson ready to take over. I'm part of the "depth" group though it certainly didn't hurt what eventually would become a rebuild.
Luis Sardinas has since been flipped for OF Ramon Flores. Corey Knebel had a pretty successful first full season in the majors. And Marcos Diplan wow scouts with his velocity and raw stuff in his first exposure to stateside rookie leagues.
Nothing interesting happened in February. The Brewers signed several players on minor league deals including Chris Perez. That ended up going nowhere though. He didn't make it out of spring training and didn't really catch on elsewhere. Eventually he would announce his retirement in August.
3/14 - Brewers sign RHP Francisco Rodriguez (again)
There was a ton of activity in March because of spring training. But the only truly relevant transaction was the signing of K-Rod. It was something of a joke--a depressing one--that the Brewers continued to sign him every offseason. This time though, it was a multi-year deal. It was frustrating for those of us that refused to look past his off field problems. Little did we know at the time, there was a light at the end of that tunnel.
4/2 - Brewers trade 1B Hunter Morris to the Pirates for Player To Be Named Later
4/4 - Brewers place RHP Jim Henderson on DL with shoulder inflammation
4/17 - Brewers place CF Carlos Gomez on DL with hamstring strain
4/17 - Brewers recall 1B Jason Rogers
4/21 - Brewers place C Jonathan Lucroy on DL with broken toe
4/21 - Brewers place 2B Scooter Gennett on Dl with hand laceration
4/21 - Brewers recall UTL Elian Herrera
4/21 - Brewers recall C Juan Centeno
4/21 - Brewers DFA RHP Brandon Kintzler
4/22 - Brewers option RHP Tyler Thornburg to AAA Colorado Springs
So that list brings up some horrible memories. The Brewers went 5-17 in the month of April and you can see elements of that in the transactions from that month. It was marred by injury and ineffectiveness. Lucroy, Gomez, Gennett, and Henderson all went on the DL that month. Jim Henderson would never return to action for the Brewers. Tyler Thornburg and Brandon Kintzler were both sent to AAA after some pretty huge struggles.
The trade of Hunter Morris was a disappointing one for some fans. A lot of people expected him to take over at first base for some reason. But he really had only one decent season--2012 in AA--so his eventual DFA and trade really shouldn't have come as a surprise. The original transaction note claims the Brewers were to get a PTBNL but I don't think they ever did. In cases like this they probably ended up getting cash instead.
5/2 - Brewers activate CF Carlos Gomez from DL
5/3 - Red Sox claim 3B Luis Jimenez
5/5 - Brewers option CF Logan Schafer to AAA
5/8 - Brewers activate RHP Brandon Kintzler
5/14 - Brewers place SS Jean Segura on DL with fractured pinkie finger
5/14 - Brewers recall SS Luis Sardinas
5/18 - Brewers option 2B Scooter Gennett to AAA
5/18 - Brewers recall RHP Corey Knebel
5/25 - Brewers place RHP Wily Peralta on DL with strained left oblique
5/26 - Brewers recall RHP David Goforth
5/29 - Brewers place RHP Brandon Kintzler on DL with left patella tendinitis
5/31 - Brewers place LF Khris Davis on DL with torn meniscus
5/31 - Brewers select the contract of RHP Tyler Wagner
This month was another disappointing one for the Brewers. They suffered even more injuries with Segura's broken finger and Peralta's oblique strain the most notable ones. However there was a source of optimism this month. Brewers fans got their first look at some young talent: Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, David Goforth, and Ty Wagner.
The biggest event to happen this month was the unfortunate injury to Khris Davis. It sidelined him for an entire month--which is actually impressive that it wasn't longer. Some people have always had it out for Davis because he's not a good defender--though not the disaster his detractors claim--and he strikes out "too much"--though his career 24.3% isn't much higher than league average. Those people only remember that when Davis returned to action it was as second fiddle to Gerardo Parra and that he had an unsustainable HR hot streak to end the month. What they forget is that before the injury Davis was hitting a solid 250/337/446 with an impressive 11.6 BB% and a .196 ISO.
6/1 - Brewers activate C Jonathan Lucroy from DL
6/1 - Brewers option C Juan Centeno to AAA
6/1 - Brewers option RHP Tyler Wagner
6/1 - Brewers select the contract of RHP Tyler Cravy
6/2 - Brewers claim and activate 2B Hernan Perez
6/2 - Brewers DFA UTL Elian Herrera
6/3 - Brewers option RHP Tyler Cravy to AAA
6/3 - Brewers recall OF Shane Peterson
6/9 - Brewers recall RHP Taylor Jungmann
6/11 - Brewers option RHP David Goforth to AAA
6/11 - Brewers recall 2B Scooter Gennett
June was a huge month for the Brewers, but not necessarily for any of the transactions listed here. No this was the month of the draft and the first time Ray Montgomery headed it for the Brewers. Their notable picks included Trent Clark, Nate Kirby, Cody Ponce, and Demi Orimoloye. It was a universally praised draft which is not something you'll hear about the Brewers previous five or six drafts.
The major league team saw some good things happen too. Scooter Gennett returned from a get-your-shit-together assignment to AAA. From that point through the end of the season he hit 287/314/419, 94 wRC+. It wasn't great but it was better than league average for a second baseman.
The more notable call-up was Taylor Jungmann. In what was a very awful season for the Brewers, Jungmann's performance was arguably the best thing about this year--from a major league perspective. His performance was a revelation--3.77 ERA. And it gave us all hope that he had finally taken the step forward we'd all been waiting for.
7/3 - Brewers option 1B Jason Rogers to AAA
7/3 - Brewers option RHP Corey Knebel to AAA
7/3 - Brewers recall RHP Tyler Cravy
7/3 - Brewers recall RHP David Goforth
7/6 - Brewers place RHP Matt Garza on DL with right shoulder tendinitis
7/6 - Brewers recall RHP Corey Knebel
7/7 - Brewers activate LF Khris Davis from DL
7/7 - Brewers option RHP David Goforth
7/20 - Brewers option RHP Tyler Cravy
7/21 - Brewers activate RHP Matt Garza from DL
7/23 - Brewers trade 3B Aramis Ramirez to Pirates for RHP Yhonathan Barrios
7/23 - Brewers recall RHP David Goforth
7/28 - Brewers activate RHP Wily Peralta off DL
7/30 - Brewers trade CF Carlos Gomez and RHP Mike Fiers to Astros for CF Brett Phillips, RF Domingo Santana, LHP Josh Hader, and RHP Adrian Houser
7/31 - Brewers trade OF Gerardo Parra to Orioles for RHP Zach Davies
7/31 - Brewers trade RHP Jonathan Broxton and cash to Cardinals for OF Mallik Collymore
7/31 - Brewers recall UTL Elian Herrera
7/31 - Brewers recall RHP Tyler Thornburg
7/31 - Brewers recall OF Logan Schafer
This was easily the biggest month of the year for the Brewers. They finally recalled Logan Schafer. But seriously, they finally made the decision to go full on rebuild this month. Well, they likely made that decision months prior but this was the month they actually put that plan into action.
It started with trade of Aramis Ramirez. It was a small one and not necessarily indication of a rebuild. This happened on the 23rd and I remember it felt like weeks before they made their next trade. I was so worried they wouldn't make another one. Then of course came the failed trade of Carlos Gomez to the Mets. But their miserly stupidity was the Brewers gain.
Instead they sent Gomez and Fiers to the Astros for a package of four minor leaguers. The headliner was Brett Phillips and he looks a safe bet to be the long term successor to Gomez in CF within a year or so. But the surprise value of the deal might come from Josh Hader. He's done nothing but impress since joining the Brewers. An uptick in velocity wowed scouts in the AFL resulting in many dubbing him the most impressive pitcher or among the most impressive in that league this year.
8/5 - Brewers recall RHP Tyler Cravy
8/7 - Brewers outright UTL Hector Gomez to AAA
8/7 - Brewers recall 1B Jason Rogers
8/12 - Brewers activate RHP Brandon Kintzler and option him to AAA
8/14 - Brewers placed RHP Michael Blazek on DL with fractured right hand
8/14 - Brewers recall RHP David Goforth
8/21 - Brewers trade LHP Neal Cotts to Twins for PTBNL
8/21 - Brewers recall RF Domingo Santana
This was a pretty slow month after the havoc that was July. The Brewers made another traded, this one sending reliever Neal Cotts to the Twins for a player to be named later. Teams have six months to complete these types of trades to the date. So the two teams have until February to name the player that will come to the Brewers.
Michael Blazek's impressive season came to an unfortunate end with a broken right hand. It came at the end of a particularly rough stretch leading fans to speculate he broke it punching a wall. We'll never know the truth on that matter. But I do look forward to seeing if he can keep up the effectiveness next season.
Perhaps the biggest move of this month was bringing up, at that point, the recently acquired Domingo Santana. He really impressed fans with his home run power. It just might have been enough to put him in a strong position for the Brewers immediate plans.
9/1 - Brewers select the contract of RHP Zach Davies
9/4 - Brewers recall RHP Ariel Pena
9/8 - Brewers recall SS Luis Sardinas
9/22 - Brewers place RHP Jimmy Nelson on DL with head contusion
9/22 - Brewers select the contract of RHP Jorge Lopez
9/22 - Brewers select the contract of RHP Yhonathan Barrios
9/22 - Brewers select the contract of RHP Adrian Houser
9/22 - Brewers select the contract of OF Michael Reed
9/22 - Brewers recall SS Yadiel Rivera
9/22 - Brewers recall Tyler Wagner
September was a cavalcade of young players. Jorge Lopez, Yhonathan Barrios, Michael Reed, and Yadiel Rivera all got their first taste of the major leagues this month. It was a fun time even though the season record was abysmal. I only wish we got to see more of Michael Reed.
I had somehow forgotten until this point how Jimmy Nelson's season ended. He got hit with a line drive off his head. It was a really scary moment. He did walk off the field of his own accord and was even upset the Brewers wouldn't let him continue pitching. He was lucky, though, that he didn't suffer any real damage like broken bones or teeth.
10/7 - Brewers claim RHP Junior Guerra from the White Sox
October was a really slow month. The postseason began really late this year and in terms of the offseason nothing can really happen until about a week after the World Series ends. And the final game didn't happen until November 1.
11/2 - Brewers outright 1B Matt Clark
11/2 - Kyle Lohse becomes a free agent
11/6 - Brewers outright 2B Hernan Perez
11/16 - Brewers sign minor league free agent 2B Hernan Perez
11/18 - Brewers trade RHP Francisco Rodriguez to Tigers for 2B Javier Betancourt and PTBNL
11/19 - Brewers trade RHP Cy Sneed to Astros for SS Jonathan Villar
11/20 - Brewers trade SS Luis Sardinas to Mariners for OF Ramon Flores
11/20 - Brewers select the contract of SS Orlando Arcia
11/20 - Brewers select the contract of RHP Brandon Barnes
11/20 - Brewers select the contract of RHP Damien Magnifico
November was the first month new Brewers GM David Stearns really started to make his mark on the franchise. He traded closer K-Rod, SS Luis Sardinas, and minor leaguer Cy Sneed for some interesting players. The two major league players added or improved to areas of depth--which could allow the Brewers to further trade from that area. The minor league addition of 2B Javier Betancourt also adds to that middle infield depth.
The Brewers also added a trio of intriguing prospects to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. There is a pretty good chance we'll see all three at the major league level at some point in 2016.
12/9 - Brewers trade 1B Adam Lind to Mariners for pitchers Daniel Missaki, Freddie Peralta, and Carlos Herrera
12/10 - Tigers send C Manny Pina to Brewers to complete K-Rod trade
12/10 - Red Sox trade 3B Garin Cecchini to Brewers for cash considerations
12/10 - Brewers draft 2B Colin Walsh in Rule 5 Draft
12/10 - Brewers draft RHP Zack Jones in Rule 5 Draft
12/15 - Brewers sign minor league free agent 3B Will Middlebrooks
12/17 - Brewers trade 1B Jason Rogers to Pirates for CF Keon Broxton and RHP Trey Supak
12/23 - Brewers claim CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis
12/23 - Brewers claim 1B Andy Wilkins
12/23 - Brewers claim C Josmil Pinto
December was an interesting month for the Brewers. They added quite a lot of talent. Thirteen players of note were added to the franchise while just two were sent out. That's impressive. I like the wide net David Stearns threw out there. By adding so many players you increase your chances that one of them works out. That's exactly what a rebuilding team should be doing.
I'm particularly interested to see how 3B Garin Cecchini works out for the Brewers. He was a highly thought of prospect not that long ago. And he's really only had one truly bad season which may have been marred by his being sent back to AAA after a decent season because the big league club signed 2 third basemen, the fact that Boston had him playing three positions--two of which he was new to--and they also had him reworking his swing mechanics. If he can rebound the Brewers just found their long term answer at third base. And they got him for essentially nothing.
I'm also interested to see what the acquisition of catcher Josmil Pinto means for the Brewers. They could always just try to pass him through waivers at some point before the season starts. But having a third catcher does fit David Stearns trend of adding depth to a position to help trade from that depth...
And there you have it. That's every notable transaction the Brewers made this year. There are still a few days left in 2015, but I'm guessing we won't see action until 2016. I hope you've enjoyed this year. It was a downer from a major league perspective, but a lot of good stuff happened too. And that good stuff has me very optimistic for the future of the team.