Today was the deadline to tender players to a Qualifying Offer and though the Brewers didn’t have any impending free agents of that caliber, they did complete a few other roster moves. According to the club’s official transactions page, catcher Josmil Pinto and right handers Ben Rowen and Yhonathan Barrios have cleared waivers and been sent outright to AAA Colorado Springs (h/t Jim Goulart on Twitter). All three will be eligible to elect minor league free agency though could be brought back on a minor league deal. Those subtractions, along with the impending departures of Chris Capuano and Blaine Boyer, bring the 40 man roster down to a total of 34 players.
The Brewers claimed Josmil Pinto on waivers last winter from the Padres and outrighted him to AAA shortly thereafter. He spent the duration of the minor league season in Colorado Springs, splitting time between catcher and first base while hitting a strong .308/.362/.517 in 315 plate appearances with 11 home runs. The Brewers called him up with about two weeks remaining in the regular season and he accrued a walk and four strikeouts in six plate appearances. He’ll be 28 next at the start of the 2017 campaign.
Milwaukee claimed Ben Rowen on waivers from the Blue Jays on August 4th of this year. He posted a 1.69 ERA in 10.2 innings for Colorado Springs before getting called up to the big league club. The soon-to-be 28 year old submariner was bombed for six runs (five earned) in 3.0 innings, with ten hits, no walks, and two strikeouts in a Brewers uniform.
Yhonthan Barrios came to Milwaukee in return for Aramis Ramirez when he was dealt to the Pirates last season and would be the biggest loss of the three outrights. The soon-to-be 25 year old began his career as an infielder after being signed as an international free agent but converted to pitching in 2013. Armed with an upper-90s fastball and a decent looking changeup, Barrios threw 6.2 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts for Milwaukee in September of 2015. Unfortunately he hurt his shoulder in spring training and wound up undergoing rotator cuff surgery, costing him all of the 2016 season.
Milwaukee now has plenty of flexibility with the 40 man roster heading into the deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 draft, which this year is November 18th. David Stearns said that some 4-7 players will be protected at “Inside the Brewers” so all of the available spots could conceivably be filled by prospects, though they could also sign a free agent or add someone via trade or waiver claim, too.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs