David Stearns spent the first couple months of the offseason staying quiet. That's changed in the past week, announcing deals with Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo, possibly signing lefty reliever Boone Logan, and now making a classic Stearns move in signing a pitcher trying to make a return to baseball.
The team announced this morning they've signed righty Radhames Liz to a minor league contract with an invite to Maryvale.
The #Brewers have signed RHP Radhames Liz to a minor-league contract with an invitation to Major League camp.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) December 22, 2017
Liz is a former Top-100 prospect, ranking 69th on Baseball America's pre-2008 list and 85th on the list put out by Baseball Prospectus. Liz never lived up to that promise, though, getting shelled for a 7.50 ERA in parts of three years for the Orioles from 2007-2009. He wouldn't resurface in the majors again until 2015, when he made 14 appearances for the Pirates.
It looks like that was the last time Liz played in affiliated ball in the United States. He had a short stint in Japan, making 5 appearances for Rakuten in 2016, but allowed 9 runs in 11.2 innings. He didn't pitch anywhere during the 2017 season, but has made 7 appearances so far in the Dominican Winter League, allowing just 2 earned runs in 7 starts and striking out 31 in 35.2 innings.
Prior to his return to the majors with the Pirates in 2015, he spent three years in the KBO from 2011-2013, putting up a 3.51 ERA for the LG Twins.
In his heyday, Liz was capable of throwing in the upper 90s, but he's always struggled with control and he recently turned 34 years old. Bringing him to spring training allows the Brewers to see what he has left. While he's started off and on throughout his career, a relief role may make more sense for him at this point.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference