David Stearns must’ve developed an itch to do some slingin’ while he was away on his honeymoon, because the Milwaukee Brewers announced yet another roster move earlier today via Twitter. The Brewers have claimed first baseman Jesus Aguilar off of waivers from the Cleveland Indians, who designated him for assignment on January 26th. To make room on the 40 man roster for Aguilar, the Brewers have designated infielder Ehire Adrianza for assignment just two days after claiming him from San Francisco.
Aguilar, 26, began his career as an international free agent signing by the Indians back in 2007. He was considered a ranked prospect in the organization by Baseball America from 2011-14 and was rated as the organization’s best power hitter in 2011 and 2012. He debuted in the major leagues in 2014 but has only accrued 64 plate appearances in parts of three seasons in the big leagues, batting .172/.234/.190 with no home runs or stolen bases and a 33% strikeout rate.
Aguilar has a much better track record in the minor league, including extensive experience in AAA. In 386 games and 1,647 plate appearances at the highest level of the minors, Aguilar owns a .271/.346/.472 slash line with 68 home runs, including an International League-leading 30 long balls last season. Aguilar has been almost exclusively a first baseman during his career, though he does have some limited experience at both third base (8 games) and left field (22 games) in the minor leagues. He’s previously been described as a “typical Quad A first baseman” by Baseball Prospectus.
As a right-handed batter who has been mostly limited to first base (where he has graded out poorly in recent years), Aguilar seems like a long shot at this point to make the major league roster. If he can show that he’s capable of playing some corner outfield and third base passably in camp this spring, it will go a long way towards earning him a spot on the roster in Milwaukee. In that capacity, he could theoretically provide a right-handed complement to new additions Travis Shaw and Eric Thames at the infield corners. Otherwise, Aguilar is out of minor league options and seems likely to be run through waivers again at some point before the season begins.
Adrianza’s stay on Milwaukee’s 40 man roster proved to be a short one, as he now finds himself once again in DFA limbo. He has not previously been outrighted in his career, and did agree to a split contract that would pay him $300K if he’s in the minor leagues in 2017. He batted .254/.299/.381 in 71 plate appearances with San Francisco last season.
Statitsics courtesy of Baseball-Reference and Baseball Prospectus