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Ex-Milwaukee Brewers find New Homes

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There’s almost enough for an expansion team here!

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays-Photo Day Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Like every major league team, the Brewers have lots of former players spread throughout baseball. Many of them changed teams this off season, some traded, some signed as free agents, some taking minor league deals in an attempt to get back to the show, and some still looking for gainful employment. I can’t claim that this is a comprehensive list, but I will claim that I spent way too much time trying to track all of them down.

TRADES

The Brewers sent Tyler Thornburg (2012-2016) to Boston and Martin Maldonado (2011-2016) to the Angels in their own trades. In addition, former Brewers Jean Segura (2012-2015) and Mitch Haniger (Brewer prospect 2012-2014) escaped the Arizona D’Backs in a trade to Seattle. Perhaps Arizona is purging themselves of ex-Brewers because they couldn’t instill a winning culture in them. Or any other guys on the team, for that matter.

SIGNINGS

Wow! Lots of guys that played for the Brewers in the past signed with new organizations this past off season. Twenty, by my count. I probably missed some that played in the Brewers’ minor league system, but this list is long enough as it is.

Chris Carter: Released by the Brewers after the 2016 season, his only one in Milwaukee, Sleepy signed to play in the city that never sleeps with the New York Yankees.

Juan Centeno: Juan will promote rallies for the Houston Astros next season...or maybe in their minor league system (it’s a minor league deal). He spent last year with the Twins and played for the Brewers in 2015.

Neal Cotts: After spending time with 4 (!) organizations in 2016, Cotts signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals this off season. He played for the Brewers in 2015.

R. A. Dickey: OK, Dickey never pitched for the major leagues Brewers, but legend has it he developed his knuckleball while in the Brewers’ minors (2007-2008). He will pitch for the Braves next year.

Jake Elmore: Jake will attempt to utilize his utility for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2017, again on a minor league deal. He was with Milwaukee last season.

Juan Francisco: A minor league deal lands Juan with the Orioles after a season in Toronto in 2014 and two years out of the bigs. He was a Brewer in 2013.

Sam Freeman: The hard-throwing lefty will try to harness his control for yet another organization in 2017, having signed a minor league deal with Atlanta. He threw for the Brewers last year.

Carlos Gomez: Gogo re-signed as a Free Agent with the Rangers after joining them last season from the Astros. A one year $11.5 mil deal is higher than I expected, but I sure don’t resent him getting it. Have a great year, Carlos!

Jim Henderson: A minor league deal with the Cubs gives the big righty another shot at the show. Jim pitched last year with the Mets after missing 2015, and pitched for Milwaukee in 2012, 13, and 14.

Aaron Hill: Hill’s glorious half season with the Brewers last year ended in Boston after a mid-season trade. This year he has a minor league deal with the Giants, who have added about a thousand guys just like Hill to pick and choose from. It’s nice to be rich.

Adam Lind: Adam joins the Nationals with a disappointing campaign in Seattle ended in 2016. We will see if any of the three lottery ticket young arms the Brewers got from the Mariners after the 2015 season turn his trade into a real steal.

Casey McGehee: It’s back overseas to Japan next year for Casey and family, playing for the Nomiuri Giants of the NPR...er, NPB. Casey played with Detroit last year and spent 2009, 10, and 11 with the Brewers.

Will Middlebrooks: Will’s quest to regain his flash success with the Red Sox in 2012 continues. Will smashed his way to a .337 OPS in 10 games for the Brewers last year, and gets a chance on a minor league deal with the Rangers.

Shane Peterson: Shane has parlayed his 2015 success...er, season with the Brewers into a minor league deal with Tampa Bay. He didn’t play in the majors last year.

Alex Presley: Alex went to Detroit after being DFA’d by the Brewers last year (his only season with the Brewers) and was re-signed by the Tigers on a minor league contract.

Mark Reynolds: Reynolds spent last season in Denver with the Rockies and got a minor league deal to re-up with the Rox. He spent 2014 with the Brewers and will undoubtedly be in charge of keeping track of how many outs there are.

Logan Schafer: The Brewers fourth outfielder from 2011-15 gets a minor league deal with the Orioles to try and earn the same job in Baltimore.

Rickie Weeks: One more team (the Rays, on a minor league contract) gives the Brewers former All Star and Home Run Derby contestant another shot. Rickie spent 11 seasons with Milwaukee, and actually had a .777 OPS with the D’Backs in 180 at bats last year...but he was an ex-Brewer, so...

Jorge De La Rosa: (2004-2006) It seems that the D’Backs were stung by my getting-rid-of-ex-Brewers theorem and signed Jorge to a minor league deal on Sunday.

Blaine Boyer: The veteran righty signed a minor league pact to pitch in Atlanta this season.

STILL LOOKING

  • Chris Capuano (2004-2010, 2016)
  • Carlos Villaneva (2006-2010)