Teams have until 7 p.m. today to add minor leaguers to their 40-man roster to protect them from this winter’s Rule 5 draft.
The Brewers have a number of prospects who could be at risk of being snatched up by another organization and entered the day with three open spots on their roster. While the team hasn’t officially announced the moves yet, The Athletic’s Robert Murray says outfielder Troy Stokes, Jr. and pitcher Trey Supak are being protected.
#Brewers have added OF Troy Stokes Jr. and RHP Trey Supak to the 40-man roster, protecting them from Rule 5 eligibility, source tells The Athletic.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) November 20, 2018
The 22-year-old Stokes hit .233/.343/.430 this year in Double-A Biloxi, collecting 19 home runs and 23 doubles in his 467 at-bats. While he’s never been much of a contact hitter, the power has developed in the past couple years, he’s shown good on-base skills, and you’ve probably seen some of his ridiculous throws from the outfield on YouTube highlight clips. While he may still be a year or so away from contributing at the major league level, that’s the kind of profile that could make him the ideal 4th outfielder on the shuttle between Milwaukee and San Antonio if and when the team decides to move on from Keon Broxton.
Speaking of Broxton, Supak was the lesser-known second player the Brewers got in that trade that sent Jason Rogers to Pittsburgh. He put up a 2.48 ERA in 25 starts last season between High-A Carolina and Double-A Biloxi, striking out 123 in 137.2 innings. While he also likely has a stint in Triple-A in his future for 2019, he could conceivably help out of the Brewers’ bullpen next season as well as the team looks to build the number of pitchers at the bottom of the bullpen they can shuttle in and out of town when they need a fresh arm.
The moves leave the Brewers with one open 40-man spot, and names like Jake Gatewood and Cody Ponce still unprotected.
While the Brewers still have time to add those players today, David Stearn’s M.O. has typically been to keep his 40-man at 39 this time of year, just in case another interesting player becomes available on waivers. Stearns and his staff are likely doing their research and trying to read between the lines when it comes to seeing who else may be available. Occasionally, those opportunities present themselves in the form of trades, too, if a team knows they’re going to need to cut someone loose to create room on their own 40-man roster but still wants to get something in return.
Plenty more roster shuffling could happen before the 7 p.m. deadline, include removing some players from the 40-man roster to create more room.
As we know, Stearns can tend to announce his moves in bunches. It wouldn’t be surprise to see something come out shortly after 7 tonight.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference