Today, the Milwaukee Brewers announced that they have parted ways with one of the team’s longest-tenured players. After spending parts of the last five seasons in the Cream City, utilityman and fan-favorite Hernan Perez officially became a free agent earlier this afternoon.
INF/OF Hernán Pérez has been outrighted to Triple-A San Antonio and elected free agency. The 40-man roster now stands at 39. pic.twitter.com/qEkh1P8ECR— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) October 16, 2019
The move doesn’t exactly come as a surprise after the season Perez endured. He was previously DFA’d and outrighted over the summer, only to remain with the organization at the minor league level and earn another call-up later in the summer. But with his offense in the tank (his 64 OPS+ this season was his worst as a Brewer) and his arbitration price tag projected to rise to $3 mil, the writing was probably on the wall. So rather than wait until the non-tender deadline, the Brewers cleared themselves a 40-man roster spot and afforded Perez the chance to get an early jump on the free agent market and finding gainful employment for next season.
A former top prospect in the Tigers’ organization, Doug Melvin claimed Perez off waivers on June 2nd, 2015, during his final year as GM of the Brewers. HP got some run as the club’s regular third baseman at the outset of the rebuild, but he was non-tendered by the David Stearns regime on November 6th of that year. Ten days later, however, he re-signed on a minor league deal and spent most of the next four years playing all over the diamond for Craig Counsell’s squad.
During his five years in Milwaukee, Perez appeared in 572 games and played first, second, third, short, left, center, right, and he even pitched seven times. He went to the plate 1,706 times and collected 417 hits, including 74 doubles, 10 triples, and 45 home runs. He drove in 175 runs and stole 67 bases, batting a cumulative .258/.288/.400 for an OPS+ of 80.
If this is indeed the end of the line for Perez in Milwaukee, he finishes #34 in franchise history in games played, 47th in OPS (.688), 48th in hits, 48th in home runs, and 18th in stolen bases. He was an important and well-respected figure in the clubhouse with a loud and fun personality both on and off the field. At the time of his release, only Ryan Braun, Jimmy Nelson, and Corey Knebel had longer active tenures with the team.
We wish the best of luck to Hammerin’ Hernan, the Latin Babe Ruth, in his future endeavors!
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference