On Rule 5 protection deadline day, David Stearns and company made a surprise swap with the Cleveland Indians. Milwaukee acquired utility infielder Mark Mathias in exchange for 18-year old catching prospect Andres Melendez.
The trade is interesting because Mathias needed to be added to Milwaukee’s 40-man roster in order to be safeguarded from Rule 5 eligibility. Mathias is a 25-year old infielder who plays primarily second base and third base, although he has logged over 200 minor league innings at shortstop in his career. He has yet to log an inning at the major league level.
In Triple-A this past season, the 2015 third round draft pick slashed .269/.355/.442. He showed some of the best pop of his career, launching 12 home runs and 45 extra base hits across 478 plate appearances. He walked almost 11 percent of the time while striking out less than 20 percent demonstrating a potential for plate discipline and ability to make contact.
With the addition of Mathias along with Corey Ray and JP Feyereisen, Milwaukee’s 40-man roster now stands at 36.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs