Today was the deadline for organizations around Major League Baseball to add eligible players to their 40-man roster in order to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft. Many franchises around the league took this opportunity to add some of their best prospects to the big league roster and bring them that much closer to reaching the game’s highest level. The Milwaukee Brewers were not one of those teams, however. David Stearns and his brain trust chose not to add any additional players to the 40-man before today’s deadline, and additionally, they dropped Mark Mathias off the roster.
#Brewers not making any additions from their system to the 40-man roster. Can't remember last time that happened, if ever.— Tom (@Haudricourt) November 20, 2021
INF/OF Mark Mathias has been outrighted to Triple-A Nashville. pic.twitter.com/z4dffl8rMG— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) November 19, 2021
Mathias, 27, came to the Brewers in a minor trade prior to the 2020 season. He made his big league debut that year and appeared in 16 games for Milwaukee, batting .278/.278/.361 across 36 plate appearances. He did not make it on the field at any level during 2021, however, suffering a torn labrum during Spring Training that caused him to miss the entire regular season.
The Brewers did have several eligible prospects ranked within their top-30 by MLB Pipeline that could have been worth consideration, but ultimately they decided not to protect anyone. That suggests that they aren’t particularly worried about losing any of the players they left unprotected, whether it’s because they don’t see those players as MLB-ready (a Rule 5 draftee is required to spend the entire following season on the 26-man roster) or because they don’t see those players filling significant roles in the big leagues at the end of the day.
Korry Howell was the highest-rated player left unprotected at #15, but he only reached Double-A for the first time this year at age-23 and hit .244/.349/.455 with 132 strikeouts in 97 games between high-A and Double-A in 2021. Other ranked prospects left available include Carlos Rodriguez (#22), Tristen Lutz (#29), and Victor Castaneda (#30). Unranked, but still noteworthy players left unprotected include Lucas Erceg, Weston Wilson, Caden Lemons, Max Lazar, Luke Barker, Ernesto Martinez, David Fry, and Noah Zavolas.
Milwaukee’s 40-man roster currently stands at 35 players.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference