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Milwaukee Brewers sign Hernan Perez to minor league deal

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Welcome back, old friend.

St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Brewers have been decimated by injuries during the first month-plus of the 2021 MLB regular season. Even first-line backups like Manny Pina, Jace Peterson, and Daniel Robertson have gotten hurt, leaving the Brewers very thin on depth and giving meaningful playing time to the likes of Pablo Reyes and Billy McKinney. But early this afternoon the club made a move to bring in someone who should help shore things up on the infield, and in the outfield, and on the mound, and perhaps even behind the plate, reuniting with old friend Hernan Perez:

Perez, now 30, has a lengthy history with the franchise and was one of manager Craig Counsell’s favorite toys as a Swiss Army Knife utility player from 2015-2019. Perez appeared at every position except catcher across 572 games with the Brewers — although he was considered the team’s “emergency backstop” — playing in 90+ games in each of his five seasons during his first stint in Milwaukee. Perez has long displayed solid bat-to-ball skills along with decent speed and power, but his inability to get on base via the walk limited his offensive utility to a .258/.288/.400 slash line (80 OPS+) with 45 home runs and 67 steals across 1,706 plate appearances.

Perez was non-tendered after the 2019 season and hasn’t gotten much big league playing time since; he spent 2020 with the Cubs’ org, appearing in only three games while mostly at the Alternate Training Site, then got into just 10 games with the Nationals in 2021 before being released. Since getting let go by the Brewers, Perez has recorded two hits and two walks in 27 plate appearances. But now that Perez is back with the org, it’s likely only a matter of time until he’s back at the big league level and starting in Craig Counsell’s lineup multiple days per week at every position across the diamond.