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Updated: Brewers outright Eric Lauer, who elects free agency

Lauer went unclaimed after the Brewers put him on waivers ahead of a likely non-tender

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers outrighted Eric Lauer to Triple-A Nashville on Friday, according to beat reporters Todd Rosiak and Adam McCalvy.

Lauer was likely to be non-tendered after a career-worst season that saw him post a 6.56 ERA and 7.41 FIP in 46 23 innings.

The Brewers expedited Lauer’s departure from the 40-man roster by placing him on waivers. This gave other teams the chance to claim him, but the veteran went untouched.

Lauer has enough big-league service time to reject the outright assignment and will likely elect free agency.

If this is the end for the left-hander in a Brewers uniform, he concludes his time in Milwaukee with a 4.22 ERA and 4.80 FIP in 67 appearances (60 starts) across four seasons.

Acquired along with Luis Urias in exchange for Zach Davies and Trent Grisham in November 2019, Lauer established himself as a quality middle-of-the-rotation arm, albeit with some questionable peripherals. He overcame subpar walk and home run rates to post a 3.47 ERA in 277 13 innings as a regular member of the rotation across the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Things went south for Lauer in 2023. He lost multiple ticks of velocity on his fastball, a significant development for a pitcher whose success was built on inducing swings and misses with his heater. Diminished stuff and worse control caused his home run and walk rates to spike.

Lauer then hit the injured list at the end of May after nine rough outings. He was optioned to Triple-A after completing a rehab assignment and then spent over a month on the inactive list as he sorted through multiple injuries.

Lauer returned to the mound in late July. When the Brewers clinched the division and chose to rest their top pitchers in the final series of the regular season, they recalled Lauer for a start against the Cubs on September 30. In his final outing of the season, he allowed eight runs (including three home runs) in four innings.

Update: McCalvy reported Monday that Lauer has elected free agency, officially ending his time with the Brewers.