The Brewers have added outfielder Chris Roller to the 40-man roster, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Curt Hogg. The move is also reflected in the team’s official transaction log.
The Brewers have added OF Chris Roller to the 40-man roster. Roller batted .364/.493/.618 in 16 games with Class AAA Nashville last year after being acquired for cash from Cleveland and would've been a free agent if not added to the roster.— Curt Hogg (@CyrtHogg) October 23, 2023
As Hogg notes, Roller was eligible for minor-league free agency after completing his sixth minor-league season. The Brewers maintain control of his rights by adding him to the 40-man roster.
Roller joins a deep outfield group in Milwaukee, and while his profile features plenty of question marks, the Brewers evidently see enough to give him a more extended look.
The Brewers acquired Roller from the Cleveland Guardians in a minor-league trade on August 31.
In 16 games with the Nashville Sounds, Roller slashed .364/.493/.618 (183 wRC+). Between the two organizations, he hit .247/.394/.449 (117 wRC+) in 108 Triple-A games.
Roller’s 17.2% walk rate fueled his excellent on-base percentage, but his underlying metrics raise questions about his bat. He posted a hard-hit rate below 30% and a barrel rate below 7% with both organizations while striking out at a combined 27.5% rate.
Roller excelled at elevating the ball (50.2% fly ball rate) and popped 15 home runs, but his poor bat-to-ball skills and lack of loud contact could be amplified at the big-league level.
The 27-year-old is a strong defender in center field. The Brewers have emphasized premium glovework under General Manager Matt Arnold.
Roller was a 30th-round pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 Amateur Draft. The Guardians scooped him up in the minor-league phase of the 2020 Rule 5 Draft.
Because this is Roller’s first time on a 40-man roster, he has three option years remaining. Should he stick on the roster through the offseason, the Brewers can send him to Triple-A without exposing him to waivers.