After it was announced earlier this afternoon that right-handed pitcher Colin Rea was signed to a one-year deal with a club option for 2025, the Brewers announced the team declined options on left-handers Andrew Chafin and Justin Wilson.
The Brewers also claimed infielder Vinny Capra off waivers from the Pirates. Five other players became free agents today, including catcher Victor Caratini, third baseman Josh Donaldson, first baseman Darin Ruf, first baseman Carlos Santana, and outfielder Jesse Winker.
Chafin struggled after being acquired from the Diamondbacks at the trade deadline in exchange for Peter Strzelecki, pitching to a 5.82 ERA and 5.84 FIP across 17 innings in 20 games with Milwaukee.
Wilson never appeared in a game for the Brewers after being signed prior to the 2023 season. He recovered from Tommy John surgery for much of the season before pitching with the Triple-A Nashville Sounds on a rehab assignment in July.
He was set to make his Brewers debut on July 28 against the Braves but was instead placed back on the IL the next day following a left lat strain he suffered while warming up in the bullpen.
Capra has appeared in 17 games with the Blue Jays and Pirates across 2022 and 2023, hitting .174/.296/.217 with four hits and four walks in 28 plate appearances. In 66 games at the Triple-A level in 2023, Capra hit .289/.397/.385 with two homers and 35 RBIs.
Caratini spent two seasons with the Brewers, hitting .224/.312/.359 (87 OPS+) with 16 homers and 59 RBIs across 157 games.
Donaldson, who was claimed off waivers from the Yankees in late August, appeared in 17 regular season games for the Brewers down the stretch, adding some power to the lineup while hitting .169/.290/.390 (85 OPS+) with three homers and 11 RBIs.
Ruf appeared in just 11 games with the Brewers this season, hitting .192/.300/.231 after being claimed off waivers from the Giants. He spent the second half of the season on the IL after suffering a serious knee injury while attempting to catch a foul ball in Cincinnati in early June.
Santana was a welcome addition both offensively and defensively after being acquired at the trade deadline from the Pirates. He hit .249/.314/.459 (109 OPS+) with 11 homers and 33 RBIs across 52 games.
Winker, who was brought over in the Kolten Wong deal in the offseason, struggled in his lone season in Milwaukee, hitting just .199/.320/.247 (60 OPS+) with one homer and 23 RBIs across 61 games.
Caratini, Santana, and Donaldson are all candidates for the Brewers to re-sign this offseason as the team looks to bounce back from an early postseason exit in 2022. The team’s 40-man roster sits at 35 as free agency officially begins on Monday, Nov. 6.