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Brewers sign Fernando Abad to minor-league deal

Veteran left-hander spent most of the year in Rockies system

Houston Astros v Colorado Rockies Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Brewers signed left-handed reliever Fernando Abad to a minor-league contract on Thursday, according to the club’s transaction log.

The 37-year-old Abad is an 11-year veteran with 406 games of MLB experience, posting a 3.78 ERA and 4.29 FIP.

Abad was a fixture in big-league bullpens from 2013 through 2017, pitching for the Washington Nationals, Oakland Athletics, Minnesota Twins, and Boston Red Sox.

Since then, he has seen sparse big-league action, appearing in 43 games across six seasons while failing to crack the major leagues in 2018, 2020, and 2022.

Abad latched on with the Colorado Rockies last winter on a minor-league deal. He was promoted for a short stint in May but designated for assignment after three appearances. Abad remained with the organization on a new minor-league contract and returned to the big leagues in July. A few weeks later, he was DFA’d for a second time and outrighted to Triple-A. The Rockies released him on August 15.

In six appearances for the Rockies, Abad pitched to a respectable 4.26 ERA but allowed 11 hits in 6 13 innings with just two strikeouts. He turned in decent work at Triple-A Albuquerque, posting a 3.86 ERA and 3.93 FIP in 30 13 innings.

Abad adds some left-handed relief depth as the Brewers continue searching for a reliable southpaw to pair with Hoby Milner in the bullpen. Trade deadline acquisition Andrew Chafin was supposed to fill that need, but significant control problems have relegated him to low-leverage work.

Abad could crack the big-league bullpen before the end of the season, or he could be a warm body to occupy a bullpen spot at Triple-A Nashville. Should they decide to promote him, the Brewers would have to add him to the 40-man roster. Because he joined the organization before September 1, Abad is eligible to pitch in the postseason.