This past week the Milwaukee Brewers have been makings roster moves.
On Friday, the Brewers signed veteran infielder Mark Reynolds to a Minor League contract. First reported by CBS’ Jon Heyman, this move is Brewers’ General Manager Doug Melvin’s attempt to fix the hole at first base. Even though Reynolds has played the majority of his career at third base, he is seen as a solid defender at first.
In an article by Tom Haudricourt, Melvin said that Reynolds can make an impact defensively at first.
“His hands have always been soft,” said Melvin. “He didn’t get on base as much last year as in the past but he said he’s ready for a bounce-back year. It’s just going to be year of trying out for us at first base.”
Mark Reynolds has some pop in his bat with 202 home runs in his career but that’s about it as he is also a career .233 batting average and has 1276 strikeouts in his career.
This signing has low risk, high reward all over it. By signing him to a minor league contract, he isn’t getting paid big bucks but if he can produce like his 2009 season then the Brewers could be getting a bargain. In 2009, Reynolds hit 44 homeruns for the Arizona Diamondbacks. While his homeruns have declined since, he could be a platoon partner with Juan Francisco who was played first base for parts of last season. Francisco is also another player who can hit homeruns but can’t hit for average.
This acquisition also could mean the end of the Brewers’ pursuit of Mets’ first basemen Ike Davis and Lucas Duda. I think that what Melvin did was he needed to do and did what he could in the situation. I think that he should have tried to get Corey Hart back for another year, it didn’t work out between the two parties and Hart headed toward the Seattle Mariners who’s General Manager previously worked for the Brewers and was familiar with Hart as a prospect and player.
In Brewer related news, the club agreed to terms with its two arbitration eligible players. Marco Estrada signed a $3.325 million one-year contract, compared to the $1.955 he made last year. Juan Francisco also agreed to terms with the Brewers by signing a one-year contract for $1.35 million, up from the $496,250 he made from last year.
I like how both players came back for reasonable prices. I think that Estrada is a solid back of the rotation, long relief pitcher and has been an average pitcher for the club when we need solid players. Francisco is a good stop gap at first base but is clearly not the long term answer for the Brewers.
The Brewers also tried bolstering their bullpen needs by signing left-handed pitcher Zach Duke. Duke has pitched in the National League his whole career and would be familiar with who the Brewers face during the year. Also signing Duke gives the Brewers another left-handed option out of the bullpen along with Tom Gorzelanny and Will Smith.
Are there any other free-agents the Brewers should look into signing this off season? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.