MILWAUKEE -- General manager Matt Arnold has been with the Brewers so long, it's not often that the team acquires a player from his former job with the Rays. But such a transaction crossed the wire on Friday.
The Brewers acquired first baseman/outfielder Jake Bauers from the Yankees in exchange for outfielders Jace Avina and Brian Sánchez, adding a candidate to Milwaukee's wide-open situation at first base and conjuring some memories for Arnold. He was Tampa Bay's director of player personnel when the Rays acquired Bauers in December 2014 as part of a huge, three-team trade built around Wil Myers.
Now, Arnold has acquired Bauers again.
"That was a guy we targeted as a left-handed bat with power," Arnold said at the end of a busy day that saw the Brewers tender contracts to nine players, including Bauers, but non-tender a trio led by longtime Brewers pitcher Brandon Woodruff and first baseman Rowdy Tellez. "[Bauers] really developed over the last 12-18 months and he's changed some things in his swing that we're excited about."
Bauers, 28, has played four Major League seasons with the Rays (2018), Guardians (2019, 2021), Mariners (2021) and Yankees (2023), appearing in 84 games in the big leagues last year and matching his career high with 12 home runs. Between the Yankees and their Triple-A club, Bauers set a career high with 23 home runs last season.
He is out of Minor League options but does come with three years of club control.
Avina, 20, was the Brewers' 29th-ranked prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He played at Low-A Carolina in 2023. Sánchez, 19, signed with Milwaukee as a non-drafted free agent last Feb. 7 and made his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League.