MILWAUKEE -- Already flush with starting pitchers, the Brewers added another on Wednesday by striking a one-year deal with free agent Tommy Milone, a finesse left-hander who has pitched in the Majors for the Nationals, A's and Twins over six seasons.
Milone is 44-33 with a 4.14 ERA in 129 career games, including 118 starts. He posted a 3.92 ERA in 128 2/3 innings for the Twins in 2015, but was not as effective last season, going 3-5 with a 5.71 ERA in 19 games (12 starts), and receiving a demotion to Triple-A Rochester early in the year.
Milone will compete for a spot in the rotation with the Brewers, who finished last season with six starters: Junior Guerra, Zach Davies, Jimmy Nelson, Wily Peralta, Chase Anderson and Matt Garza. All are under club control for 2017, as is former first-round Draft pick Taylor Jungmann, who started Milwaukee's third game of 2016 but had a down year. The Brewers also have prospects Josh Hader, Jorge López and Brandon Woodruff nearing the Majors.
"We think competition is a good thing," Brewers general manager David Stearns said.
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The Milone acquisition is a low-risk proposition. Per club policy, the Brewers did not announce terms of the deal, but a source said it is a non-guaranteed contract at a modest price. Such a mechanism would allow the Brewers, who have the pitching-averse reputation of their Triple-A Colorado Springs affiliate working against them, to get into the market for pitchers who might otherwise have to take a Minor League contract with a camp invite.
Milone is out of Minor League options. If he does not win a job in the rotation, the left-hander could work as a long man out of the bullpen. He does not profile as a lefty specialist.
The Brewers' pitching situation could change before the start of Spring Training. Stearns has already traded a number of late-inning relievers, and has fielded interest in several starters.
"I think we've shown in the past that we're willing to entertain deals from areas of depth. We do look at our starting rotation as an area of depth right now," Stearns said. "Tommy adds to that depth. But a deal has to be right for us to make a move. We like having depth in our starting rotation. …
"We're perfectly happy going into Spring Training, and going into the regular season, with more Major League-caliber starters than we have spots on our roster. That's a good position to be in, and frankly, it's a position that good teams are in regularly. If we're beginning to enter that spot, that means we are making progress with our plan."
With the addition of Milone, the Brewers' 40-man roster is now full.