MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers intend to exercise Manny Piña's $1.85 million club option to bring back the catcher for a fifth season with the team in 2020, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.
The report confirmed what had been widely expected, considering the modest cost and Piña’s value to the Brewers with primary catcher Yasmani Grandal expected to decline his half of a mutual option in the coming days to become a free agent. Piña will become the Brewers’ primary internal option at catcher, with Jacob Nottingham and Triple-A batting champion David Freitas also on the 40-man roster.
Piña was a finalist for the National League Gold Glove Award in 2018, but his playing time diminished in ’19 after Grandal came to the Brewers on a one-year deal and took over as the starting catcher. Piña still contributed seven home runs in 158 at-bats and posted a .965 OPS against left-handed pitchers.
The Brewers also hold club options on right-hander Chase Anderson ($8.5 million, $500,000 buyout) and first baseman Eric Thames ($7.5 million club option, $1 million buyout).
Like Grandal, third baseman Mike Moustakas’ contract includes a mutual option he will decline, agent Scott Boras indicated after the regular season.
Five Brewers players became free agents on Thursday: right-handers Matt Albers, Jay Jackson and Jordan Lyles and lefties Gio Gonzalez and Drew Pomeranz.