The Brewers have acquired infielder Mike Brosseau from the Rays for right-hander Evan Reifert.
With 62 games of experience at second base, 52 at third and 23 at first, Brosseau will provide infield depth for Milwaukee, possibly taking the role occupied by Jace Peterson in 2021. Peterson is still under team control, but he’s heading into his final arbitration year and is a potential non-tender candidate this offseason.
Brosseau, 27, has four years of club control remaining. He’s a lifetime .245/.311/.438 hitter (106 OPS+) with 16 homers over 409 plate appearances, but he hit .187 with five homers and a .613 OPS (74 OPS+) across 169 plate appearances for Tampa Bay in 2021.
“Mike is a guy who's not too far removed from being a big part of a team that went to a World Series,” said David Stearns, Brewers president of baseball operations. “He can play everywhere. He's a great guy. He plays hard. He does have options remaining. And so there’s a lot to like about this type of acquisition for our team, and we talk about depth all the time. Sometimes, these are the types of acquisitions that can fly under the radar, but at some point in the season become pretty important.“
Stearns added: “I can't tell you right now exactly where those contributions will occur. But I'm confident that we'll see him.”
The Brewers and Rays have had extended trade talks in recent years, leading to the May trade that sent Willy Adames to Milwaukee for relievers J.P. Feyereisen and Drew Rasmussen. That contributed to a quick turnaround in this deal after the teams began discussing Brosseau earlier this week at the General Managers Meetings in Carlsbad, Calif.
Brosseau is perhaps best known for hitting a tiebreaking homer off Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the eighth inning during Game 5 of the 2020 American League Division Series, putting Tampa Bay in position to advance. The clutch blast concluded a 10-pitch at-bat and served as a measure of revenge after Chapman sailed a 100.5 mph fastball over Brosseau’s head during a game that September.
To acquire Brosseau, the Brewers parted with Reifert, a 22-year-old who signed with the team as a non-drafted free agent in 2020 and made his professional debut this season, finishing 3-3 with a 2.10 ERA and eight saves in 37 relief appearances between Low-A Carolina and High-A Wisconsin.
With Brosseau, the Brewers’ 40-man roster is at 36.