Professional baseball players start with three seasons worth of minor league options. This means that for three years they have the ability to be shuttled in between the Major and Minor Leagues. Last year’s new CBA rules changed the number of times a player can be sent back and forth in a given year, but having this flexibility is important for young players and their respective teams.
The Brewers tend to highly value having minor league options when targeting new young players for once a player is out of options they have to be put on waivers and clear that before they can be sent to the minor leagues. There are a lot of new faces on Milwaukee’s 40-man roster this year, so let’s take a look at which players are out of minor league options for the 2023 season and which players have options remaining.
Brewers players that are out of minor league options (6)
Players that are out of minor league options include pitchers Matt Bush, Javy Guerra, Adrian Houser, Joel Payamps, and Bryse Wilson. The lone position player out of minor league options is Keston Hiura.
Matt Bush was acquired at the trade deadline last season from the Rangers. 2023 will be his age 37 season, but his arm does not have a lot of mileage on it. He was used in high leverage situations last year and will be competing against several other players for this same role again this season.
Adrian Houser has been a starting pitcher over the past few seasons for the Brewers. This year his role is not yet defined and he will have to earn a spot during spring training for Milwaukee has brought in Wade Miley and Janson Junk to compete against him. Aaron Ashby also figures to draw starts as well.
Javy Guerra, Joel Payamps, and Bryse Wilson are all new additions to the Brewers this year who will be competing for spots in the bullpen. They will need to make the 26-man roster out of camp in order to avoid being exposed to waivers.
Not mentioned above, but in a somewhat similar situation, is relief pitcher Gus Varland. Varland has not made his MLB debut yet but was selected in the Rule-5 draft in November. Per these rules, he must remain on the Brewers active roster in order to retain him despite having three minor league options.
Last is Keston Hiura. It’s currently unclear where this once highly coveted top prospect fits on the Brewers roster. It’s possible that Milwaukee looks to trade him before the season starts, but his value is currently not that high.
There are several more Brewers players that cannot be optioned to the minor leagues, all of whom have more than five years of MLB service time. This automatically eliminates any remaining minor league options.
Brewers players that have one minor league option remaining (4).
Players with one minor league option remaining include Eric Lauer, Tyson Miller, Hoby Milner, and Abraham Toro. Lauer and Milner are returners from last season whereas Miller and Toro are new additions.
Of these players mentioned, Lauer seems a lock to remain with the Brewers all season. Milner was a break out player last season who was great at limiting inherited runners. Miller will be competing for a bullpen spot. Toro is an infielder and will likely split time in between second and third base.
Entering 2023, the Brewers have several more players with two or more options remaining including Payton Henry, Mike Brosseau, Janson Junk, Aaron Ashby, and Owen Miller. The focus of this article was to point out which players are out of minor league options or which have one year left.
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