The Milwaukee Brewers signed a 33 year old pitcher to a minor league contract last off-season after he was solid overseas with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). This pitcher had big league experience before signing with the Brew Crew, but had not yet accrued six years of MLB playing time.
Six years of MLB playing time is important because that is when players are typically eligible to become free agents. However, because he came from overseas there reportedly is language in his contract that will allow him to hit the open market this off-season instead of being paid through the arbitration system.
Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Colin Rea will be eligible to enter free agency this offseason.
Steve Adams reported that Colin Rea’s contract contains language that will allow him to enter free agency this winter. He also notes that this is not uncommon for players coming back to Major League Baseball from NPB or the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).
With the Brewers this year Colin Rea was shuttled back and forth between the major and minor leagues several time, but he did fill a spot consistent spot in the rotation early on in the season when starting pitchers Brandon Woodruff, Eric Lauer, and Wade Miley all had stint on the injured list.
Prior to likely his last outing of the year against the Chicago Cubs, Colin Rea pitched 119.2 big league innings and had a 4.74 ERA. His 23 home runs allowed is one alarming statistic, but overall he did a decent job at eating up innings and keeping Milwaukee in ball games.
It would be very unusual for Colin Rea not to elect free agency and see what his worth is on the open market. This should get him a bigger pay day as opposed to going through arbitration for some team out there, that could be the Brewers again, will be in need of a depth arm that can fill in as a starter or swingman.
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